Tick-borne diseases caused by Theileria are of economic importance in domestic and wildlife ruminants. The majority of Theileria infects a limited number of host species, supporting the concept of host specificity. However, some Theileria seem to be generalists challenging the host specificity paradigm, such as Theileria sp. (sable) reported from various vertebrate hosts, including African buffalo, cattle, dogs and different antelope species. We tested the hypothesis that T. sp. (sable) uses Bovidae as hosts in general using a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay specific for T. sp. (sable) and a closely related genotype: T. sp. (sable-like). Various antelope species from the Tragelaphini (black wildebeest, blesbuck, blue wildebeest, gemsbuck, sable and waterbuck) tested positive for either T. sp. (sable) or T. sp. (sable-like). However, no African buffalo (n = 238) or cattle (n = 428) sampled in the current study tested positive, suggesting that these latter species are not carrier hosts. The results were confirmed using next-generation sequencing which also indicated at least 13 new genotypes or species found in various antelope and giraffes. Genotypes were found in single host species or in evolutionarily related hosts, suggesting that host specificity in Theileria may be a lineage specific phenomenon likely associated with tick-host-parasite co-evolution.