THE GREAT MIGRATION

For over a million years , a million and half wildebeest have migrated from Tanzania’s Serengeti plains to what is now Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve. It is one the biggest animal spectacles on the planet, marked by drama, death and re-birth. Following instinct and the rains, the herd moves inexorably in search of greener pastures just over the next horizon. When the herd crosses Kenya’s Mara River, crocodiles await in ambush for the vulnerable young calves. They’re now joined by hundreds of camera packing tourists, who jostle for the best photo position from the instant parking lot of land cruisers and jeeps. But other species prefer to stay away from all this commotion.

That’s when Maasai Mara’s elephants head for the hills. Unfortunately for them, they soon cross into cattle country and herders who don’t want to share their watering holes with an uninvited six ton guest. Brawls seem inevitable and Dr. Limo, from Mara’s Mobile Veterinary Unit , has to patch up the elephant casualties. But other Maasai, like Jackson Mpario, welcome elephants on their community’s land. He’s helping set up the Oloisukut Conservancy on a stunningly scenic escarpment just above the Mara plain. Jackson hopes some of tourists will migrate here as well. It’s still a work in progress, like the millennium old relationship between humans and wildlife near the cradle of mankind.

Website by Appropriate. Photos by Andrew Tkach.