One of the most beautiful of all the African game animals is the kudu; the large, dark spiral horns with polished ivory-colored tips, the vertical white on brown stripes and the flush of pink inside the ears make for a very attractive mounted trophy. No surprise; it's pretty much on every safari hunter's wish list. While technically referred to as a plains game trophy, kudu are always found in the bush, usually the thicker the better.
The range of the kudu extends over several African countries and this is where things begin to get interesting; you see, there are actually two kudu species - the larger one, commonly known as the “greater kudu” and the smaller one, known as the “lesser kudu.” Both are antelope and they look like big brother/little brother! A greater kudu will weigh four or five hundred pounds (a small elk), while the lesser kudu is half that. A “really nice” greater kudu will carry sixty inches of horn on either side, while it would have to be a “super-nice” lesser kudu to get to thirty inches.
Even more interesting, there are a few places in East Africa where the ranges overlap. In those rare places, a
hunter may have the opportunity to shoot both trophies on the same hunt. We knew this going in; and since Maasailand is mostly a “plains game” destination, Brenda had decided to concentrate her efforts on shooting both species of Kudu on this safari.
There were two primary methods of hunting; one was to simply drive around the dirt roads in the safari car and look for a male kudu bedded in the shade or perhaps standing in a small opening - in early morning or late afternoon. Once located, it was a matter of getting the vehicle out of sight and stalking to within range for a clean shot. The other method was to climb small, rocky hills and glass for game out on the flats – then stalk and shoot. This was pretty relaxing, but on two occasions, our hunting team encountered snakes (puff adders) at the bottom of the hill. We were glad the trackers went ahead of us — and were ever alert.
It was a splendid 21-day safari and there were lots of memories. Brenda did connect on both the greater and the lesser kudu, which taken on the same safari was perhaps the best memory of all.