Photographing Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti NP
The Mighty Serengeti plains play host to one of Africa’s greatest wildlife spectacles in the entire animal kingdom, the annual great wildebeest migration which takes place between Serengeti plains and Masai Mara plains in the famous Serengeti and Masai Mara eco-system, Serengeti is well known for its world’s largest concentration of big cats like lions, cheetah, and hyenas. The wildlife migration referred to as “The Great Wildebeest migration” is an annual movement of a large group of animals of about 2 million, the largest wildlife being the wildebeest some zebras and gazelle that move from Serengeti national park northwards to Masai Mara National Park and back to Serengeti. This migration is one of the prime attractions of the park. Other animals in the park include elephants, leopards, buffalo, giraffes, and many antelopes. Serengeti national park is a fascinating place for wildlife viewing throughout the year. Depending on one’s interests in wildlife activities, different months come with different things to see and enjoy.
All you need to know before planning a safari to photograph Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti
Choosing the right places and staying longer
In order to maximize your chances of seeing the Mara River crossing you need to book several nights in the areas around the Mara River, the migration is forever on the move, and predicting the exact movement and location of the herds is impossible, so try to avoid lodge-hopping and stick to the same location for a few solid days.
Prior to planning on what you want to photograph
While booking your safari please feel to ask for the contact of our lead guides and discuss with him what you exactly want and that will decide where you will stay and plan a perfect location, so that less time is spent driving around deciding on where to position the vehicle our guides know Serengeti well and they will be helpful.
Extreme patience is crucial
The fact with the wildebeest Mara River crossing is that first, you will locate the mega herds and then follow them until they start gathering along the Riverbanks, this can take hours in the hot sun and dusty weather after the herds have gathered in Large numbers then you have to be patient that one of the lead wildebeest can take a plunge into the River and then the entire herd will start crossing, sometimes they may not cross on that day that means you may spend long hours and still fail to see the crossing.
What to pack for the day
Even before considering your photographic equipment, some other tools are essential. Be sure you have plenty of food and drinks on hand because once your vehicle is positioned and waiting for the action to unfold, you can’t get out of the vehicle. So do have something on hand to keep your energy levels high. Equally important are sunscreen, sunglasses, and cover to protect you from the sun. Remember, you might not always be positioned in the shade and could very well end up spending hours sitting out in the sun’s direct rays.
When the crossing starts
The action happens quickly, so make sure your ISO is set high enough to capture the constant movement and avoid blurriness. If you only have one camera, switch between taking stills and video footage, so you can document different angles of the unbelievable action.
Most importantly, just have fun and remember to take a step back from your camera every now and then to truly absorb every aspect of your surroundings. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells. Noise and total chaos surround you and it really is incredible, not to mention an emotional, thing to experience. So often, photographers forget to take it in through their own eyes, as opposed to their lenses
Best time to photography the Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti
August and September are the best times to see the great migration — and your chances of witnessing a river crossing are generally much higher. Come early October, the rainy season in Tanzania will commence, and the herds will embark on their return journey back to the Serengeti.
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