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The Great Migration

Updated: Mar 5, 2019

Nature looms large in this expensive corner of East Africa and the Great Migration is one of the most phenomenal natural spectacles in the world. It is the annual movement of millions of wildebeest, accompanied by large numbers of zebra, Grant’s gazelle, Thompson’s gazelle, elands and impalas across the greater Maasai Mara-Serengeti ecosystem.

From July through to early October the Mara River system and surrounding plains welcomes the Great Migration from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. The constant battle for survival makes this time of year a particularly exhilarating reason to visit.

Wildebeest are just one of the many species which make the annual pilgrimage through the Maasai Mara ecosystem

As the migration passes through the lush green pastures of the Maasai Mara, it must cross the Mara River system where vast numbers of huge, eerily-patient crocodiles lie in wait for the animals to step foot into the water. The river crossing is considered to be the climax of the migration period and is an emotionally charged experience. Anticipation, heartache, excitement, and fear courses through those lucky enough to witness this great spectacle.

Huge groups of animals, hundreds sometimes thousands strong, consisting of wildebeest, zebra, impala and many other antelope species congregate at various junctions of the Mara River system the air is filled with anticipation. Sounds and grunts of animals nervously edging their way towards a downward precipice, being nudged impatiently by the vast number of animals building up behind them.

With clouds of dust being kicked up from the ground as they search for an easy route down to the water with a manageable crossing point and then an opportunity to scramble up the incline bank towards potential safety on the other side. The sight and sheer magnitude of the herds of animals rushing into the crocodile infested river will fill you with a nervous excitement and make you long for this migrational experience every year.

Once the exhausted survivors have crossed the river they must then battle up steep inclines and make their way to the open, green pastures, which harbour a myriad of dangers in the long, lush grasses. Now they will run a gantlet and be hunted, stalked and chased down by the larger carnivores. Lion (the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti are home to one of the densest lion populations left in the world), hyena, leopard, cheetah and other predators await the migration with eager anticipation. Some predators cleverly lie in ambush for the those which burst over the embankments, being pushed ever forward by the masses of animals behind them, also striving to reach the abundant nourishment of the Mara plains.

Prides of lions, coalitions of cheetah and clans of hyena all take advantage of the opportunity to feed and gain strength for leaner times ahead, with scavengers such as vultures and jackals also competing for their share of the glut.

This journey isn’t simply about the river crossings. It is the continuing story of survival, not only for the herds of prey species, but also the carnivores. It’s an opportunity to experience the herd movement of millions of wildebeest, tens of thousands of zebra and a myriad of other species. Which, until you have witnessed for yourself, is difficult to put into a truly appreciative context.

You will have the peace of mind and satisfaction that you are traveling with a professional, experienced guide at every step of the way. I will be on hand at all times, making sure you get the most of your time and all aspects run seamlessly. My trips are not just for seasoned photographers - whatever your level of experience, from beginner to a dedicated creative looking to build upon your portfolio – everyone is welcome and all skill levels catered for. 

All my journeys offer a small guest to photographic guide ratio, which allows for more personal attention and guidance with the aim of giving you the best, most intimate experience with the nature of your safari.

I will be on hand to assist you in capturing the best possible photos during your trip, no matter your level of photography. Helping you get the most out of your camera, offering unobtrusive, in-field photography mentorship, making sure you capture the best possible images. Assisting with camera settings, composition, explanation in to species behaviour and inspiration to try new techniques - All in aide of capturing more thought provoking images.

If you’d simply rather enjoy the wildlife and only take the occasional iPhone photo, I will be more than happy to supply you with a set of images of your journey. These can include not only the wildlife you’ve encountered but also of you on your safari.

Photography is a journey and it can take you to wondrous places. It can help you notice and appreciate things that other people might miss. I look forward to sharing my passion for the natural world and photography with you as we explore wildlife journeys together.

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