Waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus)

Conservation Status

Least Concern (LC)

Physical Description

Long body, short legs; hair is coarse, have a mane on their necks; only the males have horns, which are curved forward and vary in length from 55 – 99 cm
Weight Males: 198 - 262 kg Females: 161 - 214 kg
Size Height at shoulder: Males: 127 cm Females: 119 cm
Lifespan (wild) +-18 years
Lifespan (captivity) +-18 years


Waterbuck live in wide, separated ranges that are shared by many females and territorial and nonterritorial males; young males then form bachelor herds and remain in these until they mature. Upon maturation, the bulls become territorial.

Social and Reproduction

Very social/gregarious. Small herds of about 6 – 12; occasionally larger herds up to 30

Mating System Polygamy (Polgyny)
Breeding interval Once a year. (2 - 5 weeks after giving birth)
Breeding season throughout the year - birth peak in October and again in March/ April
Gestation 9.07 - 9.57 months
Number of offspring one, rarely two

Habitat and Food


Prefer grassland that is close to water; by draining lines and in valleys; prefer dry ground as an escape from predators


Very water dependent; mostly grazers; eat a variety of grasses. When the amount of grasses is low, they eat other herbs


Hyenas, lions, leopards, hunting dogs, cheetahs, crocodiles

Conservation Challenges

Habitat loss; Illegal hunting

Naankuse Solutions

EDUCATION!! Rehabilitation; Reintroduction


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Waterbuck at Naankuse sites