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Venturesome Overland

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I have a very distinct memory of reading three specific words when I was in third grade. I have no idea why these words struck me, but they did, and they have stayed with me ever since: Kalahari, Bushmen, gnu.

A gnu is a blue wildebeest and they are abundant in southern Africa. In east Africa they can congregate in herds of thousands. We haven’t seen nearly that many, but we have seen quite a few. They were all over the Transfrontier Park, hovering under the trees by the sides of the road like buffalo back home. They live as grazers in large groups, with the males staking out territories and the female herds wandering all over to “maximize their reproductive chances.”


Poor things are awfully ugly – even the little ones are nothing to look at, unlike baby buffalo, which are very cute. Audubon calls them “unusual looking.” Lonely Planet says that they look like a cross between a horse and a goat, but they are actually antelope.

As Steve would say, who gnu? (Yeah, I hate myself for that).


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