Where to see Wildebeest in Zimbabwe
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.
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.
Max. running speed
When wildebeest evolved
Proportion of day spent grazing (Serengeti rainy season)
The top camps for seeing wildebeest in Zimbabwe
Based on 77 reports by our travellers since May 2018, visitors at these camps in Zimbabwe have the best chances of sighting wildebeest.
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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.
Our best Zimbabwe holidays for wildebeest sightings
Based on our travellers' reports, these ideas for Zimbabwe safaris are likely to give the best wildebeest sightings
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$14,300 - US$18,160 per person
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$8,470 - US$15,010 per person
10 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT
A superb luxury safari in iconic Hwange and Mana Pools national parks, staying in a pair of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe, with a grand finale at Victoria Falls
US$10,150 - US$15,050 per person
Pied Kingfisher Safari
9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO HARARE AIRPORT
A luxury safari combining three of Zimbabwe's top highlights. The trip uses some of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe and is perfect for a family or small group.
US$7,000 - US$10,780 per person
Bat Hawk Safari
7 days • 2 locations
HARARE AIRPORT TO JOHANNESBURG AIRPORT
Explore two areas revered by safari enthusiasts with some of Africa’s best walking and some superb guiding – even by Zimbabwe’s high standards – for a varied and wonderfully immersive wilderness experience.
US$8,110 - US$10,240 per person
Pygmy Mouse Self-drive Safari
18 days • 10 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT
A truly epic southern African self-drive safari adventure from Namibia’s mountains and deserts, along the lush Caprivi Strip to Botswana and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, staying at luxury lodges throughout.
US$5,360 - US$8,520 per person
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$9,210 - US$13,040 per person
Rock Hare Self-drive Safari
20 days • 12 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT
An in-depth look at Namibia from the Namib Desert to the Caprivi, with additional stops in Botswana and Victoria Falls. This three-week adventure includes an unrivalled mix of environments and is great value.
US$5,050 - US$7,070 per person
More information about wildebeest in our other destinations
Click here for detailed information about wildebeest in other countries, including the places for sighting wildebeest.