A medium-sized antelope, stockily built, with short neck and legs. Males are brown with a few white spots on the flanks and thighs and a crest of yellowish hair down the middle of the back. Further north bushbuck are dark red or reddish brown with distinct or white stripes and intermediate spots. There is a white patch high on the throat and a white band at the base of the neck. Females are paler than males. Only males bear horns which are twisted and very shallowly corkscrewed, almost triangular in cross-section with a prominent ridge. The horns rise from just behind the eyes, almost in the plane of the face. Averages vary with locality: total length males 1,5m, females 1,4m, tail 21cm, shoulder height males 79cm, females 69cm, weight males 42kg, sometimes to 83 kg, females 28kg.
Woodland and forest in dense cover near permanent water. May make short seasonal movements away from permanent water when surface water is temporarily available.
Active in the evenings, at night and in the early mornings. Rests during the day in the densest cover. Associates with baboons and monkeys to feed on fruit and leaves dropped from the trees. Home ranges are about 0,5 ha in winter and 6 ha in summer; and larger depending on the area. Males horn the soil and bushes, and rub the head and neck on bushes and trees, wearing the hair thin into bald patches low on the neck. Fights between males can be fatal. Not a very fast runner; avoids predators by hiding. Takes readily to water and swims strongly. Very aggressive against predators and human hunters.
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