This species is most likely to be confused with Denham's Bustard but differs in having a dark brown throat and foreneck, lacking a pale central crown stripe and normally showing far less white in the wings. The amount of white on the wings of both Ludwig's Bustard and Denham's Bustard is variable.
Breeding male has similar display to Denham's Bustard, but the balloon is grey (not white). Female is notaceably smaller than male and is paler on the foreneck. Juvenile is paler on the head and neck than adult.
Karoo scrub and arid savannas; frequents drier areas than Denham's Bustard but their ranges overlap in the Eastern Cape.
In display, male gives an explosive, farcarrying 'woodoomp', repeated every 15-30 seconds.