Hunting The Grey Ghost
In 1935 the Greater Kudu was immortalized as the Grey Ghost of Africa by Ernest Hemingway
The Greater Kudu is one of the more popular species found across Africa and one that is on most first time safari hunters list as well as a species that his hunted time and time again.
The Greater Kudu is the second tallest plains game species coming after the Eland and is the 3rd largest species coming in After the Eland and Roan.
A big Greater Kudu bull can weight 700 pounds or more and has the longest horns of all African species, averaging over 50”.
The Kudu has a bluish grey cape broken up with white side stripes
Kudu bulls seem to spend most of the year in smaller bachelor groups.
They are a browsing species that loves the thorn bush mountain country.
The kudu is found all across the continent of Africa ranging in size and subspecies.
A writer once said “No matter what your hunting in Africa your hunting Greater Kudu”
Rifles and loads. Even though the Kudu is one of the biggest species found in Africa they don’t need a large caliber rifle. You want to use a good flat shooting rifle that is zeroed at 200 yards and something you shoot well like your favorite deer rifle. It’s all about shot placement.
Field judging a kudu bull an old saying is that to be a full mature kudu bull is that both horns must make two complete spirals. Then ends in tips that are more or less parallel. If the tips slants radically out or in this usually means he hasn’t stopped growing and is young.
A Kudu with very tight spirals will look great on the way but will generally be shorter. Bulls with wider spirals will stretch the tape.
A good Greater Kudu bull will be 50+, a great kudu bull will be 55+, and a real monster will be 60+.
There are several ways kudu are hunted.
Tracking is done by following nice sand river beds searching for tracks or driving the roads looking for fresh tracks of a big kudu bull crossing some time over night.
Another way is to get up on a good vantage point and spend hours glassing over good Kudu habitat. Some times you will get lucky while covering ground in the truck and turn up a great bull then will drive past a ways get out and stalk back down the road with hopes that the Grey Ghost hasn’t vanished into thin air.
No matter where you hunt in Africa a big mature kudu bull will always be a highlight of your Safari.