The greater kudu is considered by many to be the most handsome of the spiral horn antelopes, which includes the bongo, eland, nyala, bushbuck, and sitatunga.
Kudu, both the greater kudu and its close cousin the lesser kudu, have stripes and spots on the body, and most have a chevron of white hair on the forehead between the eyes.
Greater kudu bulls have long, spiral horns; occasionally a female will have small ones. The greater kudu's horns are spectacular and can grow as long as 72 inches, making 2 1/2 graceful twists. These beautifully shaped horns have long been prized in Africa for use as musical instruments, honey containers, and symbolic ritual objects. In some cultures, the horns are thought to be the dwelling places of powerful spirits, and in others, they are a symbol of male potency. The horns are seldom used in defense against predators; nor are they an impediment in wooded habitats-the kudu tilts the chin up and lays the horns against the back, moving easily through dense bush.