Thousands of zebras and gazelles thunder across Tanzania's withering Northern Serengeti plains, gambling their lives by crossing the Mara River, which is full of crocodiles. Newly born calves are stalked the entire way by lions and hyenas for whom the Great Migration represents a meaty buffet.
The ultimate scene of survival, the migration is an annual event timed to the rains that come between July and October. Capturing on all this on camera is no minor feet. These images were collected with the help of a 4x4 and no little courage.
The morning drive began with tracking the lions we had heard growling in the night. We came up upon three of them quite quickly and this young tyke couldn't have been cuddlier! Just like a house cat, he was busy having some good old fun with this stick he found in the grass...
..and he decided to take it for a walk. A loooong walk. His mother wasn't all too impressed and left him behind for us to enjoy gawping at. Just like Fluffy back home..
Not long after, we found the Man of the Pride. Having just had a massive dinner, he was pretty docile and after 15 minutes watching him snoozing, he got a sudden itch and went to sort it out. Aaahhhh... that's better.
I am obsessed with birds. I have a permanent crick in my neck and get giddy when I see anything with feathers. Patiently waiting for a crossing to happen, we spotted this awesome bird of prey - a Tawny Eagle. We drove right beneath him. Pretty chilled out, he kept an eye on us as we skirted silently beneath his perch.
You sit patiently waiting and suddenly, once one goes, they ALL go. We whizzed from our hidey-hole to watch them battle the currents, and we were all completely awe-struck. The noise of the grunting animals, the splashes attracting crocodiles and all you feel like doing is egging them on. Come on!
When you see youngsters like this week old zebra coursing through the river you just hold your breath, hoping against hope that the looming crocodile doesn't snap him up. Zebras are fiercely family orientated and with Mum's help he got across.
After watching two wildebeest dragged away by crocodiles the size of a pick up truck, we all sighed in relief as the last of the brave herd pushed through the currents towards the opposite banks where we were. Each one of them grunted their support once they reached the other side and off they went in vast numbers. We felt like applauding their resolve - until we considered what challenges still lay ahead..
Although I did get pretty excited to see these feathered creatures up close, the circumstances were pretty sad. Griffon Vultures are one of the largest vultures in the world with a wingspan of up to 2.8 metres!
One of the most dangerous creatures to encounter in the African Bush is a solitude male buffalo. These old guys 'retire' from the herd when they find it too hard to keep up, and the youngsters drive them out. Bravado driven by fear means you don't want to be anywhere near these guys on foot.. up to 910kg of meat trundling toward you could give you wings.
African Elephants are some of the most magnificent creatures. You could spend endless hours watching them - or letting them watch you. This hungry creature had a good old time playing with his food, showing us how it was done... or wasn't done! Er, you missed a bit.
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