In Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kent-based photographer Mark Bridger captures a throng of wildebeest as they plummet into the Mara River from the elevated land. This is the Great Wildebeest Migration, a perilous journey undertaken by approximately one and a half million wildebeests and several hundred thousand gazelles and zebras annually.
Every year around July, the great herds of wildebeest will make their way into the greener plains of Maasai Mara from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, where the grasslands have shriveled in the dry climate. Following the movement of the rains, they traverse numerous rivers despite their fear of the rushing water and it crocodiles. Many of the smaller and younger wildebeest get swept away by the currents or eaten by predators, leaving their companions to continue without them to the other side. Sometimes parent animals return to the river in hopes of rescuing their young.
Once the majestic creatures have reached the plains of the Mara, they feast on the verdant grasses, becoming healthy and strong and awaiting their return journey in October. Here, Bridger captures the courage and spirit of the beautiful animals, who make their annual passage in the face of unfathomable dangers.
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