After photographing at Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Serengeti National Park, the final stop on my African photo safari was the Mara River, near the border between Tanzania and Kenya.
Here I watched a natural spectacle like no other: the annual wildebeest migration when wildebeest (along with zebra, gazelle and eland) cross the river in the hundreds of thousands.
The never-ending migration routes of the animals is what defines the Serengeti Ecosystem. It’s not something that starts and stops, but a constant movement as the animals search for food and water. Changes in the environment and weather patterns are the factors that alter when and where the animals choose to be at any given time. They need to follow the rains and the growth of new grass.
As they travel the northern part of their route, the path is cut many times by the Mara River – a dangerous obstacle not only for its swift current but also for the predators that are concealed within it.
I’m not sure if anyone understands how the moment of crossing is chosen and by which of the many animals. The anticipation builds as the wildebeest pile up on the edge of the cliff … and then dissipates … as they seem to change their minds and find a different place to cross. The monster crocodiles foiled again as they await their feast.
Eventually a choice is made and as soon as one wildebeest enters the water they all go together in a thunderous stampede like a courageous protest of the wild — they can’t kill us all.
I hope you enjoyed seeing the wildebeest migration through my lens. While this was the last stop on my photo safari, I still have lots of photos to share from all of the destinations on my trip.
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