Spicies: Blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus)
Location: Maasai Mara, Kenya
Behind The Lens
The Great Migration of Wildebeest and the other herbivores accompanying them is undoubtedly one of the greatest shows on Earth. Most people don’t realise that rather than being an annual event, it’s a never-ending loop that sees the great herd forever following the rains and new grass it brings with it. Witnessing hundreds of thousands of large animals together in one place is a spectacular sight at any point in time, however between late July and early October, it’s possible to see one of nature’s most dramatic events unfolding pretty much on a daily basis as the Wildebeest cross the Mara River from Tanzania to Kenya.
There is extreme panic and confusion at the crossing points in seasons when the river flows near full capacity. Strong currents and vast numbers of waiting predators cause massive fatalities. Even in years when the river flows more gently, the crocodiles, lions and others can exact a heavy toll. There isn’t one or more primary crossing points - in some locations, just a few animals may attempt the gauntlet. In contrast, at others, masses of individuals can create a stream of life running perpendicular to the river for hours at a time. It’s intense.
The viewing experience
“Go Time” captures perfectly the moments of drama before these wildebeest quite literally take the plunge. It’s impossible to know how many of them made it to the other side, but for all the animals that do this crossing twice a year, it is likely that eventually, it will be what does them in.
The power of this image is that it conveys the chaos of a Mara river crossing almost as accurately as seeing it in the flesh; it’s as if you can hear the rush of water and the frantic cries of the animals as they are caught up in the moment.
Rather than the high-quality print it is, it almost feels like a screengrab from an action camera mounted to the backside of one of the animals. It’s a moment of raw, unfiltered drama that brings a piece of Earth’s most incredible show right into your home or office.
This image is available as a high-quality print in a range of sizes.