Greater Kudu [Tragelaphus strepsciseros]
Best places to see Kudu in Botswana
Kudu are found across Botswana in a wide range of habitats from the arid semi-desert to the Okavango. The are most commonly found in the Savute
The kudu is one of the stateliest animals in Africa and in particular the male with its long spiral horns - which also make it a favourite target of trophy hunters. Despite its tall horn structure the kudu's favoured habitat is bush savannah where it can find shelter. The kudu moves through thick vegetation by holding its head up and placing its horns along its neck and back.
Female kudu move around in small herds and have set home ranges, whereas males move around a great deal singly or in small bachelor herds after they have been chased out of the breeding herd at around two years of age. I have personally studied males where individuals have been recorded 100 km from where they were first noted.
Kudu bulls fight over females at mating time and the fights have been known to be fatal, often when the horns of the two individuals interlock and they die of starvation. Personal observations include seeing a male kudu killing a rival male at a waterhole by flicking a horn into the stomach of the rival.
Kudu are generally browsers but do eat new grass, seed pods and berries. Personal observations include seeing a Kudu chewing on the dried fruit of a Sausage Tree. The reason for the animal chewing a dried fruit pod is unclear.