The Magnificent Eland: The Largest Antelope in Africa

The Eland is a magnificent antelope species that inhabits the African continent. They are known for their impressive size, with males weighing up to 2,200 lbs. Their shaggy coat can range from reddish-brown to gray, and males have long spiral horns. Elands are herbivores, feeding on grasses and leaves of shrubs and trees while residing in herds and being active during the day. Despite their large size, Elands are known for their speed and agility, capable of reaching speeds up to 80 km/h when faced with predators. Eland are quite common and can be seen on a safari in Zimbabwe.

Diet and Feeding Habits

Elands are selective feeders and prefer young, nutritious plants. They feed on a variety of grasses, leaves, and shoots. In the dry season, when food is scarce, they may also browse on the bark and branches of trees and shrubs. Elands are able to extract moisture from their food and can go without drinking water for several days. This adaptation allows them to survive in arid regions where water sources are scarce.

Behavior and Habitat

Elands are social animals and live in herds of up to 25 individuals. They are active during the day and rest in the shade during the hottest hours. Elands are known for their impressive speed and agility, which they use to escape from predators such as lions and hyenas. They are also capable of jumping over high obstacles, making it difficult for predators to catch them.


Shona sculpture - Sculptor unknown - produced in Green Verdite stone 


Conservation Status

The Eland is listed as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, their populations have declined in some areas due to habitat loss and hunting. In some regions, Elands are hunted for their meat and hides, which are used for clothing and traditional medicine. Conservation efforts are underway to protect the Eland and their habitat.

Watch the Eland in the wild in this short Youtube Video