(Latin = Taurotragus oryx , Afrikaans = Eland, Tswana = Phofu)
- Numbers: Fairly high
- Weight: 460 – 700 kg (1012 – 1540 lb.)
- Shoulder height: 150 – 170 cm (60 – 68 in.)
- Record Horn Length:
- SCI: 43 and six-eighths in.
- Rowland Ward: 47 and a half in.
- Females horns? Yes
The Eland is a savannah and plains antelope found in East and Southern Africa. They are spiral-horned antelope and are South Africa’s largest antelope. Males have a patch of dark hair on their foreheads that covers the glandular skin. Both males and females have fawn colored coats. They also have faint vertical white stripes on their flanks, which are distinctive to the Eland.
It is a herbivore and its diet primarily consists of grasses and leaves. Elands form herds of up to 500 animals but are not territorial. It can exist for long periods without open water but is then reliant on the fruits of Tsamas and Gemsbok Cucumbers to meet its water requirements.
A single calf is born to a mother after a gestation period of approximately nine months. Calves can run with the herd a few hours after birth.
Preferred habitat varies from semi-deserts, grasslands, to light savannah north of the Orange River, to light woodland in KwaZulu-Natal. The Eland is a nocturnal animal and the vegetation that absorbs moisture from the atmosphere at night provides ample fluid sustenance for his large antelope that lives in areas with little surface water.
Hunting Eland is best done with a quick pointing double rifle if you have one available. The 9.3 X 74R is an excellent choice, as is the .375 H&H with 286 grain or 300-grain bullets. Consider using solids for backup shots, as this big guy will not go down easy. Hunting eland trophy bulls can be extremely challenging, as they are difficult to approach to within shooting range. You will probably have to walk and stalk for some distance.