Kudu Hunting

Often referred to as the 'grey ghost' in many parts of Africa, the iconic kudu is on most African hunters wish list. The kudu is extremely wary, elusive and usually a great challenge to hunt.

Kudu Trophy Minimums

SCI does not keep records for the northern greater kudu, Tragelaphus strepsiceros cottoni. SCI has also split the southern greater kudu into two, creating eastern Cape greater kudu records because the horns of kudu in this province are generally shorter and heavier than the regular southern greater kudu even though it is the same animal scientifically.

Tragelaphus strepsiceros strepsiceros (Southern Greater Kudu)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
537/8" 737/8" 8 1216/8" 158" 2
Tragelaphus strepsiceros bea (East African Greater Kudu)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
52" 60" 8 109" 1456/8" 2
Tragelaphus strepsiceros cottoni (Northern Greater Kudu)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
427/8" 501/8" 8 N/A N/A 2
Tragelaphus strepsiceros chora (Abyssinian Greater Kudu)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
427/8" 1363/8" 8 98" 1133/8" 2
Tragelaphus strepsiceros burlacei (Western Greater Kudu)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
N/A N/A 8 72" 1271/8" 2
Tragelaphus strepsiceros strepsiceros (Eastern Cape Greater Kudu)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
N/A N/A 8 98" 1415/8" 2
Tragelaphus imberbis (Lesser Kudu)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
27 327/8" 8 62 867/8" 2

Where To Hunt A Kudu

  • You can hunt a southern greater kudu in Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. If you are an SCI aficionado, a southern greater kudu turns into an eastern Cape greater kudu only if you are hunting one in the Eastern Cape Province.
  • You can hunt a western greater kudu in north-eastern Central African Republic (CAR).
  • The East African greater kudu can be hunted in most hunt locations in Tanzania and in the Karamoja region of Uganda.
  • The Abyssinian greater kudu can only be hunted in the lowlands of Ethiopia.
  • The lesser kudu can be hunted in Masailand Tanzania, Uganda and lowland Ethiopia.

Kudu Hunting Prices

The southern greater kudu trophy fee frequently varies according to horn length, particularly on game ranch hunts. If you don't like this way of hunting, there are usually plenty of other outfitters who don't operate in this way.

  • In Botswana the southern greater kudu bull trophy fee varies between US$1200 and US$2000. A kudu cow will be around US$500.
  • In Mozambique you can hunt a southern greater kudu for a non-refundable licence fee of between US$900 and US$1100, plus an additional trophy fee of between US$600 and US$2200.
  • In Namibia, the southern greater kudu has a trophy fee from US$900 to US$1750.
  • In South Africa you can hunt a southern great kudu on all inclusive package hunts, cull/management hunts or regular pay-as-you shoot hunts. The straight trophy fee will be between US$1000 and US$3150. Some outfitters stipulate a different price for a kudu over 54" or 55" where you can pay US$3500 to US$4000. Management or cull kudu hunts will charge about US$500 for a non-trophy bull and US$350 for a cow.
  • In Zambia the trophy for a southern greater kudu is between US$1950 and US$2250.
  • In Zimbabwe the southern kudu trophy fee ranges between US$1200 and US$2800. A kudu cow can be hunted for around US$600.
  • On a savanna hunt in Central African Republic (CAR), a western kudu trophy fee is US$3200.
  • In Tanzania, the East African greater kudu is available to hunt on a 21 day licence and has a Government trophy fee of US$2200. Add on the Community Development/anti-poaching fees and the total trophy fee will be between US$2530 and US$3950. The lesser kudu is available to hunt on a 21 day licence and has a Government trophy fee of US$2600. Add on the Community Development/anti-poaching fees and the total trophy fee will be between US$2990 and US$4900.
  • In Ethiopia, the Abyssinian greater kudu may be hunted for a trophy fee of between US$2700 and US$4000. The lesser kudu carries a trophy fee of US$3000.
  • In Uganda, both the East African greater kudu and lesser kudu are hard to hunt and restricted to the Karamoja and western Kidepo areas. The trophy fee for the greater kudu is about US$780 and the lesser is US$1080.

Kudu Hunting Methods

  • The most common way to hunt this species is to slowly stalk the likely habitat in the early mornings or late evenings. Alternatively find a high vantage point and glass the area. Look for movement such as protruding horns above a bush. Occasionally the entire animal will be seen.

A Good Kudu Trophy

  • Horn length - the deeper the curls, the more inches. 21/2 to 3 curls with thick bases will make a good trophy.
  • Horns over 50 inches is a good trophy but some outfitters consider 54" or 55" to be first kudu trophy fee increment, with over 60" being the next.
  • Horns which are straighter and more wide spread will always measure less than deeply curled, narrower horns.

Kudu Hunting Shot Placement

Kudu Bull Vital Statistics

All the subspecies of greater kudu are roughly the same shoulder height and weight. The southern greater kudu is generally considered the largest of them all.

Kudu Bull Vital Statistics
  All Greater Kudu Lesser Kudu
Shoulder Height39-63"
100-160cm
38-41"
96-104cm
Weight264-787lb
120-315kg
175-220lb
80-100kg

Kudu Habitat And Requirements

  • Found in woodlands, scrub, and open forests with reliable water supply.
  • Although the greater kudus are predominantly browsers, they will on occasion, graze. They are also very susceptible to drought conditions and will be some of the first species to start dying when water runs short.

Kudu Social Structure

  • Herds disperse during the rainy season when food is plentiful, while as the dry season reaches its peak, there becomes a high concentration in favourable areas. Greater kudu are not territorial, although they do have 'home' areas.
  • They form small family groups consisting of cows and young, frequently with a bull in attendance. Kudu bulls usually form bachelor herds when young and can become solitary in old age.

Kudu Gestation Period

  • After a gestation period of around 7-9 months, one offspring is born.

Kudu Gender Identification

  • Only kudu bulls have those magnificent spiral horns and are larger and heavier in the body than the cows.

Kudu Image Gallery

Click Images To Enlarge
Southern Greater Kudu
Southern Greater Kudu Bull

Lesser Kudu
Lesser Kudu Bull From Masailand, Tanzania

Kudu Trophy Permits (2015)

All Kudu
CITES
USF&W
EU
AUS
N/A N/A N/A N/A

Kudu Trophy Taxidermy

  • Kudu are most commonly displayed as shoulder mounts or skull mounts as you will need a rather large trophy room for a full mount.
  • Don't forget to tell your taxidermist not to blacken and polish the horns, if you want the horns to look natural.
Click images to enlarge
Greater Kudu Full Mount Greater Kudu Pedestal Mount Greater Kudu Shoulder Mount Greater Kudu Skull Mount
Taxidermy photos courtesy of Life-Form Taxidermy

What About The Name?

  • Kudu, koodoo or the Afrikaans koedoe, is derived from the Khoikhoi name for this antelope.
  • The East African greater kudu, Tragelaphus strepsiceros bea was first reported by Count Teleki in 1887 with bea being a reference to British East Africa.
  • The northern greater kudu, tragelaphus strepsiceros cottoni was one of many animals named after Major P H G Powell-Cotton.
  • The Abyssinian greater kudu, Tragelaphus strepsiceros chora is probably named after the Chora district of Oromia, Ethiopia.
  • The lesser kudu name, Tragelaphus imberbis refers to to the latin for 'beardless' as they do not have the significant mane like the greater kudu.

Kudu Hunting Recommended Reading

Hunting The Spiral Horns: Kudu: The Top African Antelope

Hunting The Spiral Horns: Kudu: The Top African Antelope by Peter Flack (2013). The author gives us his own hunting experiences for all varieties of greater kudu (Cape, southern, East African, Abyssinian and western) and for lesser kudu in Tanzania and Ethiopia. He has also included the kudu hunting stories from various outfitters, guides and sport hunters. Some of the 16 contributors include James Mellon, Brian Herne, Tony Tomkinson, Robin Hurt, Alain Lefol, Anthony Dyer and Peter Kennedy. The book is a mix of scientific data, how to hunt kudu, the best places to hunt kudu, and exciting stories about some of the largest kudus ever hunted with 60 to 70-inch horns. There are also chapters on rifles, ammunition, clothing and equipment.


Search For The Spiral Horn

Search For The Spiral Horn by Craig Boddington (2002) who is one of the few hunters who has successfully hunted each of the major varieties and most of the subspecies of the nine spiral-horned antelope of Africa.


Spiral Horn Dreams

Spiral Horn Dreams by Terry Wieland (1995) is about a subject that arouses as much excitement and emotion as any big game. Kudu, bongo, Lord Derby eland, sitatunga, mountain nyala and bushbuck. These animals cause any big game hunter both pain and joy - sometimes simultaneously. If you're not 'mad keen' about hunting these animals before reading this book, you will be afterwards.


Kudu Hunting Recommended Viewing

Kudus And Caracals DVD

Kudus & Caracals DVD. Kudu are the most sought after of Africa's big game. In South Africa, the Wilsons get 2 huge Kudu including a monster 60 incher. Numerous record book bulls are passed on-camera. 90 mins.



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Spiral Horned Antelope Hunting

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