Regional Names

Afrikaans: Kleinkoedoe French: Petit koudou
German: Kleiner Kudu Portuguese:
Nama: Xaib Shangaan: Nhongo
Sotho: Thôlô Spanish: Cudu Menor
Shona: Nhoro Swahili: Tandala Ndogo
Tswana: thôlô Xhosa: iQhudi
Zulu: Umgankla


Average Body Dimensions Trophy Dimensions
Average male mass: 220 lb (100 kg) Rowland Ward Minimum: 27” (68,5cm) : Method-8
Average shoulder height 3.3’ (1,00m) Rowland Ward Record: 32⅞” (83,5cm)
Spoor size front: 2.8” (70mm) SCI Minimum (Rifle): 62 / SCI Record (Rifle) 86⅞ : Method-10
Spoor size rear: 2.4” (60mm) SCI Minimum (Bow): 55 / SCI Record (Bow) 67⅞


The Lesser Kudu occupies semi-arid areas of north-eastern Africa, commonly known as the Somali-Masai Arid Zone of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.


Lesser kudus are secretive, shy and wary and are said to be even more difficult to hunt than greater kudu. Rams in particular are generally solitary, but they congregate in pairs, or in small groups of related ewes. Population density rarely exceeds one animal per square kilometre and neither sex exhibits any territoriality. Fixed home ranges are occupied and most animals are sedentary. Ram ranges average 500 – 1,000 acres (2 – 3 km2). They feed at night or during the early morning or late afternoon. The rest of the day they remain secluded in dense vegetation; they are usually active at night, seeking shelter soon after sunrise. During rut the hierarchy among rams is determined by age and size and based on displays of dominance rather than fighting.

* Read more in Game Animals of the World by Chris & Tilde Stuart

Hunting tips

Use the same techniques as with greater kudu, just apply even more caution.

Sexual Dimorphism

Males have horns, females do not. Males are bigger bodied than females and the latter are lighter in colour with the head patch tawny.

Habitat & Food

Occupy areas dominated by dense Acacia-Commiphora thornbush in semi-arid areas of Horn of Africa. They stick to cover, avoid open spaces and areas with long grass. The Lesser Kudu is predominantly a browser that feeds on leaves of trees, shrubs and herbs, growth points, flowers and pods. They largely satisfy their water requirements from the water content of their food. They do graze when required, but are highly selective of grass species and growth stage. It mainly feeds at dusk or at dawn.

Rifle and Cartridge Recommendations

Bolt Action Rifles: Any decent bolt action rifle will do. So will single shot rifles. Moderate velocity, reasonably compact combinations are recommended.

Double Rifles: There is no need for a double rifle when impala hunting

Single Shot Rifles: Can be used.

Bullets:Opt for premium bonded core bullets if muzzle velocities exceed about 2,700 fps (±825 ms).

Typical Cartridges: Combinations delivering less than 2,800 fps are preferred to counter bullet fragmentation and venison damage at the short engagement ranges. For trophy hunting faster cartridges can be used provided sturdy bullets are opted for.

Typical Cartridges:

6,5 x 55mm Swedish ≥140-gr bullets
.260 Remington ≥140-gr bullets
7x57mm Mauser ≥160-gr bullets
7mm-08 Remington ≥160-gr bullets
.30-30 Winchester 150-gr bullets
.300 Savage 165-gr bullets
.308 Winchester 180-gr bullets
.30-06 Springfield 220-gr bullets
.303 British ≥170-gr bullets
8 x 57mm Mauser 225-gr bullets

* Read more in African Medium Bore Cartridges by Pierre van der Walt