Tsessebe (Damaliscus lunatus)

Tsessebe (Damaliscus lunatus) Silhouette

Quick stats of the Tsessebe

  • Diet: - Herbivore
  • Shoulder Height: - 1.3 m
  • Weight: - Male - 140 kg
  • Weight: - Female - 129 kg
  • Lifespan - 15 years


Tsessebe © S Jansen

Tsessebe favour grassland, open woodland and scrub country. Tsessebe are commonly seen in family parties with a territorial bull and his harem and their young. Larger herds can also be seen at times, often mixing with groups of zebra and wildebeest.

Tsessebe are reputed to be the swiftest of the African antelope. A lean athletic body slopes from the high shoulders to the somewhat lower buttocks. The body is a rich plum-brown but there are blackish- brown patches on the face, shoulders and lower rump. Short rippled horns which curve outwards from the head are a feature of both sexes.

The main breeding season is during the dry months preceding the rains from September to November. A single young is born after a gestation period of 8 months.

Other Names for the Tsessebe

  • Basterhartbees
  • Sassaby
  • Bastard Hartebeest


Distribution map of the Tsessebe
Distribution map of the Tsessebe

Taxonomy of the Tsessebe

  • Order - Artiodactyla
  • Family - Bovidae
  • Sub Family - Alcelaphinae
  • Genus - Damaliscus
  • Species - Damaliscus lunatus

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