Introduction: The blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) is also referred to as the brindled gnu, a name not used so often in modern times. Despite their appearance, they are very agile animals and if spooked will instantly run off, stopping at intervals to look back to assess the situation, before repeating these activities as needed. They will remain suspicious, watching their trail for long periods of time. An inquisitive animal, they will stand looking at an intruder while snorting and blowing through their nostrils. They will also run around in circles, prance about waving their tails, and pawing at the ground.

Blue Wildebeest live all over in the open savannah of southern Africa. They are social creatures and live in groups of 20 to 40 animals, sometimes in larger herds, the members of which are usually cows and calves, led by a bull. Other groups consist solely of bachelor bulls. There is considerable competition for rank among individuals who will follow a breeding herd, pressurising the bull in the hope that it will leave.

Distribution: In Namibia, wildebeest are commonly found in the Etosha National Park and on several privately owned game farms.

Diet: Wildebeest are grazers and are particularly associated with savannah woodland with the availability of water. Their favoured food source must have high leaf-to-stem ratio and they prefer the shorter grass swards.

Colouring: A gnu has a slate grey coat, sometimes with a brown tinge, a black tail and a long narrow head carrying horns which curve down and then up. The front quarters are heavily built and there is a mane and a beard reaching down the throat. There are darker creases on the sides.

Breeding: The gestation period for a wildebeest is 250 days with 80-90% of the calves being born in a 3 week period when conditions are most favourable. At birth, the calves are licked clean by their mothers, can stand within a few minutes and run with her within 5 minutes.

Size: Adult males stand about 150cm at the shoulder and weigh 250kg, the females smaller at 135cm and 180kg. Both sexes have horns.

Mammals of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

Sorry, we can’t seem to find any matches for your search. Have a look at our popular searches below.