A.k.a Brindled Gnu

Regional Names

Afrikaans: Blouwildebeest French: Gnou bleu (á queue noire)
German: Streifengnu Portuguese:
Nama: Gaob Shangaan: Hongonyi
Sotho: Kgokong Spanish: Ñu taurino o listado
Shona: Mvumba (Ngongoni) Swahili: Nyumbu
Tswana: Kgôkông Xhosa: iNkonkoni
Zulu: iNkonkoni
Average Body Dimensions Trophy Dimensions
Average male mass: 551 lb (250 kg) Rowland Ward Minimum: 28½” (72,5cm) : Method-12
Average shoulder height 4.9’ (1,50m) Rowland Ward Record: 36 (91,4cm)
Spoor size front: 3.9” (100mm) SCI Minimum (Rifle): 70 / SCI Record (Rifle) 97 : Method-4
Spoor size rear: 3.9” (100mm) SCI Minimum (Bow): 54 / SCI Record (Bow) 95⅜


Southern Angola, Botswana, southern Mozambique, north and eastern Namibia, South Africa along borders with Zimbabwe and Mozambique, western Zambia, Zimbabwe along the borders with Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique


Blue wildebeest are gregarious and diurnal. They graze during the cool early morning and late afternoon and rest during hot midday hours. They are often encountered with zebra that feeds on longer grass and trim it to their preference. Herds number up to about 30 animals commanded by a bull. Blue wildebeest will trek seasonally when capable and do so in massive numbers in the Serengeti/Mara, but maintain the small herd integrity during such migrations. Territorial bulls defend a zone around their cows, but do not defend territory per se. Outside rut periods bachelor herds intermingle freely with the main herd, but circulate around the edge thereof during rut.

* Read more in Game Animals of the World by Chris & Tilde Stuart

Hunting tips

Wildebeest drink regularly, so tracking from water holes is a good start. They also tend to have regular places of rest where one can approach them with a good chance of success. They have a reputation for toughness and are consequently known as the ‘poor-man’s-buffalo’, but that most probably stem from habitual incorrect (high) shot placement by hunters who erroneously factor the hump into the body segmentation equation when determining shot placement. Shots should be placed along the level, of or very marginally above the level of the front leg elbow. Shooting normally takes place between 50 – 100 yards, with some rare 150 yard exceptions.

Sexual Dimorphism

Bulls are considerably larger and heavier than cows.

Habitat & Food

Open grassland savannah and savannah woodland with ample supplies of grass and water. Blue wildebeest are grazers with a preference for reasonably short grass.

Rifle and Cartridge Recommendations

Bolt Action Rifles: Any decent bolt action rifle will do.
Double Rifles: No need
Lever Action Rifles: Useable
Single shot rifles: Useable
Bullets: Opt for premium bullets
Typical Cartridges: 7mm-08 Remington 175-gr bullets
7 x 57mm Mauser 175-gr bullets
7mm Magnums 175-gr bullets
.308’s ≥180-gr bullets
.303 British 215-gr bullets
8mm’s 225-gr bullets
.338’s ≥250-gr bullets
.350’s 250-gr bullets
9,3 x 62 / 64mm ≥270-gr bullets
.375’s ≥270-gr bullets

* Read more in African Medium Bore Cartridges by Pierre van der Walt