Grass eater

An important species for the natural balance

The religious fear of what is among us, of course, also includes the animal world, and places man under a duty to honor and preserve the creatures that arise under him.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Untouched nature - very close & authentic

The great migration of the artiodactyl

Nduto - Seranera River, Tanzania25.03.2016, 14:00 pm

As we drive from the Tarangire National Reservat to the Nduto area, the big gnus and zebra herds are already gathered in the southern Serengeti and the Nduto area. Most of the animals have already given birth to their young and wandered through the endless seeming savannah, like a string of pearls, always looking for fresh food to produce the necessary milk for their calves.

The caravan is endlessly made up of thousands of animals.

The animals come from the bushland, from the heights of the Nduto territory, they come from all directions. The calves are crowded close to their mothers so as not to attract the beasts of prey in the area and to be sure that they will not get into the catches of the big cats without protection. The wildebeests are more than perfectly adapted to this lifelong hike. Following the rain, and following the fresh grass, they endlessly pass through the country. Zebras and other antelope species are often joined by the wildebeests herd and so the animals migrate together the eternal savannah of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.

In the Nduto area it has become dust-dried again, the wind carries the dust of the dried-out earth through the air. The food for the countless wildebeest and zebras seems to dry up. In addition to fresh grass, water is also indispensable for survival. We see a group of several hundred zebras migrating towards Seranera River to get fresh water. The wildebeests are on the road for thousands, they are also on the way to the river to get the vital water.

We have positioned ourselves on a small hill, directly on the Seranera river, to observe the animals at the potions. There are thousands of wildebeests and zebras streaming to the water's edge. Not far from here is a lioness with a younger lion under a shaded acacia. It's hot, the heat is pressing. The two enjoy the coolness of the nearby river. The food supply, the wildebeest and zebras are closely scrutinized by the lions, but the lions are fed so well that a hunt in the brooding heat does not really make sense.

Nevertheless, the young lion does a very half-hearted hunting attempt. The wildebeest rush out of the water and are now warned of the presence of the lions. The thirst, however, always lets them return to the water station.

The zebras we have seen before are now also at the river to drink. There are many animals, wildebeest and zebras, who are together at the river and drink. For us hobby photographers, this is exactly the time to make the cameras sharp. Several zebras or wildebeest exactly in a line, the heads lowered to drink, as with a ruler, which are exactly the pictures, which every photographer wants to make. Such images are the status quo of photography par excellence. We both believe that we are also ready to climb the Olympus of uniformly oriented almost drawn animal images.

Unfortunately this does not really work with us today.
The reason, we believe, is very simple and fast explained.
The set-up of the animals fits, they almost stand in „row and limb" and the trigger is pressed.
It seems as if the zebras run away every time one of us shoots the camera.
Bitter, the almost finished formation for the picture book is destroyed.
Annoying, it’s to rip out the hairs - what to do?

Everyone accuses the other that the camera is too loud when triggered and thereby the zebras escape.
Well, remedy is only a compromise.
One has to give up the shot and leave the other the precedent.
The compromise is - alternately photographing only so it seems to work.
Troublesome, for the one who has to wait, but it seems to work better.
Supposedly the right strategy.
Yes, it is.
In the end we are able to make quite useful pictures.

So it goes on, the next photographic challenges are waiting for us. But before we get completely out of the dust, we change the position quickly and want to photograph the zebras and wildebeest from another position.

Perhaps we can still get a good picture, now it will be exciting.
Again the same scenario when we trigger the camera.
The animals run frightened, almost panicky from the water.
Even the blind among the seers can see what is happening.
And so we have also seen the misdeeds, the real horror of the zebras.
A hippo is just in the part of the river in the water, in which the zebras drink.
Every time the hippo stretches his nose out of the water, the zebras and the wildebeest run away as stung by a tarantula.

So much for - the trigger is too loud, which scares off the drinking zebras and wildebeest.
Another episode in the animal world of Africa, which has played a trick on us and our technique.


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Robert Gstaltmaier lives in Bischofshofen, near Salzburg, Austria. As a nature lover and hobby photographer, he has been interested in the African continent for many years. Again and again fascinated form the land, animal world and people, he is now traveling the African continent at regular intervals. In the meantime, there are many thousand pictures and videos of animals in the wild, the impressive landscape of Africa and the people living there.

From a hobby became a passion - from a passion became a heart affair and from a heart affair Wildlife Moments was created.

Here you can find further information on the project "Wildlife Moments“.