WILDEBEEST - Connochaetes taurinus & Connochaetes gnou

Often referred to as the "poor man's buffalo", the wildebeest with its broad flat muzzle and shaggy beard does not win any accolades in the handsome stakes. Yet they are often the most amusing animals while hunting as they jostle and whirl about amongst themselves.

They always appear larger at a distance than they actually are with impressive chest and shoulders resulting in a characteristic bouncing run. 

Their colour varies with subspecies but their general appearance in bluish gray to sliver, except for the Black Wildebeest (see bottom of page) which is chocolatey-black.

handsome fellow...! blue wildebeest CITES
No restrictions

SCI minimum score
Blue - 70"
Cookson's - 70"
White Bearded - 68"


Blue Wildebeest

Black Wildebeest

Both males and females have horns and are gregarious animals grazing in the mornings and lying down in the heat of the day. 

They are herding animals, living in open wooded savanna and the wide plains of the Serengeti and Masai Mara. They are probably most recognised for their annual migrations when thousands congregate and form vast columns of blue-gray seething animals.

hunting tips - the calibre
They are fairly large animals and a medium calibre magnum like 7mm or .300's are a good choice with a well placed shot in the shoulder area.

hunting tips - the trophy
Their horns are judged by the distance they extend beyond the ears and the length of the upward points. Their bases are also important and should not be too worn down or fragmented.

hunting tips - where
The Brindled or Common Wildebeest is divided into three subspecies for record book purposes: 
Blue Wildebeest is the most widely distributed across South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia. 
Cookson's Wildebeest is found only in the Luangwa Valley of Zambia. 
White Bearded Wildebeest is found on the open plains of the Serengeti, Ngorogoro and Masai Mara.

The Black Wildebeest - Connochaetes gnou is indigenous only to South Africa and is a strange looking cousin of the common types, with different horns and a smaller body. 

They are plains animals living in groups of up to 50 animals with a few herd bulls constantly jostling and sparring for superiority. They are capable of running at great speed when pursued and will usually make a large circle at full pace before ending up in the place they started from. They have a white tail, traditionally used by tribal chiefs as fly whisks, and are the originators of the name GNU from the sound they make (a low GGnnnuuuuuuuuuuuu).

A good bull has horns which start from wide bases which almost meet in the middle (the gap should be about an inch). The horns run outwards and down and should form a deep low curl before curving vertically up, preferably well above the top of the bases. (see the picture in the trophy room and you will know what we mean).

A medium plainsgame magnum like 7mm or .300 is a good choice as you might be required to shoot at a distance.


home page - hunt with us  - animals - gamebirds - trophy room - destinations - planning