One of the most iconic antelope in the Kruger National Park, the Kudu is the Face of the park. The Kudu is a very large antelope, with bulls weighing as much as 300kg and standing at an astounding 1.4m at the shoulder. Since the Kudu is a Dimorphic species, meaning the one gender is much larger than the other, the female is much smaller than the male, weighing only 210kg and only standing 1.25m at the shoulder. The most iconic feature of the Kudu is their beautiful spiralling horns that have reached record lengths of 1.8 meters. They have a tawny skin tone with white stripes running down their sides with a dark mane running down its back.
Kudus breed during April and May ang give birth to a single calf in the time between January and February. Like people, Kudus have a gestation period of 9 months. Kudu calves aren’t born ready to flee, instead they are hold up in a den and are protected by their mothers until they old enough and strong enough to travel around. Kudu herds usually consist of 20 members but will often split into smaller groups. Young bulls will form their own bachelor herds and travel around while the young cows will stay with their mothers. Kudu bulls don’t fight over territories, which means many bulls can congregate together. Kudus have a hierarchy that is based on the size of the male, with dominance scaling with size.
Kudus prefer very densely covered areas such as Knobthorn woodlands, bush, wooded foothills of mountains and Mopane fields. They are very common in the Kruger National Park, as well as the Northern and North-Western provinces. There have also been cases of Kudus moving much further out than the areas they are usually found in, but the numbers are much lower. Kudu’s are browsers that feed on a wide variety of trees and bushes. They have a liking in eating a variety of different fruits, pods, creepers and roots. When available, Kudus will feed on succulents such as Spekboom and will also feed on aloes, a strange choice that not many animals go for.