Great Migration

Maasai Mara National Reserve

Slideshow (Flickr)

A herd of wildebeests crossing the Mara River as part of the Great Migration Basically, all the wildebeests give birth at the same time to a half million calves in Ngorongoro in Tanzania. Then when the rains end, they all start migrating north to follow the rains. So you've got 1.7 million wildebeests, a quarter million zebras, and nearly half a million gazelles all following the rains and eventually they end up needing to cross the Mara River
Some will drown trying to cross, some will break legs going up and down the banks, and some will get picked off my crocodiles This crossing seemed to be 100% successful though. Didn't see any bodies at the end. What sucks for them is that they follow the rains, so they could end up crossing multiple times if it rains on one side, and then the other
Crossing the Mara River Crossing the Mara River Crossing the Mara River
Success! So if you want to increase your chances of seeing a crossing (which is in no way guaranteed), you basically need to devote a full day to stalking to wildebeest herds They basically wander along the banks, and occasionally they'll reach a good crossing point and if one takes the plunge down the bank, then they usually all follow
So all these vehicles are stalking the same herd. Then if you see a dust cloud, which means the wildebeests have taken the plunge down the riverbank, then everyone guns it at the same time and races to get their clients there first. It's pandemonium. Blue wildebeests Some wildebeests that didn't make it
Hyena harassing some stragglers Lots of wildebeests Watering hole
The wildebeest herd This was the second crossing I caught that day A lot dustier this time, so it was tough to get good photos
First crossing involved a lot more Some zebras getting in on the action Going single file
Traffic jam at the exit point That's how they can break legs, trying to get up rocks like that This guy had a terrible exit strategy
Eventually he figured it out

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