Migration is a phenomenon common to many species of animals prompted by a desire for enhanced food sources, water availability, more hospitable climate and breeding places. The desires that fuel the impetus to move are primal and are also common to human populations who find themselves in less than optimal living conditions. Arduous and perilous journeys are undertaken by humans with the same underlying themes of vulnerability, fear, survival and risk as in animal migrations. These common themes are explored using the Great African Wildebeest and Zebra Migration.
Thousands of wildebeest and zebra cross the Mara River from Kenya to the plains of Tanzania from July to November in an awe inspiring display. Dangers in the form of lions, crocodiles and the treacherous crossing of the Mara River kill many but nothing stops the natural movement of animals intent on reaching more favourable living condtions. Fast currents and steep banks all but denied escape onto the tree-covered far side of the Mara River. New arrivals tried unsuccessfully to scramble over the lead group that could not climb quickly enough onto the available dry ground. Within minutes, the riverbank was lined with drowned wildebeest that eventually became marooned on rocks well downstream where the vultures and crocodiles were waiting.