Greater Kudu At Gorah

Greater kudu photographed in failing light at Gorah, in Addo Elephant National Park, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Greater kudu photographed in failing light at Gorah, in Addo Elephant National Park, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

I shot this with my Nikon D500 and Nikkor Nikon 70-300mm f4.5-5.6E ED VR AF-P lens.. The kudu were quite close. The EXIF data on my camera tells me I shot it at ISO 4,000, 1/400 second. f6.3, with the focal length of the lens at just 85mm.

Greater kudu are big animals as antelopes go. Males can weigh up to 300 kg (660 lb). They are not as heavy as eland, the biggest antelope. An eland male can weigh up to 950kg (1,900lb). But kudu are as tall as eland with both standing up tp 1.6 metres (5′) tall at the shoulder.

The Origin Of The Name Of The Greater Kudu

The Latin classification for the greater greater kudu is Tragelaphus strepsiceros. The name derives from the Ancient Greek word tragos, meaning a male goat, and elaphus meaning a deer.

There are two parts to the second part of the classification strepsiceros. It comes from two Greek words. The first part is strephis which means twisting, referring to the twist in the horns. And the second part ceros comes from the Greek word keros meaning keratin. That refers to the material of which the horns are made.

As a matter of interest, the horns of the greater kudu twist or spiral two-and-a-half times along their length.

See the animal classification page for more information about the group to which the kudu belongs. The information is useful because it helps to arrange animals that seem somehow similar into groups, which makes recognition easier.


The name kudu comes from the same word used by the Nguni, Khoikhoi people of South Africa. Khoikhoi people use a click-tongue in their language. Probably the most famous person on the international scene who speaks with click-tongue would be the singer Miriam Makeba. Google for Miriam Makeba – Click Song (Qongqothwane) in YouTube and you can hear her there.