Adult males are dark grey with a silver sheen and darker stripes on the sides of the neck, black on top of the muzzle and on the forehead, with a russet tinge to the forehead shoulders and chest. Females and juveniles are more brown and have more russet on the forehead; calves up to 5-6 months old are uniformly fawn. A mane of long hair runs on the back of the neck as well as a fringe along the throat. The tail has a long whisk of black hair at the end and reaches nearly to the ground. Both sexes bear horns which grow sideways from bosses on the forehead, then hooking upwards and inwards. Horns of juveniles grow straight up, and begin to grow sideways at eight months. Females have one pair of nipples between their hind legs. Shoulder height males 1,4 m, females 1,26 m; weight males 240-250 kg, females 180-215 kg.
Open woodland, scrub and grassland. Seldom found more than 15 km from water where migration is not possible. Does not occur in large numbers where the winters are cold. Very widely translocated.
Most active during the day, with peaks in the early morning and late afternoon. Avoids the midday heat by standing or resting in shade, especially if water is not available. If no shade is available stands to face the breeze. 50% of the time spent grazing is after dark. Drinks daily if water is available; more willing than most animals to drink muddy water. Social structure varies with locality.
African Elephant | African Fish Eagle | Banded Mongoose | Bat-Eared Fox | Black-Backed Jackal | Blue Wildebeest | Burchell’s Zebra | Bushbuck | Cape Buffalo | Cape Rock Hyrax | Chacma Baboon | Greater Flamingo | Grey Lourie | Grey Rheebuck | Hadeda Ibis | Helmeted Guineafowl | Hippopotamus | Impala | Klipspringer | Kudu | Large Spotted Genet | Leopard | Lesser Bushbaby | Lion | Ostrich | Red Squirrel | Reedbuck | Samango Monkey | Secretary Bird | Side-Striped Jackal | Southern Ground Hornbill | Spotted Hyaena | Springbok | Suricate | Thick-Tailed Bushbaby | Tree Squirrel | Trumpeter Hornbill | Vervet Monkey | White Rhinoceros