Black Wildebeest

Description and Identification:



Shoulder height:                  Males                   1,2 m  

                                           Females                   1,15 m  

Body mass:                           Males                    160 kg

                                          Females                    130 kg


  • Buffy brown – old males nearly Black
  • Long white hair on tail
  • Head is elongated with a high, upstanding mane on the neck
  • A beard of long black hair
  • Black heir on the top of the muzzle
  • Both sexes have horns
  • Horns sweep downward and forward to curve upwards


Social Behavior Black Gnu :


  • Territorial males / female herds / bachelor groups
  • Bulls – territorial all year round – slacken after rut
  • Black Gnu bulls fight over territory
  • Displaced bulls-join normally bachelor herd
  • Only territorial bulls take part in rut
  • Black Gnu bulls mark their territory with scent and gestures
  • Female herd move freely between territories
  • Female herds reunite when split during disturbance
  • Cow with calf usually leads the herd
  • Bachelor groups –reservoir for future territorial bulls (hence NB)
  • Rest with head or hind quarters towards the sun
  • Black Gnu snort- when alerted


Source:  J D Skinner and R H N Smithers: The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion;  Hunting School-Seminar Study Namiba