How Fast Can A Wildebeest Run?

How Fast Can A Wildebeest Run? Wildebeests scientifically known as “Connachaetes Taurinus” are a type antelope with a current population of 1.5 million as of 2020 status. The wildebeest migration is one of the most spectacular animal shows on the African continent and the world as well with more than 2 million wildebeests accompanied by zebras and gazelles moving hundreds of kilometers from Tanzania to Kenya “Mara – Serengeti Eco system” in search of water and pasture.

About The Wildebeest

Their Appearance

Wildebeests’ proportions are off as their legs and back are slender but its front end is heavy, their shoulders are broad and have a rectangular-shaped head. Its wide forequarters are padded with thick muscles and are complemented by a massive muzzle.

Wildebeests are more of a blue – gray color while others have a light gray brush, Gray – brown wildebeest have the deepest coloring. They have dark brown stripes running vertically across their bodies and they are visible on their shoulders, they also have a thick, long, black mane, a long beard on their neck (either black or light).

Wildebeests’ horns curl away from their heads, the horns of a male wildebeest are twice as large as those of a female. A male’s horns are 33 inches long while those of a female range in length from 12 to 16 inches.

Normally the blue wildebeests reach a height of 4 ½ feet, additionally they can weigh up to 600 pounds.


Wildebeests live in grassy plains and woods, most of them reside in diverse regions of East Africa. These also reside close to the South African Orange River in the Southern region of Africa.

Wildebeests chose to spend most of their time in the acacia savannahs and due to the soil’s wetness, the grass grows swiftly and is excellent for finding plenty of grass to eat while grazing.

Although wildebeests often co-exist with one another, they have also been observed sharing temporary residences with zebras they come across on the plains. This is so that wildebeests can reach the grass underneath which is why zebras nibble away at the top layer of grass.


Because of their diet, wildebeests are perpetual travelers. They are continuously on the lookout for grass and water which they consume twice daily.

How Fast Can A Wildebeest Run?
How Fast Can A Wildebeest Run?

When its dry out, the wildebeests graze on new grass before making their way back home before the rainy season starts, they return to the area and resume grazing after the rainy season is over. The broad mouth of the wildebeest allows them to consume large amounts of grass quickly, when grass is scarce, they look for food in trees and shrubs.


Wildebeests are vulnerable to prey and the vulnerability increases with size, a herd of wildebeest will assemble and start trampling the ground to defend itself.  To let the herd know they are in danger, they also male loud noises to attract attention.

The fragmentation of the wildebeest’s habitat is another danger, because of agriculture and civilization advancements, the world wildebeest populations are under more and more threat. Also some regions’ water supplies continue to dry up.

They are not in enough danger to be categorized as extremely endangered despite some of these difficulties.  While wildebeest populations across the globe have been steadily declining, they have been growing in the Serengeti in recent years thanks to the conservation efforts.

How Fast Can a Wildebeest Run?

The blue wildebeest is a very wary creature and is easily started, this is due to the fact that they are prey for many apex predators across Africa such as lions, cheetahs and lions.

When threatened, wildebeests can use their incredible speed to escape being captured by predators.

A wildebeest can reach top speeds of 80 kilometers per hour or 50 miles per hour

Wildebeests can be extremely fast and have great endurance which they use to migrate over distance. This is also a key trait when escaping predators like cheetahs, while a cheetah can outrun a wildebeest, it can only quickly in short bursts. So with a running start, a wildebeest is able to escape its grasp.

Frequently asked questions:

Can A wildebeest outrun a lion?

A wildebeest can run up to 80 kilometers per hour which is a similar speed to that of a lion, therefore, a wildebeest can outrun a lion but it is fairly close.

What Is The Fastest African Land Mammal?

While a wildebeest is extremely fast, an East African Cheetah is faster, they can reach speeds of up to 7 miles per hour or 112 kilometers per hour. Despite a cheetah’s speed, it is possible for a wildebeest to escape a hunting cheetah as it has a significantly lower endurance.

How Far Do Wildebeests Migrate?

Wildebeest usually migrate in herds in search for food and drinking water, at the end of the rainy season. Wildebeest begins a large migration, on average, a herd of wildebeest travels 1,800 miles or almost 30,000 kilometers during a migration.

Are Wildebeests Aggressive?

Though wildebeests look like aggressive animals, they are actually extremely docile but quite skittish. They only act aggressively during mating season, when males will fight against each other to win over a female in order to breed.

Why Are Wildebeests Important To The Earth’s Ecosystem?

Wildebeests play an important role in a complex chain of life that includes plants, animals, predators and prey. Their waste serves as fertilizer for the various places they travel to and they serve as a crucial source of food for carnivores like lions and hyenas.

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