Nicole Cambré

Belgium

"The great migration"

Winner of National Geographic Nature 2014 - 1st Prize

A migrating wildebeest leaps into the low waters of the Mara River in Tanzania. Wildebeests begin their annual migration at the edge of the Serengeti Plains. On their enormous loop following seasonal rains, 2 million animals encounter deadly crossings like this one at the Mara, infamous home of the giant Nile crocodile. The Great Wildebeest Migration in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most spectacular wildlife events on the planet. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Greatest Show on Earth', The Great Wildebeest Migration is a movement of approximately 1.5 million wildebeest throughout the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystems. 400,000 zebra and 200,000 gazelles accompany them along the way.

TV documentaries feature wildebeest crossing rivers, with many being eaten by crocodiles or drowning in the attempt. While having the appearance of a frenzy, recent research has shown a herd of wildebeest possesses what is known as a "swarm intelligence", whereby the animals systematically explore and overcome the obstacle as one. Major predators that feed on wildebeest include the lion, hyena, cheetah, leopard, and crocodile, which seem to favour the wildebeest. Wildebeest, however, are very strong, and can inflict considerable injury even to a lion. Wildebeest have a maximum running speed of around 80 km/h. The primary defensive tactic is herding, where the young animals are protected by the older, larger ones, while the herd runs as a group. Typically, the predators attempt to cut out a young or ill animal and attack without having to worry about the herd. Wildebeest have developed additional sophisticated cooperative behaviours, such as animals taking turns sleeping while others stand guard against a night attack by invading predators.

Nicole Cambré lives in Brussels with her husband and three daughters. In her daily life, she is a lawyer but in her free time she is a photographer. Photography has been a long time passion which Nicole has taken on more seriously in 2011. Her aim is to document the mood and capture the emotion of a situation she encounters along the road. As she loves to travel, especially off the beaten track, her photographic road may sometimes bend in unexpected ways. Nicole loves Greenland and the cold but Africa is very close to her heart too.

She has a strong preference for monochrome photography and works only with natural light even if it means testing the ISO limits of her camera. Responsible photography is important for her. A selection of her African women portraits were published in a photobook "She" in cooperation with Carlson Rezidor Hotel group and for the benefit of World Childhood foundation. In addition, Nicole supports Finado Ethiopia, Project Luangwa Zambia and SOS Children's villages on a permanent basis.

All pictures are copyright © by Nicole Cambré  |  Official Website

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