Scientific Name:

Kobus ellipsiprymnus

The waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) is a large antelope found widely in sub-Saharan Africa. It is placed in the genus Kobus of the family Bovidae. It was first described by Irish naturalist William Ogilby in 1833. The thirteen subspecies are grouped under two varieties: the common or ellipsen waterbuck and the defassa waterbuck.


The coat colour varies from brown to grey. The long, spiral horns, present only on males, curve backward, then forward and are 55–99 cm (22–39 in) long.


Predominantly a grazer, the waterbuck frequents grasslands. With grasses constituting a substantial 70 to 95 percent of the diet, the waterbuck is predominantly a grazer frequenting grasslands. Reeds and rushes like Typha and Phragmites may also be preferred.[14] A study found regular consumption of three grass species round the year: Panicum anabaptistum, Echinochloa stagnina and Andropogon gayanus. Hyparrhenia involucrata, Acroceras amplectens and Oryza barthii along with annual species were the main preference in the early rainy season, while long life grasses and forage from trees constituted three-fourths of the diet in the dry season.


The waterbuck can not tolerate dehydration in hot weather, and thus inhabits areas close to sources of water. Waterbuck inhabit scrub and savanna areas along rivers, lakes and valleys, while avoiding bushy and low-lying areas. Due to the requirement for grasslands as well as water, the waterbuck have a sparse ecotone distribution.