Handsome wild beast

Pamushana | May 2018

We had a great morning drive with half the morning being heavily fogged out, giving us a wonderful mystical bush adventure feeling. Our guests enjoyed some awesome photoshoots of various animals in the fog such as kudu, eland, impala and, my favourite, a hippo bull thrashing around in the spooky-looking waters of Sosigi Dam, where he tried to get a hammerkop bird, that was using him like a taxi, off his head.

As the sun broke through later in the morning this glorious wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), was revealed. He was incredibly handsome – as far as wildebeest go.

This is a dominant bull wildebeest, and the reason we know this is because dominant bulls hold a territory, and they defend it from all other bull wildebeest. The arrangement in the world of wildebeests is that if the females move through your territory they are ‘yours’ for that time. Ideally a wildebeest would want to secure a desirable territory that draws the females in, one with abundant food and permanent water, and that is exactly what this bull had done – his territory is around the biggest permanent pan on the reserve, surrounded by nutritious grassland.

Best he keep a lookout for the lions that have culled quite a few of his competitors in recent months.