This awe-inspiring time-lapse video captured hundreds of thousands of wildebeest fighting across the Mara River from Tanzania into Kenya.

Amazingly, in just thirty minutes as many as ten thousand wildebeest are able to cross the river! It took five days for the photographers to record the entire crossing. The time-lapse was able to capture what still photography could not – the beautiful ribbons formed by the swimming animals fighting the river’s strong current. The video won the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year award for best time-lapse!

Why would wildebeest cross the large river? As almost two million wildebeest live in the Serengeti ecosystem, they must migrate to find new pastures to graze. While harrowing, the migration is a journey that is vital for the creatures’ survival. Will Burrard-Lucas, one of the photographers, explains, “The migration is full of danger and hardship for these resilient creatures. Thirst, hunger, exhaustion, predation and the Mara River are just some of the challenges they must face.” The unbelievable event is considered one of the oldest and final remaining land migrations on the planet.

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