When the words “river crossing” are heard or seen, many people conjure up images of spectacular and dramatic wildebeests in their hundreds upon thousands stampeding, jumping high into the air to cover as much water as possible, gigantic crocodiles tearing into the ranks and heightening the chaos that is already rife within the swimming mass.
This is what draws people from all over the world to come and experience the enchantment of Africa’s greatest natural spectacle.
Once the crossing is over and the wildebeest and zebra are munching away on the grass on the other side of the bank, with adrenaline still pumping through our veins we head off in our vehicles to see what else the Mara has in store.
What about the reality of what we have just witnessed?
If you think about it, what you are seeing is a trial of life and death for these animals, not just in crossing the river, but trying to get in it while being surrounded by many others that are just as driven, anxious, and then trying to get out on the other side while being pushed, stamped upon, squashed under… Its not easy!
Don’t think that I am being negative or critical of the act of viewing a crossing. I am not at all. Witnessing a crossing is an exceptional experience and one that really makes me feel humble and fortunate that I am able to do so. All I am doing is bringing forward the reality of the enchantment.
And the reason for it?
Having a realistic idea and understanding about the crossings, about what the wildebeest and zebra actually endure before, during and after a crossing, what they partake in annually, the intense fear, heightened tension and anxiety they feel, makes it become real and recognised.
How will this affect how you see a crossing?
I can only imagine that it will intensify the experience for you and make it all the more powerful as knowledge brings understanding. By understanding the conglomeration of emotions that these animals confront and their nature, you will be able to fully ‘witness’, appreciate, experience and capture one section of Africa’s greatest natural spectacles.
Taken from Andrew’s recent blog post The Nature of Things, he couldn’t have summed it up better; “[by] capturing the essence of an animal [you will reveal] their true nature.”
Understanding the nature of wildebeest and zebra crossings adds incredible value to the way in which you experience this natural phenomenon.