So far I have covered The Peninsula, Little Peninsula and the Lookout Crossing points in this series of posts. All three of these crossing points are situated just downstream of the Wild Eye Mara Camp, we now venture slightly further north, upstream of the Kiboko Camp and feature a crossing point which, until this season, was not accessible to visitors of the Mara Triangle.
Aptly named after the BBC film crews based many hours of river crossing footage form this exact spot with a special license and access permissions. This year saw the mara Triangle Conservancy open up a seasonal travel along this stretch of the river, giving visitors access to yet another spectacular crossing point.
So it may not be BBC quality footage but its pretty decent considering it was captured on an iPhone right?
Apart from the masses of wildebeest we witnessed cross here in 2015, there was almost always a massive dust cloud hanging in the air at these crossings.
There was a lot of dust…
We enjoyed crossings here both in the middle of the day as well as early morning, which provided much better light for photography. As with the Peninsula, there is a gentle slope which the herds climb as they make there way towards the open plains just west of the river. As they do so, the individuals at the front of the herd tend to be slightly higher than those closer to the river, providing great opportunities to show the sense of scale with a seemingly endless herd of wildebeest filling the frame and background.
As with all of the crossings, youngsters separated from their mothers in the chaos return to the rivers edge, bleating and calling in a desperate attempt to reunite with the respective cows.
On one of the occasions, a very obviously sick and weak individual was one of the last to cross the river and clamber up the steep banks and onto the plains. It was obvious that this individual had been struggling to keep up with herd for some time and the prominent pelvic girdle and rib-lines gave an indication of his fate even before a long Hyeana arrived on the scene.
What followed was a relatively short but intense couple of minutes where the hyaena badgered and forced the wildebeest to expend every last bit of energy in an attempt to fend for its life.
Eventually the wildebeest’s hind quarters could no longer bare the weight of its body and its fate was sealed.
Predation is a real risk for the herds at almost every crossing point as the noise and commotion attracts predators from far and wide.
The BBC crossing point delivered some great photographic opportunities in 2015 and i look forward to seeing what it will produce in 2016.