I’d come halfway around the planet to Tanzania to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration, but specifically to watch those animals leap from the cliffs of the riverbank into the Mara River.
I wanted to capture that moment, not only in my memory but digitally to share long after I returned home. To remember it forever—every detail.
Over an hour had passed. The numbers were getting higher, so many that all we could see were wildebeest and zebras.
With our Land Rover parked on the opposite side of the river where we’d hope they would jump, we waited. We were ready with our telephoto lens when the first brave soul leaped.
Then, suddenly it happened. Not as expected, but instead, the zebra and wildebeest walked down the grassy slope, and with no need to leap, they walked into the water for a safer descent.
While the water splashed as expected, as we made some excellent images of the splash, the wildebeest had picked their spot wisely, so they didn’t need to leap, reducing the threat of a broken leg.
Yet, this was still the ultimate experience in an unexpected way. Our Land Rover sat in precisely the spot the wildebeest chose to ascend.
Coming up out of the river, on the opposite side, seemed more difficult than I expected. I had always imagined the beginning, but the surprise was the end.