Endemic to South Luangwa National Park, we have the Cookson’s wildebeest. These strange, yet beautiful beasts are more common in the northern territories of the park. Therefore, a sighting of 50 (yes, we counted, and this is an exact figure from the game drive) resulted in a triumphant morning.

If you were to compare the Luangwa Cookson’s wildebeest to the blue wildebeest, a common species found across Africa. Lighter in colour and slightly larger, the Cookson’s also have more distinguishable markings on their neck and face.

Endemic Divine Cooksons Wildebeest

To see herds of this proportion is uplifting, to say the least. Furthermore, Yoram Ndhlobvu, who has been guiding with us for 13 years now explained to our guests Jess and Ade that our Cookson’s Wildebeest were once terrified of vehicles and people in general. Thus, to sit and be able to watch these large herds feeling at ease with us is not only a gift to us, but also the wildebeest.

Endemic Divine Cooksons Wildebeest

I was lucky enough to be on this morning drive as well. The four of us were sitting in the warm Zambian sun, a cool winters breeze ran off our skin. We happily watched as the more dominant males kept a querying eye on us. We looked on content as a calf suckled from his mother. The herd moved on slowly in peace under our admirable gaze.

By Anna Mansfield

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