Tsessebe’s are Africa’s odd-looking, but fast moving antelope

Tsessebe’s are known to be rather odd looking and they are also considered to be the fastest antelope in Africa.


Tsessebe’s (Damaliscus Lunatus) are usually not recognised as one of the most attractive antelope in the wild.  This is mostly due to its forequarters being higher than their hind.  They come from the same families as the Hartebeest and the Wildebeest, that same these same characteristics.  Bulls are slightly larger than the cows, weighing approximately 140kg, to the cows 120kgs.  Both the bulls and the cow’s growths horn, although the bull’s horns are heavier.  Tsessebes horns are typically shaped in a “half-moon”.  It has a dark face, with a slight purplish sheen over its shoulders and a red-brown coat.


“Tsessebe are social animals and their basic group structure consists of small breeding groups, each comprising of six to ten cows with their offspring. Bachelor groups and territorial bull herds may sometimes number up to 30 strong. This is especially noticeable near water and favourable gazing. Breeding herds, that consists of cows, are not restricted to a specific territory. In areas where tsessebe occurs in higher densities, bulls establish typical ‘lek’ system territories. Young bulls form bachelor groups at the age of one year as they are pushed out of herds.” (www.krugerpark.co.za)


General facts

In general, Tsessebe’s are found in small herds in medium-length grass and they also prefer fresh growth and green grass stalks. In places where it has been recently burned, Tsessebe’s will often find the new grass springing up.  These antelope usually give birth during September up to November months to single calves, after a gestation period of seven months.    Tsessebes can run up to 60km/h, but they have, in addition, they have a peculiar habit of stopping to see how far away the perceived predator is.  Lastly, Tsessebes can live approximately 15 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity.







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