Fleeing the flames
Greg was on safari with friends in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park when he spotted smoke. It came from a grass fire sweeping across the plain. Driving towards it, he saw a lone wildebeest, seemingly reluctant to move. Its leg was broken. As the blaze approached, he watched in horror. ‘It was incredibly hot and smoky, but we stayed, willing the animal to leave’. Finally it did, just as the flames were lapping at its tail. He took the shot as part of a bigger story on wildebeest migration. Every year around 1.3 million animals move from the Serengeti to Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve and back in search of food and water. Many perish on the journey, often drowning at river crossings, succumbing to fires, or becoming prey for hyenas or lions. ‘I want to portray some of the challenges they face,’ explains Greg. Though this animal escaped the flames, its fate is still uncertain.
Nikon D3s + 80–400mm f4.5–5.6 lens at 175mm; 1/1000 sec at f5.6; ISO 1250; beanbag.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
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Greg Du Toit, South Africa
Greg is a professional wildlife photographer and African safari guide. He is the author of two books, African Wildlife Exposed and Phototips - Getting It Right In Camera. Greg is passionate about communicating his appreciation and awe for wild creatures through his work. He was named Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2013.