Bull: Shoulder height 140 - 155 cm; tail 43 cm; mass 250 kg; average horn length 120 cm
Cow: Shoulder height 140 - 155 cm; tail 43 cm; mass 180 kg
This large and handsome antilope is grey-brown to rufous in colour, with the bulls being more grey than the cows and calves. The sides are clearly marked with 6 - 10 vertical white stripes. There is a distinct white band across the face, with white spots on the cheeks. The bull has a prominent mane from the neck to beyond the shoulders and a fringe of longer hair on the throat and lower neck. The blackish or brown bushy tail is white underneath with a black tip. The ears are very large, showing pink on the inside. Only the male has the long, spiral horns.
The Kudu is an antilope of wooded savanna. It may occur in arid areas but only when there are stands of bush that provide cover and food. It does not occur in open grassland or forest. It has, however, been able to penetrate the Karoo and Namib Desert along wooded watercourses. In many areas it shows a preference for acacia woodland and rocky hill country.
Although it normally occurs in small herds of from 3 to 10 animals, larger groups are occasionally seen. Outside the midwinter rutting period the bulls are either soletairy or join small bachelor herds. At the time of the rut an adult bull will run with a group of cows and their young. Although usually active in early mornings or late afternoon, in areas where they are disturbed or hunted, they have taken to nocturnal activity. They are well-known for their jumping ability, having no difficulty in clearing 2-m-high fences.
Although predominantly a browser, it does occasionally graze. It eats a wider variety of browse species than any other of the local antilopes. It is considered a pest in some areas because it feeds on crops such as lucerne, mealies (maize) and vegetables.