Fun Kudu Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Nov 18, 2022 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
One of the best kudu facts is that there are 11-14 white stripes on a kudu's back
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.0 Min

The kudu is a type of antelope which is found in eastern and southern Africa. There are two species of kudu, greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) and lesser kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis). As the name suggests, the greater kudu is one of the largest antelopes and can grow up to 63 in (160 cm).

It weighs around 419-595 lb (190-270 kg) and is up to 94 in (2.4 m) in length. Lesser kudus are much shorter. They're only 35-43 in (90-110 cm) tall and weigh only 110-198 lb (50-90 kg).

Greater kudus are reddish-brown and blue-gray in color and have between four and 12 white stripes over their neck and body and beautiful spiral horns that measure 47.2 in (120 cm) long if straightened. Females are hornless and are a bit smaller than males.

Lesser Kudus are very similar to greater kudus. The males have grey-colored fur while the females have reddish-brown fur.

Their horns are around 18.9-35.8 in (48-91 cm) long. There is a white stripe that runs down on their back with 11-14 smaller white stripes going downwards. And, just like greater kudus, lesser kudus also have large ears which give them an incredible hearing ability.

Here are some amazing and interesting fun facts about kudus for you to enjoy. Let's take a look at these kudu animal facts and information, and if you enjoy these then do read about the leopard seal and fennec fox too.

Kudu Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a kudu?

The kudu belongs to the antelope family and is an important part of African wildlife. There are two species of kudus: greater kudu and lesser kudu. Both are found in Africa and their scientific names are  Tragelaphus strepsiceros (greater kudu) and Tragelaphus imberbis (lesser kudu).

What class of animal does a kudu belong to?

Kudu belongs to the class Mammalia and is a species of antelopes. Greater kudus (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) are considered to be one of the largest types of antelopes.

How many kudu are there in the world?

The total number of kudus is estimated to be 482,000, out of which 61% belong to private lands while 15% are in protected areas.

Where does a kudu live?

The kudu species is an important part of African wildlife. They live in wild savannas and woodlands and are found in eastern and southern Africa.

What is a kudu's habitat?

A kudu lives in the African savanna, hills, mountains, or woodlands in Africa where there is plenty of trees, plant, and fruits. The lesser kudus' appearance helps them by allowing them to hide in dry bushes that help them remain camouflaged to avoid their predators.

Who do kudus live with?

Kudus are solitary creatures and prefer to live alone and not in herds. While females may form a small group of two to three, these groups are temporary. Males and females only spend time together during the mating season.

How long does a kudu live?

Lesser kudus have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years in the wild and can live for around 20 years in captivity. Meanwhile, greater kudus have a life expectancy of seven to eight years in the wild but can live for up to 23 years in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

Kudus are known to have a superiority contest in which two males stand on their hind legs trying to push each other and the winner gets to be the mating partner of a particular female.

The males are non-aggressive towards females and the female separates from the herd to give birth to a young calf after nine months of gestation.

Greater kudus are known to be seasonal breeders.

They mate after the rainy season ends or reaches near its end. Their calves remain hidden for almost two weeks and join the herd after that.

What is their conservation status?

Greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) have the conservation status of Least Concern which means that the species is not in any danger. However, the lesser kudu's conservation status is Nearly Threatened. That's because the total population of lesser kudus is estimated to be only 118,000 at the moment and this is currently declining further.

Kudu Fun Facts

What do kudus look like?

As we know, there are two different species of kudus, the greater kudu and the lesser kudu. The greater kudu is larger in size when compared to the lesser kudu.

It is around 70.9-94.5 in (1.8-2.4 m) in length and weighs around 419-595 lb (190-270 kg). The lesser kudu is only 35.4-43.3 in (90-110 cm) tall and weighs only 110-198 lb (50-90 kg).

The lesser kudu has grey, reddish-brown fur and a white stripe that runs along its neck and back, out of which 11-14 branches of white stripes run downwards. Greater kudus have the same characteristics, except they only have between four and 12 white stripes running along their body.

There is also a difference in the sizes of kudu horns. Lesser kudu horns are about 18.9-35.8 in (48-91 cm) long, while greater kudu horns are about 47.2 in (120 cm) long.

Male greater kudu have hair under their chin which looks like a beard.

How cute are they?

Kudus aren't very cute when compared to other species of antelopes, but they look fascinating because of their beards and horns. Only males possess horns in both species, and females are hornless.

How do they communicate?

Kudus make a gruff bark-like sound to communicate and warn others about any lurking danger. The bark made by greater kudu is really loud and sharp, it's among the loudest sounds made by an antelope.

How big is a kudu?

There's a difference in the sizes of kudus. The greater kudu grows up to 70.9-94.5 in (1.8-2.4 m) in length and can grow up to 63 in (160 cm) in height, while lesser kudus grow up to 43.3-67 in (1.1-1.7 m) in length and are usually between 35.4-43.3 in (90-110 cm) in height.

The greater kudu is almost equal to a lion in size, but a lesser kudu is smaller.

How fast can a kudu move?

Like any other antelope, a kudu is also a fast runner who can escape its predators using its speed. Lesser kudus are known to run at a speed of 43.5 mph (70kmph), while greater kudus can run up to 60 mph (96.5 kmph).

How much does a kudu weigh?

A lesser kudu weighs only 110-198 lb (50-90 kg) but, a greater kudu weighs about 419-595 lb (190-270 kg), which is almost triple the weight of a lesser kudu.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male kudus are known as 'bulls' while female kudus are known as 'cows'.

What would you call a baby kudu?

A baby kudu is called a 'calf', and after being born, calves remain in hiding and only come out when their mother calls them out.

What do they eat?

A kudu's diet consists of fruits, shrubs, grass, and plants. During the rainy season, foliage from creepers and vines make up a large portion of their diet.

Even though it can survive without drinking water for a long time, it prefers to live in regions that have a source of water and that have plenty of food during the dry season.

Are they dangerous?

They rarely show aggression and are generally shy animals. Whenever they are confronted by danger, they try to escape the situation, but like other antelopes, they do also have good fighting reflexes, and their horns are big enough to cause harm to any threat.

Would they make a good pet?

Although they are calm, we must remember that they are wild animals. Whilst they can survive comfortably in captivity, they must be looked after by specialists and are not a suitable choice for a personal pet.

Did you know...

A kudu bulls' horn does not start to grow until they are between six and 12 months old. Usually, their horns have two and a half twists and if straightened, can reach up to the length of 47.2  in (120 cm).

Young calves stay in hiding among wildlife for the first two to three weeks of their lives. They only come out when their mother is around. After a while, when they are old enough to come out of hiding, they join their herds.

The kudu's name is derived from the indigenous Khoikhoi language of Southern Africa.

Males often lock their horns during friendly duals and sometimes are unable to separate them. If they cannot separate, then both the males sadly eventually die.

What is kudu in Setswana?

A kudu or 'tholo' in wildlife and in the language of Setswana, is known as a tribal totem and it is very important to the people of Botswana and South Africa.

What does a kudu symbolize?

In Setswana, a kudu is a totem of wisdom. Its large horns symbolize the 'wisdom of spirits in the air'.

At Kidadl, we have created lots of family-friendly animal facts for everyone! Learn more about some other mammals including the anteater, or plains zebra.

You can occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Kudu coloring pages.

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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