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Matthew Poole | Leap of Faith


It is every wildlife photographer's dream to witness and photograph the Great Migration. This annual event takes place between the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, where massive herds of wildebeest cross the Grumeti and the Mara Rivers to get to the greener grazing grounds on the other side.

We had been following the massive herds for a few days, building up towards the excitement of the river crossing.

Great migration of Wildebeest Gnus in Tanzania, East Africa

The roads leading down to the banks were in very bad condition, and the vehicle got stuck trying to manoeuvre into a good viewing position for where the wildebeest would cross. While the other vehicles came past, driving on with the moving herd, we were stuck and lost precious time to get into the right spot at the right time. As we finally got unstuck and back onto the river's bank, luckily the herd suddenly changed direction and came straight towards us.

Great migration of Wildebeest Gnus in Tanzania, East Africa

Right at the spot where we were, the herd of around 10 000 wildebeest crossed the river, heading straight for us.

Great migration of Wildebeest Gnus in Tanzania, East Africa

A lot of crocodiles were also lurking around the river for opportunities (lunch opportunities that is), and one wildebeest got caught but managed to fight back and escape to the relative safety of the river bank.

Great migration of Wildebeest Gnus in Tanzania, East Africa

The dust and noise of such a large number of wildebeest grunting and calling at each other from the different banks was incredibly exciting and beautiful to witness. The extreme heat and humidity that day all added to the atmosphere and realness of the experience. I hope these images and video footage convey some of the excitement we felt that day!




Great migration of Wildebeest Gnus in Tanzania, East Africa

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Don't forget to watch the video in HD!


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