Hunting Kudu in Southern Africa

Africa's Grey Ghost is the number one trophy for every plains game hunter. A large kudu bull, specifically, is one of the most sought after trophies for any collection. Regal and majestic in appearance, the kudu is shy. Some people refer to it as the ballerina of the antelope species, due to the fleet footedness of the animal.

The average kudu bull can be up to 47", with a very big bull measuring up to 55". The antelope has a pale-grey or brownish grey coat with white vertical stripes down its flank and is identified by the distinctive white chevron marking between its eyes. The Southern Greater Kudu is slightly lighter in color of horn and hide than the Eastern Cape Kudu.

The kudu bull has long, spiral horns with beautiful, prominent ears. Kudu cows don't have horns, but like the bulls, it has conspicuous humps on the shoulder and white beneath the tails.

Kudus can be found on the rolling hills, in bush thickets, or on the riverbeds of South Africa's bushveld. Kudu bulls tend to be distracted by the cows, and appear to be absent minded and dazed as they make their way through one herd of cows after the other. They tend to join a new territorial herd every day. Herds tend to consist of family groups of 6-12 antelope, consisting mainly of cows and calves. Bulls would join during mating season, and afterward, they would either become solitary or join bachelor herds.

It can be hard to assess a kudu trophy, due to the depth of the curl of an individual bull. The length of horns may vary from 50", with 55" being a great trophy, and anything over 60" being exceptional.


Africa's Grey Ghost is the number one trophy for every plains game hunter


Kudu Fact Sheet

Scientific Name: Tragelaphus strepsiceros
Gestation period: 240 days
Weight: 190 - 270 kg
Height: 0.9 - 1.1m
Length: 1.8 - 2.4m


Kudu Hunting Considerations

The kudu makes for an extremely challenging hunt, as it has exceptional senses and can jump surprizingly high and travel at remarkable speed. Once the kudu bull senses danger, it will lay its horns low against its back and move fast through the bush. These attributes and skills, along with its sly nature can assist in making the kudu highly elusive.

Some of the best kudu hunting methods include stalking their feeding areas early in the morning, or ambushing the bulls as they return to cover and higher grounds. You can lie in wait at watering holes at midday, still-hunting in thick cover, or tracking.

Avoid hunting kudu with .270 or 7mm or lower calibre rifles. Opt for the largest deer hunting rifle with which you are comfortable and use high quality controlled-expansion bullets.

Shot Placement

If you're after a good kudu trophy, you will want to avoid head and neck shots. Instead, go for the high heart or lung shot. Set your sight approximately one third up the from the foreleg and pull the trigger.

If you go a little higher, you will probably hit the lungs, which will require some tracking. Hit too high in the shoulder (above the halfway mark) you have to track it and you my lose it.

Biltong hunters should aim for the spot just behind the shoulder, which will puncture the lungs.

Hunting Kudu in Southern Africa

Kudu Shot Placement


Hunting Kudu in Southern Africa

Kudu Shot Placement


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