Some general information regarding the species that roam the South African bushveld:

Blue wildebeest (Latin: Connochaetes taurinus)
Blue wildebeest (also known as brindled gnu) are very gregarious and sometimes move about in herds up to tens of thousands strong, often in association with zebras and other herbivores, and accompanied by a cacophony of amusing snorts and low grunts. The wildebeest's ungainly appearance makes it unmistakable. It has been described as having the forequaters of an ox, the hind parts of an antelope and the tail of a horse. Both sexes have horns, the male is larger than the female. Dark vertical strips on the neck and flanks. Males are territorial, and attempt to herd groups of females into their territory. Wildebeest are grazers, and move constantly in search of good pasture and water. Because they prefer to drink daily and can survive only five days without water, wildebeest will migrate large distances to find it. During the rainy season they graze haphazardly, but in the dry season they congregate around water holes. Major predators include lion, hyenas and wild dog. Size: height at shoulder 150 cm; weight 250 kg. Rowland Ward, min: 28,5"

Eland (Latin: Taurotagus oryx)
The eland is Africa's largest antelope - a mature bull can weigh up to 750 kg. Resembles a Brahman (cattle) with its larg hump and dewlap. Both sexes have horns about 65 cm long, with the spiral starting at the base of the horn and then sweep straight up. The male has a much hairier head than the female, and its horns are thicker and more massive. Bull horns are V- haped, cow horns are more parallel and vertical. They are mixed feeders, browse more than graze, and require a high-protein diet. The eland will drink water when it is freely available but can survive on the moisture they obtain from their diet. They are great wanderers (not territorial), extremely wary, alert and cautious. Impressive jumpers for who man-made barriers form no obstacle. Eland usually live in groups of around 6 to 12, but herds can contain as many as 100 individuals. A small herd normally has only one male, but in larger herds there may be several males. Size: height at shoulder 170 cm; weight up to 1 ton in the male. Rowland Ward, min: 35".

Gemsbok (Latin: Oryx gazella)
Gemsbok, also known as the South African Oryx, is a gorgeous antelope. It is a solid but stately animal, with impressively long, straight horns (both sexes), an attractive greyfawn body with black on the flanks and white on the underside, and a black and white pattern on the face. The tail is hairy, like a horse's. Gemsbok are principally grazers, but will also browse on the thorny shrubs. They prefer open grassveld in semidesert areas and open, dry savannah. May even penetrate open woodland in search of new grazing areas. In the Kalahari, it prefers the sand-dune midland with scattered plant cover and short one-year grass. They can survive for long periods without water. Herds vary from 5 to 40 individuals, but the bulls normally prefer a solitary existence. Size: height at shoulder 120 cm; weight up to 250 kg. Rowland Ward, min: 40"

Greater Kudu (Latin: Tragelaphus strepsiceros)
Large, majestic, strikingly beautiful, striped, spiral-horned antelope. Preferred habitat is rocky, hilly, or mountainous areas, interspersed with woodland or thick bush. Perfectly camouflaged, nicknamed 'ghost of the bushveld'. Kudu bulls are light to dark grey in colour with 6-10 vertical white stripes along the sides and with a white chevron between the eyes. The cows are more tan/brown and have prominent ears. The horns, carried only by males, form large spirals, and an old buck can have up to three complete twists. Kudus live in herds of females and their young. During mating season, an adult male is accompanied by a few cows and young. Out of season, the bulls go solitary or form bachelor herds (max. 6 bulls). Kudu are almost exclusively browsers and can eat a variety of leaves. They are highly adaptable, excellent jumpers, fully capable of clearing a seven-foot fence. Size: height at shoulder 150 cm; max. 290 kg, Rowland Ward, min: 53 7/8".

Impala (Latin: Aepyceros melampus)
Very attractive, graceful, medium-sized antelopes. Males have long, lyre-shaped horns. Reddish-brown with characteristic black bands on the tail and buttocks. Patches of black hair above ankles. They are gregarious, and during the rut males defend harems of female impala. Single males form bachelor groups. Impala are known for their speed and ability to leap; they can jump as much as 10 m in a single bound or 3 m off the ground - and frequently do - even when there's nothing to jump over! Tasty meal for the large predators, including lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and even hyenas. They feed on leaves and grass and drink water daily when available. They prefer open woodland, especially thorn- and mopaneveld; also found in more dense woodland. Size: height at shoulder 90 cm; weight up to 70 kg. Rowland Ward, min: 23 5/8"

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