Here are some of the species found on Koedoeberg and some of our hunting concessions: Southern Great Kudu, Blesbuck, Bushbuck, Duiker, Cape Eland, Gemsbuck, Giraffe, Impala, Lechwe, Nyala, Ostrich, Red Hartebeest, Common Reedbuck, Mountain Reedbuck, Springbok, Steenbok, Tsessebe, Warthog, Waterbuck, Blue Wildebeest, Black Wildebeest, Zebra.
Southern Great Kudu
This is one of the largest species of antelope. Greater kudus possess between 4–12 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. Males weigh 190–270 kg (420–600 lb), with a maximum of 315 kg (690 lb), and stand up to 160 cm (63 in) tall at the shoulder. Ears are large and round. Females 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). Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Kudu.
The blesbok or blesbuck (Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi) is an antelope endemic to South Africa. It has a distinctive white face and forehead which inspired the name. Although the blesbok is a close relative of the bontebok (Damaliscus pygargus dorcas) and can interbreed with it, the offspring being known as the bontebles or baster blesbok, the two species do not share the same habitat in the wild. It is a plains species and dislikes wooded areas. It was first discovered in the 17th century, in numbers so numerous, herds reached from horizon to horizon. Blesbok are shy and alert; they rely on speed and endurance to escape predators. They can maintain a speed of 70 km/h (43 mph) when chased, but, like other white-fronted damalisques, blesbok are not good jumpers. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blesbok.
The bushbuck is the most widespread antelope in Sub-Saharan Africa, and is found in rain forests, montane forests, forest-savanna mosaics and bush savannaforest and woodland. Recently, genetic studies have shown that the bushbuck, is in fact a complex of two geographically and phenotypically distinct species. The most compelling evidence for the division of the bushbuck into the kéwel (Tragelaphus scriptus) and the imbabala (Tragelaphus sylvaticus) is that both species are more closely related to other members of the tragelaphine family (the imbabala to the bongo and the sitatunga, and the kéwel to the nyala) than to each other. The bushbuck ram is regarded by sports hunters as the most dangerous medium-size antelope, as it will hide in the bush after being wounded and charge the hunter when he comes looking for it, impaling the hunter with its sharp horns. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushbuck.
Image credit © Hans Hillewaert.
A duiker is any of about 21 small to medium-sized antelope species from the subfamily Cephalophinae native to Sub-Saharan Africa. Their name comes from the Dutch word for diver and refers to their practice of diving into tangles of shrubbery. With a slightly arched body and the front legs a little shorter than the hind legs, they are well-shaped to penetrate thickets. They are primarilybrowsers rather than grazers, eating leaves, shoots, seeds, fruit, buds and bark, and often follow flocks of birds or troops of monkeys to take advantage of the fruit they drop. They supplement their diets with meat: duikers take insects and carrion from time to time, and even stalk and capture rodents or small birds. The blue duiker has a fondness for ants. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duiker.
The common eland (Taurotragus oryx), also known as the southern eland or eland antelope, is a savannah and plains antelope found in East and Southern Africa. An adult male is around 1.6 metres (5 ft) tall at the shoulder (females are 20 centimetres (7.9 in) shorter) and weighs an average of 500–600 kilograms (1,100–1,300 lb). It is the second largest antelope in the world. Mainly a herbivore, its diet is primarily grasses and leaves. Common elands form herds of up to 500 animals, but are not territorial. It avoids dense forests. It uses loud barks and postural movements to communicate and warn others of danger. The common eland provides leather and rich, nutritious milk, and has been domesticated in many areas. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_eland.
The gemsbok or gemsbuck (Oryx gazella) is a large antelope in the Oryx genus. It is native to the arid regions of Southern Africa, such as the Kalahari Desert. Some authorities formerly included the East African oryx as a subspecies. The current gemsbok population in South Africa is estimated at 373,000 specimens. Gemsbok are widely hunted for their spectacular horns that average 85 cm (33 in) in length. From a distance, the only outward difference between males and females is their horns, and many hunters mistake females for males each year. Females have longer, thinner horns with a slight outward and rearward curve in addition to their angle. Gemsbok are one of the few antelope species where female trophies are sometimes more desirable than male ones. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemsbok.
The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is an African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant. Its species name refers to its camel-like appearance and the patches of color on its fur. Its chief distinguishing characteristics are its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-like ossicones and its distinctive coat patterns. It stands 5–6 m (16–20 ft) tall and has an average weight of 1,600 kg (3,500 lb) for males and 830 kg (1,800 lb) for females. The animal relies on the forward and backward motions of its head and neck to maintain balance and the counter momentum while galloping. The giraffe can reach a sprint speed of up to 60 km/h (37 mph), and can sustain 50 km/h (31 mph) for several kilometers. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giraffe.
An impala (Aepyceros melampus) is a medium-sized African antelope. Impala range between 75 and 95 cm (30 and 37 in) tall and weigh 40–60 kg (88–130 lb). They are very common and are found in savannas and thick bushveld in Southern Africa. Only the males, referred to as rams, have lyre-shaped horns, which can reach up to 45–92 cm (18–36 in) in length. Females, referred to as ewes lackhorns. It has distinctive black and white stripes running down the rump and the tail. Impalas can be found in numbers of up to 2.000.000 in Africa. The black impala, found in very few places in Africa, is an extremely rare type. A recessive gene causes the black coloration in these animals. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impala.
Lechwe stand 90 to 100 cm (35 to 39 in) at the shoulder and weigh from 70 to 120 kg (150 to 260 lb). They are golden brown with white bellies. Males are darker in colour, but general hue varies depending on subspecies. The long, spiral-structured horns are vaguely lyre-shaped, they are found only in males. The hindlegs are somewhat longer in proportion than in other antelopes, to ease long-distance running in marshy soil. Lechwe are found in marshy areas where they eat aquatic plants. They use the knee-deep water as protection from predators. Their legs are covered in a water-repellant substance which allows them to run quite fast in knee-deep water. Lechwe are diurnal. They gather in herds which can include many thousands of individuals. Herds are usually all of one sex, but during mating season they mix. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lechwe
The nyala (Nyala angasii or Tragelaphus angasii), also called inyala, is a South African spiral-horned antelope. The body length is 135–195 cm (53–77 in), and it weighs 55–140 kg (120–310 lb). It exhibits the highest sexual dimorphism among the spiral-horned antelopes. As a herbivore, nyala feeds upon foliage, fruits and grasses, with sufficient fresh water. A shy animal, it prefers water holes rather than open spaces. Nyala do not show signs of territoriality, and individual areas can overlap each other. Nyala are very cautious creatures. Old males live alone, but single sex or mixed family groups of up to 10 individuals can be found. These inhabit thickets within dense and dry savanna woodlands. Its population is stable and it has been listed as of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyala.
Image credits, Side © Micha L. Rieser | Drinking © Thomas A. Hermann.
They are distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs and the ability to run at maximum speeds of about 70 km/h (43 mph), the fastest land speed of any bird. It also lays the largest egg of any living bird (extinct elephant birds of Madagascar and the giant moa of New Zealand did lay larger eggs). Their diet mainly consists of plant matter, though it also eats invertebrates. It lives in nomadic groups which contain between five and fifty birds. When threatened, the ostrich will either hide itself by lying flat against the ground, or will run away. If cornered, it can attack with a kick from its powerful legs. Mating patterns differ by geographical region, but territorial males fight for a harem of two to seven females. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostrich.
Image credit © MathKnight.
Porcupines are rodents with a coat of sharp spines, or quills, that defend and camouflage them from predators. They are indigenous to the Americas, southern Asia, and Africa. Porcupines are the third largest of the rodents, behind the capybara and the beaver. Most porcupines are about 25–36 in (63–91 cm) long, with an 8–10 in (20–25 cm) long tail. Weighing between 12–35 lb (5.4–16 kg), they are rounded, large and slow. Porcupines come in various shades of brown, grey, and the unusual white. It is mostly nocturnal, but will sometimes forage for food in the day. Porcupines have become a pest inKenya and are eaten as a delicacy. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porcupine.
The red hartebeest (Alcelaphus caama) is a species of even-toed ungulate in the Bovidae family. It is found in Southern Africa. There are more than 130,000 individuals left. The Red Hartebeest is closely related to the tsessebe and the topi. Hartebeest are a fairly large antelope species, which can stand almost 1.5 m (5 ft) at the shoulder. Weight in the smaller females ranges from 100 to 185 kg (220 to 410 lb), while males may weigh from 125 to 255 kg (280 to 560 lb). Both sexes have horns which can reach lengths up to 70 cm (27 in). Hartebeest live in grassland and open forest where they eat grass. They are diurnal and spend the morning and late afternoon eating. Herds contain five to twenty individuals but can occasionally contain up to 350. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_hartebeest.
Image credit © Gouldingken.
The southern or common reedbuck is the largest of the three species of reedbuck. It stands 80–90 cm (31–35 in) at the shoulder. Females weigh 48 kg (110 lb), while the males weigh 68 kg (150 lb). It has distinctive dark lines running down the front of each of its forelegs and lower hindlegs and whitish rings around the eyes. It has a life span of 10 years. The coat is silky and almost woolly. A small, black, bare glandular patch can be noticed at the base of each ear. Southern reedbucks measure an average of 85 cm (33 in) at the shoulder. Males bear forward-curving horns, about 35–45 cm (14–18 in) long, with the base having a distinct band of pale, rubbery tissue. The southern reedbucks live alone or in pairs of up to 20. They prefer to lie in grass or reeds beds in the heat of the day and feed during sunrise and sunset, or sometimes even at night. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_reedbuck.
Image credit © Winfried Bruenken (Amrum).
The mountain reedbuck (Redunca fulvorufula) is an antelope found in mountainous areas of much of sub-Saharan Africa. The mountain reedbuck averages 75 cm (30 in) at the shoulder, and weighs around 30 kg (66 lb). It has a grey coat with a white underbelly and reddish-brown head and shoulders. The male has ridged horns of around 35 cm (14 in), which curve forwards. The mountain reedbuck lives in thick mountainous forest, where it eats grasses and leaves. It forms herds of around five individuals, including a single mature male. Adolescent males are forced out of their herds and form small bachelor herds. In the dry season, the mountain reedbuck sometimes forms herds of up to 30 individuals. They are diurnal, but inactive during the heat of the day. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_reedbuck.
The sable antelope is a large species. It ranges from 117 to 143 cm (46 to 56 in) tall at the shoulder and measures 190 to 255 cm (75 to 100 in) long. Sable antelope can weigh from 150 to 270 kg (330 to 600 lb). As its name implies, the giant sable antelope is slightly larger than other races, but it does not dwarf them. In all subspecies, males are slightly larger than females. Females are chestnut to dark brown, darkening as they mature, while males are very distinctively black. Both sexes have white underbellies, white cheeks and white chins. They have shaggy manes on the back of their necks. Sable antelope have ringed horns which arch backward, in females these can reach 1 m, but in males they can reach over 1.1 m. The lifespans of these animals is up to 18 years. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sable_antelope.
Image credit © Paul Maritz, Paulmaz.
The springbok (Afrikaans and Dutch: spring = jump; bok = antelope) is a medium-sized brown and white gazelle of southwestern Africa. It stands about 70 to 90 cm (28 to 35 in) high. Springbok males weigh between 32 and 48 kg (71 and 110 lb) and the females between 25 and 35 kg (55 and 77 lb). They can reach running speeds of up to 100 km/h (62 mph) and can leap 4 m (13 feet) into the air and jump a horizontal distance of up to 15 m (50 feet). When the male springbok is showing off his strength to attract a mate, or to ward off predators, he starts off in a stiff-legged trot, jumping up into the air with an arched back every few paces and lifting the flap along his back. Lifting the flap causes the long white hairs under the tail to stand up in a conspicuous fan shape. The springbok is also the official emblem of SA Rugby. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springbok.
Image credits © Hans Hillewaert.
Steenbok resemble small Oribi, standing 45–60 cm at the shoulder. Their pelage (coat) is any shade from fawn to rufous, typically rather orange. The underside, including chin and throat, is white, as is the ring around the eye. Ears are large with “finger-marks” on the inside. Males carry straight, smooth, parallel horns 7–19 cm long (see image left). There is a black crescent-shape between the ears, a long black bridge to the glossy black nose, and a black circular scent-gland in front of the eye. The tail is not usually visible, being only 4–6 cm long. During cool periods, steenbok are active throughout the day; however, during hotter periods, they rest under shade during the heat of the day. While resting, they may be busy grooming,ruminating or taking brief spells of sleep. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steenbok.
Adult tsessebe are 150 to 230 cm in height. They are quite large animals, with males weighing 137 kg and females weighing 120 kg, on average. Their horns range from 37 cm for females to 40 cm for males. For males, horn size plays an important role in territory defense and mate attraction, although horn size is not positively correlated with territorial factors of mate selection. Their bodies are chestnut brown. The fronts of their faces and their tail tufts are black; the forelimbs and thigh are greyish or bluish-black. Their hindlimbs are brownish-yellow to yellow and their bellies are white. In the wild, tsessebe usually live a maximum of 15 years, but in some areas, their average lifespan is drastically decreased due to overhunting and the destruction of habitat,. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_tsessebe.
Image credit © Paul Maritz, Paulmaz.
The Warthog or Common Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) is a wild member of the pig family that lives in grassland, savanna, and woodland in Sub-Saharan Africa. Afrikaans-speaking people call the animal “vlakvark”, meaning “pig of the plains”. Females, at 45 to 75 kg (99 to 170 lb), are typically a bit smaller and lighter than males, at 60 to 150 kg (130 to 330 lb). Warthogs have two pairs of tusks protruding from the mouth and curving upwards. The lower pair, which is far shorter than the upper pair, becomes razor sharp by rubbing against the upper pair every time the mouth is opened and closed. The upper canine teeth can grow to 25.5 cm (10.0 in) long. Warthog ivory is taken from the constantly growing canine teeth. The tusks are similar to those of an elephant. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warthog.
Image credit © D. Gordon E. Robertson.
The waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) is a large antelope found widely in sub-Saharan Africa. Waterbuck stand 120 to 136 cm (47 to 54 in) at the shoulder. Head-and-body length ranges from 140 to 240 cm (55 to 94 in) and tail length from 10 to 45 cm (3.9 to 18 in). Males weigh 200–300 kg (440–660 lb) and females 160–200 kg (350–440 lb). Their coats are reddish brown in colour and become progressively darker with age; they have a white ‘bib’ under their throats and white on their rumps. The waterproofing secretions of the waterbuck’s sweat glands produce an unpleasant odor in its meat, unless the animal is skinned carefully. According to African myth, the meat of the waterbuck is not edible, but this is untrue—whilst not especially tasty, waterbuck venison is safe to eat. The long, spiral-structured horns, found only in males, sweep back and up. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterbuck.
The blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), also called the common wildebeest or the white-bearded wildebeest, is a large antelope and one of two species of wildebeest. Males can grow to a 145 cm (57 in) shoulder height and attain a body mass of over 275 kg (610 lb). They live for more than 20 years, and range the open plains, bushveld, and dry woodlands of Southern and East Africa. The male is highly territorial, using scent markings and other devices to protect his domain. The largest population is in the Serengeti, numbering over one million animals. They are a major prey item for lions, hyenas, and crocodiles. It has a muscular, front-heavy appearance, with a distinctive robust muzzle; it strides with relatively slender legs and moves gracefully and quietly most of the time, belying the reputation for stampeding in herds. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_wildebeest.
Image credit © Hans Hillewaert / CC-BY-SA-3.0.
The black wildebeest or white-tailed gnu (Connochaetes gnou) is one of two wildebeest species. The natural populations of this species, endemic to the southern part of Africa, have been almost completely exterminated, but the species has been reintroduced widely, both in private areas and nature reserves throughout most of Lesotho, Swaziland, South Africa, Namibia and Kenya. It was also introduced outside its natural range. The primal herds were exterminated, being seen as pests, with the secondary advantage of using the hides and meat. Thus, this animal exists primarily in herds derived from captive specimens. Its preferred habitat types are grassveld savanna in the Karoo of the central South Africa plateau. The other species of genus Connochaetes is the blue wildebeest, which has a more northerly range. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_wildebeest.
Image credit © Vassil.
Zebras are several species of African equids (horse family) united by their distinctive black and white stripes. Their stripes come in different patterns, unique to each individual. They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds. Unlike their closest relatives, horses and asses, zebras have never been truly domesticated. There are three species of zebras: the plains zebra, the Grévy’s zebra and the mountain zebra. The common plains zebra is about 50–52 inches (12.2-13 hands, 1.3 m) at the shoulder with a body ranging from 6–8.5 feet (2–2.6 m) long with an 18-inch (0.5 m) tail. It can weigh up to 770 pounds (350 kg), males being slightly bigger than females. Grévy’s Zebra is considerably larger, while the mountain zebra is somewhat smaller. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zebra.
Image credit © Paul Maritz, Paulmaz.