English: Waterbuck; French: Cobe defassa; Acholi: Apoli; Afrikaans: Waterbok, Kringgat; Amharic: Tera defassa; Bambara: Sensen; Banda-Linda: Beta; Basari: Fëdángáng; Ful: Eas gunta-galaadi, Ndumsa; Gbaya: dòp, Hausa: gwambaza; Iswana: Hamuga; Kikuyu: ndoo, thirami; Kiladi: Ncuungu; Kirundi: indonyi; Kiswahili: Kuru; Kwanyama: Oshowa; Lozi: Ngunduma; Maasai: Oikibulenkeny; Manza: Do; Ndorobo: Ennooit; Nganguela: Mukoko; Punu: Tsungo; Sango: béta, bita; Shaba: Nkondolo; Shona: Dumukwa; Sindebele: Dumukwa Isi; Sotho: Phitlwa, Tomoga; Wolof: Dumsa; Yoruba: Otolo, Egbin; Zande: Mbaga; Zulu: Iphiwa, Iliphiva.
Former distribution: As now.
Present distribution: South of the Sahara from Senegal east to the southern Sudan; western Ethiopia, south-western Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Zambia, Angola, northern Namibia (Caprivi-Strip), Zimbabwe to the Transvaal and Natal in South Africa.
Behaviour: Preferred habitat: open woodlands with high grass and reeds, always near water. They are gregarious and form family herds of up to 15-30; active diurnally and at twilight; predominantly grazers, but also feed on reeds and bushes. Predators include lions, leopards, wild dogs and crocodiles.
Population status: Stable.
Body weight: 200-250 kg
Head and body length: 200-235 cm
Tail length: 30-40 cm
Shoulder height: 115-130 cm
Gestation period: 280 days
Maximum age: 14 years (18 years in captivity)
Trophy: Record SCI: (Kobus d. ellipsiprymnus) 91 6/8 score, 1982 RSA, ALAN SACKMAN; average 70 score. RW’s: 39 1/4″, 1950 Rep. of South Africa, A.B. AITKEN; average 28″. CIC: 182.35 points, Mozambique, A.A. PATRICIO, average 170 points.
Hunting methods: Stalking with trackers.
Subspecies: 6 (13 subspecies are recognized by HALTENORTH, DILLER 1977). The author follows ST.J. SMITH (1984) who listed 6 subspecies in 6 different geographic regions.
1. Defassa Waterbuck Kobus d. defassa Western Ethiopia, eastern Sudan, central Kenya, northern Tanzania. Stable. RW’s: 34 1/2″, Kenya, D.N. PAPALIOS; average 26″.
2. Common Waterbuck Kobus d. ellipsiprymnus South-eastern Ethiopia, south-western Somalia, eastern Kenya, eastern Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, northern and eastern Botswana, Caprivi-Strip, northern and eastern South Africa. Stable.
3. Uganda Waterbuck Kobus d. ugandae South-western Sudan, Uganda, north-western Zaire, Rwanda-Burundi, north-western Tanzania. Stable. Trophy: Record SCI: 86 2/8 score, 1962 Uganda, BERT KLINEBURGER; average 68 score. RW’s: 39 1/4″, Uganda, L.E.S. SHARP; average 34″.
4. Zambian Waterbuck Kobus d. crawshayi South-western Tanzania, Zambia. Stable.
Trophy: Record SCI: 76 1/8 score, 1968 Zambia, FRED RADEMEYER. RW’s: 31 1/4″, 1974 Zambia, A. ROVIRA; average 25″.
5. Angola Waterbuck Kobus d. penricei Southern Gabon, southern Congo, Cabinda, western Zaire, central and southern Angola, western Zambia. Stable. Trophy: Record SCI: 66 1/8 score, 1971 Angola, C.J. MCELROY. RW’s: 36 1/8″, 1963 Angola, T.H. LUTSEY; average 24″.
6. Sing Sing Waterbuck Kobus d. unctuosus Senegal, southern Mali, northern Ivory Coast, Guinea, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, northern Chad, Central African Republic, south-western Sudan. Stable. Trophy: Record SCI: 85 score, 1979 Central African Republic, ALI HAYDAR ÜSTAY; average 27 score. RW’s: 36 1/4″, 1973 Chad, C. VILASECA; average 27″.
Remarks: The classification of both species and subspecies is more than uncertain; a revision is required. Only male Waterbucks carry horns.