Tsessebe are social animals and their basic group structure consists of small breeding groups, each comprising of six to ten cows with their offspring. Bachelor groups and territorial bull herds may sometimes number up to 30 strong. This is especially noticeable near water and favourable gazing.
Breeding herds consisting of cows are not restricted to a specific territory. In areas where tsessebe occur in higher densities, bulls establish typical 'lek' system territories. Young bulls form bachelor groups at the age of one year as they are pushed out of herds.
Tsessebe belong to the same family as the Wildebeest and the Hartebeest, all of whom are characterised by an ungainly appearance as a result of their shoulders being higher than the withers. Only one of the several subspecies that are recognized, occur in the Subregion.
In South Africa the tsessebe are confined to northern savannah woodlands. They are mostly confined to the Kruger National Park and some provincial game reserves. They have also been re-introduced to some private game farms.
In patrolling their territories, territorial males maintain a steady gait and defecate at regular intervals. Both sexes mark their territories with the preorbital glands, but the territorial males are more active in doing so. Tsessebe also rub the sides of their faces on the ground, usually on a termite mound or on a sandy patch, dropping to their knees to do so.
Both sexes horn the ground, especially after rain. The animal has well developed interdigital glands on the front feet, and territorial males paw and scrape the ground as a means of territorial marking.