The handsome, stately kudu is so revered that it serves as the logo for South Africa's National Parks Board. Visitors often encounter these stately antelope on safari in South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia.

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Greater kudus have slender, long bodies, short tails, and white stripes along the side of its body. They are identified and distinguished from other antelope by their long, heavily curled horns, brown coats of fur, and big ears. Only males have horns.


They are found extensively throughout Southern Africa, in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, and Zambia, and even further north in Tanzania and Kenya. In the Kruger National Park, they prefer woodland areas or Mopani forests.

Scientific Name
Tragelaphus strepsiceros
227Kg (M) 157Kg (f)
Shoulder Height
1.4m (M) 1.25m (F)
Mating Season
April / May


Their current conservation status is labeled as "least concern." The greater kudu population in the Kruger National Park is estimated to be between 11 200 and 17 300 individuals. Other national parks in Southern Africa have kudu populations that are just as healthy, such as the Etosha National park in Namibia and Central Kalahari National Park in Botswana, among many others. Roughly 482 000 individuals roam the plains of Africa, according to studies for the IUCN red list in 2008. The high population and population density indicate that this species is under no current threat.


They frequently enjoy the patchy shade of Acacia trees, shielding them from the hot African sun and feasting on the leaves of small shrubs and other trees. Woodland, savanna, and arid-savanna areas are their preferred habitat. An adequate supply of trees with edible leaves is essential, as they are primarily browsers though they do sometimes graze. The presence of permanent water in their habitat is another requirement.

Social Organization

Kudus are non-territorial and actively search for food, water, and other necessities at any time. They form herds, ranging from 5 to 20 individuals for females and offspring, while all-male or bachelor herds are usually much smaller. However, most males remain solitary most of the year, only joining a herd during the mating season. Different herds give each other space during the rainy season when vegetation is readily available. During the dry season, when food is scarce, they may join up in certain areas simply because there is a food or water supply to support them.

Finest Safari Areas in Africa for Encountering Kudu

We recommend the following National Parks and Private Reserves for the best chances of spotting the kudu on safari game drives and bush walks.

Social Behavior

Although they are not territorial, they do have a home range. In the case of female and offspring herds, this area is usually 4 square kilometers, with the bachelor groups' home area much more extensive, around 11 square kilometers. The power hierarchies in these maternal or bachelor groups, especially in the male groups or among males who battle over mates, are according to age and the universal deciding factor, size. These animals rarely exceed eight years of age in the wild before dying from natural causes or feeding a predator.


They have a mating season that might differ from area to area. In South Africa, it is April and May. It is a measure that ensures a low mortality rate and a high survival rate among calves born when food is abundant. The gestation period is up to 9 months, after which the little calf will still depend on its mother for survival for another six months. This process will repeat itself when the calf reaches sexual maturity around 1 to 3 years of age, when it will mate, and its offspring will go through the same circle of life.

Anti-Predator Behavior

Kudus are plagued by many natural enemies, with lions, leopards, wild dogs, and spotted hyenas able to take adult kudus. Jackal species, large eagles, cheetahs, brown hyenas, and even pythons can bring down kudu young. They usually hide their young in the tall February grass for the first five weeks after birth as a precaution to better their chances of survival. When a herd is under attack, they usually run for it and hope they aren't the unlucky ones to fall victim.

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