Tag Archives: African Safari animals

Know Your Antelope: The difference between Nyala and Kudu and Waterbuck?

How do I tell the difference between a Nyala , Waterbuck, and a Kudu?

The Kudu and Nyala are antelope both found in South Africa.  They have similarities, especially  in the females, but once you know the differentiating features, you can quickly tell them apart.  Here are some images to help you learn each species.

You can see both of these antelopes on my small group photo safaris

Male Nyala
Male Nyala

A nyala ram is shorter and darker than the kudu. Both animals have a shag and hump, but the nyala’s hump is smaller and the stripes more pronounced against the darker, longer, coat.  They browse grass and shrubs.

Male Kudu
Male Kudu

The male kudu has a pronounced hump  and a smaller amount of back fringe.

 

Male Nyala
The male nyala  horns make one tight twist then grow straight up.
Male Kudu Horns
The kudu’s horn makes a corkscrew spiral  and adds spirals with age.
Male Kudu
Male Kudu

 

female nyala
Female Nyala

The female nyala is much lighter in color than the male

A female kudu is very similar in shape to the male, but without the horns and beard and is a slightly more yellow and lighter coat.

female kudu
Female kudu display the same silhouette with hump, but are lighter in color

Waterbuck

The waterbuck is distinctive and is not normally found far from a water source.

Male waterbuck
Male waterbuck

Both male and female have the same basic body shape.  The female is a bit lighter coloration.

The male’s horns are straight with the tips pointing up.  They have ridges ringing them.  Both male and female have the white, round “toilet seat”  marking on their rear and white markings on the brow ridge of their eyes.

Female waterbuck
Female waterbuck
Male waterbuck with rear marking
Male waterbuck with rear marking

My current photo safari dates

What is the Best Season to Visit South Africa for a Safari?

See these beautiful antelope and many more on one of our photo safaris   Photo Safaris with Gregory Sweeney