The African wildebeest are internationally renowned for their great migrations through the Masai Mara in Kenya and the Serengeti. During my time at college, the local students would tell me that generally these animals are known for not being the brightest animal, and there always seems to be the one wildebeest with an identity crisis hanging out with the zebras. Even I’ve observed this in Kruger, in Marataba and in Hwange!
They are more locally known as gnu, an indigenous word originating probably from the sound that the wildebeest make. When we were walking in the bush as part of our Back-up Trails Guide course, these animals would gruffly snort when they see/smell you and stand to attention and watch as you walk past.
Wildebeest are territorial animals and they leave scent marks in order to communicate to other animals where their territory is. This is a photo of one making its mark in the dirt – they turn and twist as if they are trying to scratch an itch on their back… quite funny to watch and very different to those grizzly bears who cleverly scratch their backs on tree trunks.