|Male at Kruger National Park in South Africa|
|Female at Chudop waterhole, Etosha in Namibia|
|Ranges of the subspecies |
T. s. cottoni
T. s. chora
T. s. strepsiceros
The greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) is a large woodland antelope, found throughout eastern and southern Africa. Despite occupying such widespread territory, they are sparsely populated in most areas due to declining habitat, deforestation, and poaching.  The greater kudu is one of two species commonly known as kudu, the other being the lesser kudu, T. imberbis.
Kudu ( /kuːduː/ koo-DOO), or koodoo, is the Khoikhoi name for this antelope. Trag- (Greek) denotes a goat and elaphos (Greek) a deer. Strepho (Greek) means "twist", and strepsis is "twisting". Keras (Greek) refers to the horn of the animal. 
Greater kudus have a narrow body with long legs, and their coats can range from brown/bluish grey to reddish brown. They possess between 4 and 12 vertical white stripes along their torso. The head tends to be darker in colour than the rest of the body, and exhibits a small white chevron which runs between the eyes. Greater kudu bulls tend to be much larger than the cows, and vocalize much more, utilizing low grunts, clucks, humming, and gasping.  The bulls also have beards running along their throats, and large horns with two and a half twists, which, were they to be straightened, would reach an average length of 120 cm (47 in), with the record being 187.64 cm (73.87 in).  They diverge slightly as they slant back from the head. The horns do not begin to grow until the bull is between the ages of 6–12 months. The horns form the first spiral rotation at around 2 years of age, and not reaching the full two and a half rotations until they are 6 years old; occasionally they may even have 3 full turns. 
This is one of the largest species of antelope. Bulls weigh 190–270 kg (420–600 lb), with a maximum of 315 kg (694 lb), and stand up to 160 cm (63 in) tall at the shoulder. The ears of the greater kudu are large and round. Cows weigh 120–210 kg (260–460 lb) and stand as little as 100 cm (39 in) tall at the shoulder; they are hornless, without a beard or nose markings. The head-and-body length is 185–245 cm (6.07–8.04 ft), to which the tail may add a further 30–55 cm (12–22 in). 
|Phylogenetic relationships of the mountain nyala from combined analysis of all molecular data (Willows-Munro et.al. 2005)|
Formerly four subspecies have been described, but recently only one to three subspecies have been accepted based on colour, number of stripes and horn length: 
This classification was supported by the genetic difference of one specimen of northern Kenya (T. s. chora) in comparison with several samples from the southern part of the range between Tanzania and Zimbabwe (T. s. strepsiceros). No specimen of the northwestern population, which may represent a third subspecies (T. s. cottoni), was tested within this study. 
In Groves and Grubb's book Ungulate Taxonomy, a recent taxonomic revision was made that evaluated all species and subspecies of kudu and other ungulates. This review split the genus Tragelaphus into 4 separate genera, Tragelaphus (bushbuck, sitatunga, bongo, nyala, and gedemsa or mountain nyala), Ammelaphus (lesser kudu), Strepsiceros (greater kudu), and their close relatives Taurotragus (elands). The greater kudu was split into four species based on genetic evidence and morphological features (horn structure and coat color). Each species was based on a different subspecies, Strepsiceros strepsiceros (Cape kudu), Strepsiceros chora (northern kudu), Strepsiceros cottoni (western kudu), and Strepsiceros zambesiensis (Zambezi kudu) which is not commonly accepted even as a subspecies. The Cape kudu is found in south central South Africa, the Zambezi kudu (closely related to the Cape kudu) is found from northern to southern Tanzania and northern South Africa, Namibia, and Angola through Zambia, Mozambique, and eastern DR Congo, the northern kudu is found in eastern Sudan southwards through Ethiopia and Kenya to the Tanzanian border, and the western kudu is found in southeastern Chad, western Sudan, and in northern Central African Republic.  Although this alternative taxonomy is not commonly accepted, it was accepted in the Handbook of the Mammals of the World .
The range of the greater kudu extends from the east in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Eritrea and Kenya into the south where they are found in Zambia, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Other regions where greater kudu are located are Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, and Uganda.  They have also been introduced in small numbers into New Mexico, but were never released into the wild. Their habitat includes mixed scrub woodlands (the greater kudu is one of the few largest mammals that prefer living in settled areas – in scrub woodland and bush on abandoned fields and degraded pastures, mopane bush and acacia in lowlands, hills and mountains.  They will occasionally venture onto plains only if there is a large abundance of bushes, but normally avoid such open areas to avoid becoming an easy target for their predators. Their diet consists of leaves, grass, shoots and occasionally tubers, roots and fruit (they are especially fond of oranges and tangerines). 
During the day, greater kudus normally cease to be active and instead seek cover under woodland, especially during hot days. They feed and drink in the early morning and late afternoon, acquiring water from waterholes or roots and bulbs that have a high water content. Although they tend to stay in one area, the greater kudu may search over a large distance for water in times of drought, in southern Namibia where water is relatively scarce they have been known to cover extensive distances in very short periods of time. 
Predators of the greater kudu generally consist of lions, spotted hyenas, and African wild dogs. Although cheetahs and leopards also prey on greater kudus, they usually target cows and calves rather than fully grown bulls. There are several instances reported where Nile crocodiles have preyed on greater kudus,   although based on records, the larger mammalian carnivores statistically are much more dangerous to the kudu and comparable large ungulates, or at least those with a preference for dry, upland habitats over riparian or swamp areas.  When a herd is threatened by predators, an adult (usually a female) will issue a bark to alert the rest of the herd. Despite being very nimble over rocky hillsides and mountains, the greater kudu is not fast enough (nor does it have enough endurance) to escape its main predators over open terrain, so it tends to rely on leaping over shrubs and small trees to shake off pursuers.  Greater kudus have excellent hearing and acute eyesight, which helps to alert them to approaching predators.  Their colouring and markings protect kudus by camouflaging them. If alarmed, they usually stand still, making them very difficult to spot.[ citation needed ]
Greater kudus have a lifespan of 7 to 8 years in the wild, and up to 23 years in captivity. They may be active throughout the 24-hour day. Herds disperse during the rainy season when food is plentiful. During the dry season, there are only a few concentrated areas of food so the herds will congregate.  Greater kudu are not territorial; they have home areas instead. Maternal herds have home ranges of approximately 4 square kilometers and these home ranges can overlap with other maternal herds. Home ranges of adult males are about 11 square kilometers and generally encompass the ranges of two or three female groups.  Females usually form small groups of 6–10 with their offspring, but sometimes they can form a herd up to 20 individuals. Male kudus may form small bachelor groups, but they are more commonly found as solitary and widely dispersed individuals. Solitary males will join the group of females and calves (usually 6–10 individuals per group) only during the mating season (April–May in South Africa). 
The male kudus are not always physically aggressive with each other, but sparring can sometimes occur between males, especially when both are of similar size and stature. The male kudus exhibit this sparring behavior by interlocking horns and shoving one another. Dominance is established until one male exhibits the lateral display.  In rare circumstances, sparring can result in both males being unable to free themselves from the other's horns, which can then result in the death of both animals.
Rarely will a herd reach a size of forty individuals, partly because of the selective nature of their diet which would make foraging for food difficult in large groups.  A herd's area can encompass 800 to 1,500 acres (3.2 to 6.1 km2), and spend an average of 54% of the day foraging for food. 
Greater kudus reach sexual maturity between 1 and 3 years of age. The mating season occurs at the end of the rainy season, which can fluctuate slightly according to the region and climate. Before mating, there is a courtship ritual which consists of the male standing in front of the female and often engaging in a neck wrestle. The male then trails the female while issuing a low pitched call until the female allows him to copulate with her. Gestation takes around 240 days (or eight months).  Calving generally starts between February and March (late austral summer), when the grass tends to be at its highest. 
Greater kudus tend to bear one calf, although occasionally there may be two. The pregnant female kudu will leave her group to give birth; once she gives birth, the newborn is hidden in vegetation for about 4 to 5 weeks (to avoid predation).  After 4 or 5 weeks, the offspring will accompany its mother for short periods of time; then by 3 to 4 months of age, it will accompany her at all times.  By the time it is 6 months old, it is quite independent of its mother. The majority of births occur during the wet season (January to March).  In terms of maturity, female greater kudus reach sexual maturity at 15–21 months. Males reach maturity at 21–24 months. 
Greater kudus have both benefited and suffered from interaction with humans. Humans are turning much of the kudu's natural habitat into farmland, restricting their home ranges.  Humans have also destroyed woodland cover, which they use for their habitat. However, wells and irrigation set up by humans has also allowed the greater kudu to occupy territory that would have been too devoid of water for them previously.  The greater kudu are also a target for poachers for meat and horns. The horns of greater kudus are commonly used to make Shofars, a Jewish ritual horn blown at Rosh Hashanah.
The greater kudu population in the northern part of its range has declined due to excessive hunting and rapid habitat loss. However, they are evaluated as low risk in the IUCN Red List of endangered species. The long-term survival of the greater kudu at large is not in jeopardy as populations located elsewhere remain robust and well-managed.  The greater kudu receives adequate protection from southern Tanzania to South Africa. There are large populations in parks and reserves such as Ruaha-Rungwa-Kisigo and Selous (Tanzania), Luangwa Valley and Kafue (Zambia), Etosha (Namibia), Moremi, Chobe and Central Kalahari (Botswana), Hwange, Chizarira, Mana Pools and Gonarezhou (Zimbabwe) and in Kruger (11,200–17,300)  and Hluhluwe–iMfolozi (South Africa). An abundance of greater kudu is also found in private farms and conservancies in southern Africa, in particular in Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, where they are popular amongst trophy hunters. 
The bongo is a large, mostly nocturnal, forest-dwelling antelope, native to sub-Saharan Africa. Bongos are characterised by a striking reddish-brown coat, black and white markings, white-yellow stripes and long slightly spiralled horns. It is the only tragelaphid in which both sexes have horns. Bongos have a complex social interaction and are found in African dense forest mosaics. They are the third-largest antelope in the world.
The springbok or springbuck is a medium-sized antelope found mainly in south and southwest Africa. The sole member of the genus Antidorcas, this bovid was first described by the German zoologist Eberhard August Wilhelm von Zimmermann in 1780. Three subspecies are identified. A slender, long-legged antelope, the springbok reaches 71 to 86 cm at the shoulder and weighs between 27 and 42 kg. Both sexes have a pair of black, 35-to-50 cm (14-to-20 in) long horns that curve backwards. The springbok is characterised by a white face, a dark stripe running from the eyes to the mouth, a light-brown coat marked by a reddish-brown stripe that runs from the upper fore leg to the buttocks across the flanks like the Thomson's gazelle, and a white rump flap.
The term antelope is used to refer to many species of even-toed ruminant that are indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia.
Bovines comprise a diverse group of 10 genera of medium to large-sized ungulates, including cattle, bison, African buffalo, water buffalos, and the four-horned and spiral-horned antelopes. The evolutionary relationship between the members of the group is still debated, and their classification into loose tribes rather than formal subgroups reflects this uncertainty. General characteristics include cloven hooves and usually at least one of the sexes of a species having true horns. The largest extant bovine is the gaur.
The lowland nyala or simply nyala, is a spiral-horned antelope native to southern Africa. It is a species of the family Bovidae and genus Tragelaphus, previously placed in genus Nyala. It was first described in 1849 by George French Angas. The body length is 135–195 cm (53–77 in), and it weighs 55–140 kg (121–309 lb). The coat is maroon or rufous brown in females and juveniles, but grows a dark brown or slate grey, often tinged with blue, in adult males. Females and young males have ten or more white stripes on their sides. Only males have horns, 60–83 cm (24–33 in) long and yellow-tipped. It exhibits the highest sexual dimorphism among the spiral-horned antelopes. It is not to be confused with the endangered mountain nyala living in the Bale region of Ethiopia).
The impala or rooibok is a medium-sized antelope found in eastern and southern Africa. The only extant member of the genus Aepyceros, and tribe Aepycerotini, it was first described to Europeans by German zoologist Hinrich Lichtenstein in 1812. Two subspecies are recognised—the grassland-dwelling common impala, and the larger and darker black-faced impala, which lives in slightly more arid, scrubland environments. The impala reaches 70–92 cm (28–36 in) at the shoulder and weighs 40–76 kg (88–168 lb). It features a glossy, reddish brown coat. The male's slender, lyre-shaped horns are 45–92 cm (18–36 in) long.
The klipspringer is a small antelope found in eastern and southern Africa. The sole member of its genus and subfamily/tribe, the klipspringer was first described by German zoologist Eberhard August Wilhelm von Zimmermann in 1783. The klipspringer is a small, sturdy antelope; it reaches 43–60 centimetres at the shoulder and weighs from 8 to 18 kilograms. The coat of the klipspringer, yellowish gray to reddish brown, acts as an efficient camouflage in its rocky habitat. Unlike most other antelopes, the klipspringer has a thick and coarse coat with hollow, brittle hairs. The horns, short and spiky, typically measure 7.5–9 cm.
The kudus are two species of antelope of the genus Tragelaphus:
The sitatunga, sometimes called the marshbuck, is a swamp-dwelling medium-sized antelope found throughout central Africa, centering on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, parts of Southern Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Burundi, Ghana, Botswana, Rwanda, Zambia, Gabon, the Central African Republic, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. The sitatunga is mostly confined to swampy and marshy habitats. Here they occur in tall and dense vegetation as well as seasonal swamps, marshy clearings in forests, riparian thickets and mangrove swamps.
The mountain nyala or balbok, is a large antelope found in high altitude woodlands in a small part of central Ethiopia. It is a monotypic species first described by English naturalist Richard Lydekker in 1910. The males are typically 120–135 cm (47–53 in) tall while females stand 90–100 cm (35–39 in) at the shoulder. Males weigh 180–300 kg (400–660 lb) and females weigh 150–200 kg (330–440 lb). The coat is grey to brown, marked with two to five poorly defined white strips extending from the back to the underside, and a row of six to ten white spots. White markings are present on the face, throat and legs as well. Males have a short dark erect crest, about 10 cm (3.9 in) high, running along the middle of the back. Only males possess horns.
The lesser kudu is a medium-sized bushland antelope, found in East Africa. It is placed in the genus Tragelaphus and family Bovidae. It was first scientifically described by the English zoologist Edward Blyth in 1869. The head-and-body length is typically 110–140 cm (43–55 in). Males reach about 95–105 cm (37–41 in) at the shoulder, while females reach 90–100 cm (35–39 in). Males typically weigh 92–108 kg (203–238 lb) and females 56–70 kg (123–154 lb). The females and juveniles have a reddish-brown coat, while the males become yellowish grey or darker after the age of 2 years. Horns are present only on males. The spiral horns are 50–70 cm (20–28 in) long, and have two to two-and-a-half twists.
The common eland, also known as the southern eland or eland antelope, is a large-sized savannah and plains antelope found in East and Southern Africa. It is a species of the family Bovidae and genus Taurotragus. An adult male is around 1.6 m (5.2 ft) tall at the shoulder and can weigh up to 942 kg (2,077 lb) with a typical range of 500–600 kg (1,100–1,300 lb), 340–445 kg (750–981 lb) for females). It is the second-largest antelope in the world, being slightly smaller on average than the giant eland. It was scientifically described by Peter Simon Pallas in 1766.
The giant eland, also known as the Lord Derby's eland and greater eland, is an open-forest and savanna antelope. A species of the family Bovidae and genus Taurotragus, it was described in 1847 by John Edward Gray. The giant eland is the largest species of antelope, with a body length ranging from 220–290 cm (87–114 in). There are two subspecies: T. d. derbianus and T. d. gigas.
The roan antelope is a large savanna-dwelling antelope found in western, central, and southern Africa. Named for its roan colour, it has lighter underbellies, white eyebrows and cheeks and black faces, lighter in females. It has short, erect manes, very light beards and prominent red nostrils. It is one of the largest antelope, measuring 190–240 cm (75–94 in) from head to the base of the tail, and a 37–48 cm (15–19 in) long tail. Males weigh 242–300 kg (534–661 lb) and females 223–280 kg (492–617 lb). Its shoulder height is around 130–140 cm (51–55 in).
The sable antelope is a large antelope which inhabits wooded savanna in East and Southern Africa, from the south of Kenya to South Africa, with a separated population in Angola.
The waterbuck is a large antelope found widely in sub-Saharan Africa. It is placed in the genus Kobus of the family Bovidae. It was first described by Irish naturalist William Ogilby in 1833. Its 13 subspecies are grouped under two varieties: the common or ellipsiprymnus waterbuck and the defassa waterbuck. The head-and-body length is typically between 177 and 235 cm and the typical height is between 120 and 136 cm. In this sexually dimorphic antelope, males are taller and heavier than females. Males reach roughly 127 cm (50 in) at the shoulder, while females reach 119 cm (47 in). Males typically weigh 198–262 kg (437–578 lb) and females 161–214 kg (355–472 lb). Their coat colour varies from brown to grey. The long, spiral horns, present only on males, curve backward, then forward, and are 55–99 cm (22–39 in) long.
The bohor reedbuck is an antelope native to central Africa. The animal is placed under the genus Redunca and in the family Bovidae. It was first described by German zoologist and botanist Peter Simon Pallas in 1767. The bohor reedbuck has five subspecies. The head-and-body length of this medium-sized antelope is typically between 100–135 cm (39–53 in). Males reach approximately 75–89 cm (30–35 in) at the shoulder, while females reach 69–76 cm (27–30 in). Males typically weigh 43–65 kg (95–143 lb) and females 35–45 kg (77–99 lb). This sturdily built antelope has a yellow to grayish brown coat. Only the males possess horns which measure about 25–35 cm (9.8–13.8 in) long.
Taurotragus is a genus of large antelopes of the African savanna, commonly known as elands. It contains two species: the common eland T. oryx and the giant eland T. derbianus.
The tribe Tragelaphini, or the spiral-horned antelopes, are bovines that are endemic to sub-Saharan Africa. These include the bushbucks, kudus, and the elands. The scientific name is in reference to the mythical creature the tragelaph, a Chimera with the body of a stag and the head of a goat. They are medium-to-large, tall, long-legged antelopes characterized by their iconic twisted horns and striking pelage coloration patterns.
Elaeophora sagitta is a parasitic nematode found in the heart, coronary arteries and pulmonary arteries of several ruminant species and African buffaloes in Africa. Infestation usually occurs without significant health effects in the Greater kudu, but may affect cardiac function in some other host species.