Tsessebe (Damaliscus lunatus)
The common tsessebe (Damaliscus lunatus) is a member of the antelope family found in Botswana, Angola, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and South Africa. Adult male tsessebe weigh between 250 and 350 pounds, and stand 46 inches to 54 inches tall at the shoulder. Both sexes have horns, and are one of the most difficult animals to sex. The male’s horns grow to about fifteen inches; females average 12 inches. When hunting tsessebe in Africa, a hunter needs to rely on the Professional Hunter (PH) to identify the proper animal to harvest. Tsessebe males use their horns for territory defence and mate attraction. In the wild, tsessebe usually live a maximum of 15 years. The tsessebe is Africa’s fastest antelope, able to run at speeds up to fifty miles per hour.
Because the tsessebe is mostly found on the African plains, shots may have to be long. A careful stalk should get the hunter close enough to take a rest and execute a shot. Tsessebe are wary animals, though, and if they see the hunter approaching, they can just walk away moving just slightly faster than the approaching hunter. A flat shooting rifle is highly recommended for hunting tsessebe in Africa. Minimum caliber should be .270. A better choice for hunting tsessebe in Africa is one of the fast .30 magnums, like the .300 Winchester Magnum, with a 180-grain bullet. Shot placement when hunting tsessebe in Africa is behind the shoulder and one-third of the way up the body