Tragelaphus Scriptus - The Bushbuck

Close relative of the Kudu and Nyala, the bushbuck is a rather large antelope which relies on vegetation for cover. Bushbuck can be found in most of sub-Saharan Africa, especially in areas where it can easily be concealed.

Did you know? The very sharp horns render the Bushbuck very dangerous when wounded.

Bushbuck will live anywhere from sea level to mountain-tops in all types of habitats from rainforest to subdesert terrain. The colour varies depending on geographic location. Eastern and southern bushbuck are yellow in colour with relatively few markings. Northern and western bushbuck are reddish coloured with stripes and spots. Both sexes darken with age.


Males weigh 40-80 kg and stand 70-100 cm tall.
Females weigh 25-60 kg and stand 65-85 cm tall.


Horns are nearly straight with one twist close to the bottom, 26-57 cm long.


Bushbuck are found in dense bush at the base of mountains or along river courses, but always close to a permanent water supply.


The bushbuck is widely distributed over sub-Saharan Africa. See this antelope in South Africa when you visit these (and other) parks and reserves: Addo Elephant National Park (about an hour from Port Elizabeth and two hours from East London), Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (both about 2.5 hours from Durban), Kruger National Park (near Hazyview and Marloth Park), and the Bontebok National Park (outside Swellendam, about two hours from Cape Town).

Diet - Herbivores

Browsers, bushbuck eat leaves and herbs, twigs and flowers of a large number of plant types. On occasion they will also consume grass.


The bushbuck is primarily nocturnal, but it is also fairly active during the day. Most of the day is spent standing, grazing and feeding and a small amount of time is spent moving about. At dusk bushbuck move toward their night range. Before dawn all bushbuck move back to their day range.

Did you know? When alarmed, individuals react in a variety of ways. If they are in forest or thick bush, they may freeze in one position and remain very still, allowing their coloring to camouflage them.

The bushbuck is the only non-territorial and solitary African antelope. Neither males nor the females defend any part of their home range so many home ranges overlap.


Both sexes reach puberty at 11 months.


The gestation period for bushbuck is 6 to 7 months. This means that females are able to reproduce twice a year in some areas.

Life Expectancy

12 years


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