Hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus)

Conservation Status

Least Concern (LC)

Physical Description

The hartebeest is a large ungulate with coat color varying from pale brown, to red to gray. Both females and males have horns. Hartebeests have long legs, with a short neck, pointed ears and an elongated and narrow face. The large chest and sharply sloping back of a hartebeest can distinguish it from other antelope.
Weight 115-215 kg
Size 1.5 – 2.45 m in length, shoulder height of 1.1 – 1.5 m
Lifespan (wild) 11 – 20 years
Lifespan (captivity) up to 20 years


In herds males will take over a territory and the females within it through defeating the existing territorial male, and then staying within his home range to defend his territory. Hartebeests rarely migrate.

Social and Reproduction

Hartebeest are social animals that live in herds of up to 300 individuals. Mating seasons vary seasonally, occurring throughout the year depending on location. Members of a herd are comprised of adult territorial males, adult non-territorial males, young males and females with young.

Mating System Polygamy (Polyandry)
Breeding interval 1 year
Breeding season Throughout the year
Gestation 8 months
Number of offspring 1

Habitat and Food


Hartebeest inhabit savannas, woodlands and open plains of Botswana, Namibia, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya


Hartebeest are herbivorous grazers whose diet consists mainly of grass.


Hartebeest predators include lion, leopard, hyena, hunting dogs and people as well as cheetahs and jackals which prey on calves.

Conservation Challenges

There seem to be population decline amongst hartebeests due to competitive grazing with livestock (cattle) as well has habitat destruction and hunting.

Naankuse Solutions

Naankuse is committed to protecting the hartebeest population of Namibia through land conservation on our protected Sanctuary grounds and our research sites of Neuras and Kanaan. If a hartebeest is brought to the sanctuary, in the case of Kangoni who was abandoned by her mother, we will rehabilitate and release it.
Note: Kangoni is our tame resident hartebeest and they exist naturally on the Sanctuary.


Support our conservation activity animals such as the Hartebeest need your help.
Come Help Us

Hartebeest at Naankuse sites