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Wildebeest
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Wildebeest

Where to see Wildebeest in Botswana

Wildebeest are a group of antelope, although its superficially bovine appearance sometimes sees them mistaken for buffalo. Known for their spectacular migrations, this these resilient beasts are one of Africa’s most successful herbivores.


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Quick facts about Wildebeest

Scientific name: Connochaetes sp. Habitat: Open savannah & grasslands
IUCN status: Least concern Adult weight: 250–290kg

The lugubrious-looking blue wildebeest is the better known of two wildebeest species, the other being South Africa’s rare black wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou).

A large, robust antelope of the hartebeest (Alcelaphinae) tribe, it is identified by its dark grey/brown colouration and front-heavy profile, embellished with handlebar horns, black beard and luxuriant tail. Wildebeest use their broad muzzles to crop short grass and often feed alongside zebra and other grazers.

Family groups and bachelor herds may coalesce in gatherings many thousands strong when migrating in search of fresh grazing. All females give birth at the start of the rainy season – the explosion of youngsters overwhelming the many predators, such as lion and hyena, lying in wait.


64km/h

Max. running speed

2.5 mya

When wildebeest evolved

33%

Proportion of day spent grazing (Serengeti rainy season)

5

Regional subspecies

The top camps for seeing wildebeest in Botswana

Based on 242 reports by our travellers since May 2018, visitors at these camps in Botswana have the best chances of sighting wildebeest.


Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Top 10 camps for wildebeest

% of travellers who saw wildebeest

Top 10 camps for wildebeest

% of travellers who saw wildebeest

Where to see wildebeest in Africa

Wildebeest inhabit short-grass plains and bushy savannah in eastern and southern Africa. You’ll find them in numerous reserves, from Kenya to South Africa, but the greatest spectacle is their annual migration across the Serengeti.


Top tips for viewing wildebeest

The Serengeti’s celebrated ‘Great Migration’ involves an annual clockwise cycle of up to 1.5 million blue wildebeest, alongside zebra and various antelope, following seasonal rainfall towards optimum conditions for feeding and calving. To catch this spectacle, and perhaps witness the drama of a river crossing, take advice when planning your safari.

Large herds also roam Zambia’s Liuwa Plain and Tanzania’s Tarangire, although the huge migrations across Botswana’s Kalahari are no more, courtesy of veterinary cordon fences. Most other savanna reserves support smaller but healthy populations, provided permanent water is available. Check out Zambia’s Luangwa Valley for the shy Cookson’s wildebeest, a local subspecies. Watch rival male wildebeest contest a territorial skirmish and you’ll soon see these animals as more than just predator bait.

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Our best Botswana holidays for wildebeest sightings

Based on our travellers' reports, these ideas for Botswana safaris are likely to give the best wildebeest sightings


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Rock Hare Self-drive Safari

20 days • 12 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

An in-depth look to Namibia including from the Namib Desert to Victoria Falls and everything in between. This three-week self-drive adventure includes unrivalled mix of environments and great value.

US$4,630 - US$5,920 per person

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The Highlights of Africa

17 days • 7 locations
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO KIGALI AIRPORT

An epic adventure taking in some of Africa’s most incredible sights and wildlife experiences, from Cape Town to the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, the Maasai Mara and an encounter with mountain gorillas.

US$12,440 - US$15,040 per person

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Black-footed Cat Safari

14 days • 6 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

Combine three of southern Africa's most iconic destinations in this exciting and varied safari. Discover the world's oldest desert in Namibia, seek iconic wildlife in Botswana and gaze in wonder at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

US$11,080 - US$19,510 per person

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Wild Dog Safari

13 days • 5 locations
KASANE AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

An in-depth discovery of northern Botswana’s wilderness, from Chobe and the private Kwando Reserve to the Moremi and iconic Okavango Delta with a great variety of activities and wildlife.

US$9,180 - US$15,600 per person

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Leopard Safari

13 days • 4 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO CAPE TOWN AIRPORT

Victoria Falls, Botswana and Cape Town – a classic southern African itinerary combining luxury, wilderness, safari and culture. We can't think of a better way to spend two weeks.

US$8,050 - US$11,010 per person

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Great Egret Safari

12 days • 4 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

A wonderfully varied adventure to Botswana and Zimbabwe combining three fantastic safari areas, a luxury river cruise and the mighty Victoria Falls.

US$7,170 - US$11,560 per person

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Porcupine safari

11 days • 4 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Visit dramatically contrasting landscapes boasting a variety of species during this exploration of Botswana’s top-safari destinations. A combination of national parks and private reserves allows for a range of activities.

US$9,000 - US$13,570 per person

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Steenbok Safari

9 days • 3 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

A classic Botswana safari exploring the Moremi, Chobe National Park and Okavango Delta. Excellent wildlife viewing and a variety of activities from three of our favourite traditional tented camps.

US$6,110 - US$9,500 per person

View all holidays to Botswana

More information about wildebeest in our other destinations

Click here for detailed information about wildebeest in other countries, including the places for sighting wildebeest.


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