WorldPix Foundation

The Crossing


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Photographer:  Paul Lynch

Location:  Masai Mara, Kenya

Description: I have been to Kenya many times In search of a perfect crossing to photograph. What is a crossing you ask? Well, let me explain. There are almost 2 million animals – wildebeest, zebras, gazelles, etc that move together in “The Great Migration,” which starts on the plains of the Serengeti, Tanzania, and ends in the Masai Mara, Kenya. Tanzania to Kenya and back to Tanzania – and so it has been for hundreds of years. The big catch for the animals… the last leg of the migration includes crossing crocodile-infested waters in Kenya. This sets up a spectacle unlike any other in wildlife photography. Thousands of animals dashing across the dangerous riverbed hoping not to become lunch. 

It is hard to time the crossings as they can occur anytime between June and October and these sorts of trips are usually panned 12 months in advance. We have been to Kenya in June, July, August and finally September bleeding into October. We have gotten small crossings but never the big show. 

Until this day!  On the FINAL day of our Worldpix Safari, we finally got the show we had been waiting for. Very late in the season for sure and Interestingly the lack of crocodiles in this particular riverbed made for a scene of a lifetime. Normally the animals dash across in one small spot where the crocs line up to dine. But, on this day there were no crocodiles to be found. They say nature “abhors a vacuum” and in the absence of flesh-eating crocs the great migration poured into the riverbed from shore to shore. They marched confidently and directly towards us – we estimated almost 100,000 animals over a 2-hour period. I’ve never seen anything like this!! The guides with us and around us also said it was the most densely packed crossing they had ever witnessed.  At this moment I chose to capture the scene with a panorama. The final product is 15 photos stitched together in a photo that can be printed at least 12 feet wide. 


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