Shoulder height 130cm. Weight 250-270kg.
The waterbuck is easily recognised by its shaggy brown coat and the male's large lyre-shaped horns. The common race of southern Africa (K. e. ellipsiprymnus) and areas east of the Rift Valley has a distinctive white ring around its rump, seen on the left of the sketch. The defassa race (known as K. e. defassa or K. e. crawshayi) of the Rift Valley and areas further west has a full white rump, as indicated on the right.
In Zambia, the common waterbuck populates the Luangwa and Lower Zambezi valleys, whilst the defassa race occurs throughout most of the rest of the country, including Kafue National Park. They need to drink very regularly, so usually stay within a few kilometres of water, where they like to graze on short, nutritious grasses. At night they may take cover in adjacent woodlands. It is often asserted that waterbuck flesh is oily and smelly, which may discourage predators.