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Lechwe – Red

(Latin = Kobus leche, Afrikaans = Lechwe, Tswana = Letswee)

  • Shoulder Height: 90 – 100 cm (35 – 39 in)
  • Weight: 70 – 120 kg (150 – 260 lb.)
  • Record Horn Length:
  • Rowland Ward: 35


The Red Lechwe is a medium-sized antelope, closely related to the Waterbuck. The hindquarters are noticeably higher than the forequarters. Reddish brown on the upperparts and flanks and white on the undersides and inner legs. The fronts of the forelegs and of the hocks are black and it has white patches around the eyes.  Only rams carry horns.


Red Lechwe browses on the lush green aquatic and semi-aquatic grasses.


The gestation period is 225 days. Terminally pregnant females leave the herd to give birth to single lambs in the cover of clumps of bushes, where they keep their offspring hidden for two to three weeks.


Red Lechwe are adapted to a habitat of marshlands, swamps and shallowly inundated floodplains.


Hunting Lechwe can be a real challenge, as he will tend to stand and watch his pursuer, keeping just out of reasonable range. Shots will be necessarily long. With shots tending to be on the long side, choose a rifle that is capable of reaching out a bit. The .270 will do nicely, and the 30 caliber magnums will definitely get the job done. As always, for the medium-sized antelope, use a quality expanding bullet of 150 to 175 grains. The aim point is the standard high heart/lung shot; straight up the foreleg, one-third into the body and squeeze.




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