Shoulder height 130–150cm. Weight 180–250kg.
This ungainly antelope, also called the brindled gnu, is easily identified by its dark coat and bovine appearance. The superficially similar buffalo is far more heavily built. When they have enough space, blue wildebeest can form immense herds – as perhaps a million do for their annual migration from Tanzania's Serengeti Plains into Kenya's Masai Mara. One such gathering occurs on the Liuwa Plains around November, when tens of thousands of animals gather here as the rains arrive.
In Zambia wildebeest naturally occur from around the Kafue National Park area westwards, to Angola. There's also a sub-species, Cookson's wildebeest, Connochaetes taurinus cooksoni, which is endemic to the Luangwa Valley. It's found commonly on the north side, in North Luangwa, but only rarely further south. It differs from the main species by having cleaner colours including slightly reddish bands and being a little smaller and more compact.