The koodoo is not uncommon throughout the more wooded districts of Damara-land; but, from its leading a very secluded life, it is not so often seen as others of the antelope tribe. His favorite haunts are the stony slopes of hills, overgrown with brushwood. In localities not much frequented by man, however, and in the early part of the day, he may be seen in more open ground, on the outskirts of woods, borders of vleys, and banks of rivers.
His gait is very graceful; but his pace, which consists of a moderately fast gallop, is less elegant. When pursued, he clears with considerable agility bushes, stones, and other minor obstructions that may oppose his course, his leaps being often of very considerable extent.
His food consists chiefly of leaves, buds, and the young shoots of trees and bushes. He seems capable of going a long time without water, and only occasionally frequents the pool.
The koodoo produces only one young at a time. His flesh, when in good condition, is excellent, and the soup, or bouillon, made from it is delicious. The marrow extracted from the bones is highly prized by the natives, who deem it better than that obtained from any other animal. They consequently devour it greedily, and without any kind of preparation.
The hide of the koodoo is greatly valued, as well by the hunter as the colonist. It is rather thin, but exceedingly tough and pliable, and will stand more wear and tear than any other hide of the same substance. It is chiefly used for shoes, lashes of whips, thongs, straps, and harness in general. A koodoo hide, well prepared according to the custom of the country, is worth from twenty to thirty shillings; and, being much in request among the farmers, is no despicable article of commerce for home consumption.
The koodoo is naturally of a shy and timid nature; but the male, when hotly pressed and wounded, will not unfrequently face about, and even attack his pursuer.