IDENTIFICATION: South Africa’s largest antelope. Females are smaller in stature and weight than males. Brown/Grey coat. Males develop big dewlaps from year 7/8 and turn a Blue/Black color with a distinctive brown or black colored fringe on the forehead. Horns: Both sexes have horns.

DISTRIBUTION: South Africa and in certain parts of Botswana and Namibia.

HABITAT: Very adaptable, found from semi desert shrub to woodlands and moist mountain grassland. Trees and shrubs are important. Independent of water.

HABITS: Usually forms small herds, but large herds of hundreds have been seen. The hierarchy in the herds is based on age and size. In calving season, nursing herds and bachelor herds can be distinguished. At a later stage young animals and males join the nursing herds and form breeding herds. Breeding herds are placid while serious fights occur in bachelor herds. During the winter males and females leave the nursing herds and form mixed or bachelor herds. Also grazes at night. A characteristic clicking sound can be heard when Eland are on the move.

INTERESTING HUNTING NOTES: The largest of the Spiral Horned family in South Africa. Older mature males can weigh up to one ton and can be very difficult to bring down. Young bulls are lighter in color with longer thinner horns than older blue/black bulls with their distinctive dewlap, fringe and brimmed down horns. When judging the trophy quality of Eland, it's important to look at the size of the ridge on the boss, the color of the dewlap and skin leading up to the head from the shoulders. Mature bulls will display a black/darkened fringe on the forehead, with the emphasis not always being the length of the horn but the age of the animal.

  • Ave Age of Mature Bulls: +/- 10 Years
  • Ave Weight of Mature Bulls: +/- 1400 Pounds
  • Hunting Permit Required: Hunting License
Safari News
Stay Informed