The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Blue Wildebeest

Afrikaans name: Blouwildebees

Blue Wildebeest

Photo © Steven Herbert

Connochaetes taurinus

Interesting facts about Blue Wildebeest

The Blue Wildebeest is also sometimes referred to as the Blue Gnu, Brindled Gnu or Common Wildebeest

Blue Wildebeest can live for 20 years or more. Males are larger than females and have bigger horns.

They are widespread across north and eastern South Africa and are a common site in most game parks.

They can be up to 145 cm tall at the shoulder and may weigh up to 250 kg.

Their preferred habitat is open savanna and bush veld. It shouldn't be too dry or too wet. There must be water available within walking distance. Blue Wildebeest enjoy taking a mud bath.

A variety of predators hunt Blue Wildebeest including Lions, Spotted Hyenas and Nile Crocodiles. Youngsters may also be hunted by Cheetahs, Leopards and Wild Dogs.

They may often be found in the company of Burchell's Zebras. Zebras eat the longer grass allowing the Wildebeest to get to the shorter grass which they prefer.

Females are able to breed at 3 years old. The calf is born after a 8.5 month gestation period. Within two hours the new born calf can run fast enough to keep up with the herd.

A small herd of Blue Wildebeest resting in the morning sun

Photo © Steven Herbert

Baby Blue Wildebeest at Tala Game Reserve

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above and below - Blue Wildebeest aren't just cute when they grow up - they start off pretty cute as well!

Baby Blue Wildebeest

Photo © Steven Herbert

Blue Wildebeest portrait

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above and below - Selection of Blue Wildebeest portraits Portrait of a Blue Wildebeest

Photo © Steven Herbert

Below - Kicking up the dust

Blue Wildebeest in dust

Photo © JohanSwanepoel - Fotolia.com

Blue Wildebeest adult

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above and below - An adult female Blue Wildebeest is shown above and a juvenile is shown below. Blue Wildebeest juvenile

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 232

Tracks and Tracking in Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Published: 2000 - Page: 135

Wild Issue 47 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 48

Wild Ways - 2nd Edition - Author: Peter Apps - Published: 2000 - Page: 146

The Mammal Guide of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Burger Cillie - Published: 2011 - Page: 82

The Living Deserts of Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Darry Lovegrove - Published: 2021 - Page: 183

The Living Deserts of Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Darry Lovegrove - Published: 2021 - Page: 111

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 50

Signs of the Wild - 5th Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Published: 1996 - Page: 172

South African Animals in the Wild - Author: Anthony Bannister - Published: 1985 - Page: 31

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 65

Signs of the Wild - 3rd Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Published: 1986 - Page: 187

Questions and Answers - Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 23

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southe - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Published: 1991 - Page: 414

Questions and Answers - Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 19

Mammals of the Kruger and other National Parks - Author: The National Parks Board - Published: 1980 - Page: 132

Land Mammals of Southern Africa - A field guide - Author: Reay HN Smithers - Published: 1986 - Page: 156

Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Burger Cillie - Published: 1987 - Page: 87

Kruger National Park, Visitors Map 1996 - Author: - Published: 1996 - Page: 4

First Field Guide to Animal Tracks of Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Published: 2003 - Page: 53

Game Ranger in your Backpack - Author: Megan Emmett and Sean Pattrick - Published: 2013 - Page: 54

Kruger National Park Questions and Answers - Author: P.F. Fourie - Published: 1987 - Page: 137

Field Guide to the Mammals of the Kruger National Park - Author: U. de V. Pienaar et al. - Published: 1987 - Page: 114

Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 2001 - Page: 204

Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1997 - Page: 158

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Published: 2004 - Page: 162

Chris and Tilde Stuarts Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 1st Edit - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1988 - Page: 204

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 20

African Wildlife - A photographic safari - Author: Nigel and Wendy Dennis - Published: 1999 - Page: 46

An Introduction to the Larger Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Joanna Dalton - Published: 1987 - Page: 213

A Field Guide to the Tracks & Signs of Southern and East African Wildlife - 3rd - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 2000 - Page: 79


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