Shoulder height 1,3 m; tail 35 cm; mass 250 - 270 kg (bulls); average horn length 75 cm
Waterbuck are large, robust antilopes with coarse and long coats. The body colour is grey-brown with either grey or brown being dominant, scattered through with grey or white hairs. A broad white ring encircles the rump and a white band is present from throat to the base of the ears. The flanks are lighter in colour than the back and the hair around the mouth, nose and above the eyes is white. The ears are short, rounded, white on the inside with a black tip. The tail is quite long with a black tuft of hair at the tip. Only the bull has the long, heavily ringed horns that curve backwards and then forwards towards the tips.
Always associated with water, preferring areas with reed-beds or tall grass as well as woodland. They will utilize open grassland adjacent to cover.
Waterbuck are gregarious, occuring in small herds of 5 - 10 but sometimes as many as 30. Nursery herds may move through territories of several bulls. Younger bulls form bachelor herds. Waterbuck can often be detected by the strong musky scent given off by their oily hair.
Principally grass but also take browse.