This morning I woke up to the thinning darkness of night. I’d heard lions roar somewhere far away, around four. Outside was cool with the smell of rain.
I am in Africa. Say the word out loud “Africa”, feel it.
Around five thirty, I stop at the Moolman’s house to switch on some equipment. The baboons are making a racket, getting down from the trees above. I notice the gate, open, at a peculiar angle. The gate tells me that one of my favourite creatures have been here … is maybe still here! I don’t hear him, can’t feel him, but the leaves he ate are there, the impressions of his feet on the rain wet soil. It’s still dark, the grey whisper of day now not that far away.
I walk through the garden, hoping I might see him, but he’s gone … maybe we’ll meet him on the game drive later, maybe you’ll meet him.
Loxodonta Africana, each elephant an individual, same as you and I are human. When next you see one, please don’t just see a bulky beast, a wild animal. Look at the beauty in their movement, the fun in their play. See their tender touch, the mother and her young calf, the wandering bull. Sense their calm, intuit their intelligence and feel their fierce and massive power.
If you can, look into their eyes, it is all there. Look with an open heart, allow yourself to let them look back into you. Elephants are alive, right now, at this moment, the same as you or me.
Soon I will be in Damaraland. One of my favourite places on earth. The northwestern rock desserts of Namibia, remote, wild and breathtakingly beautiful. A place where magic is still truly alive, reality as fragile and powerful as myth.
I will disappear there, along with springbuck and oryx, black rhino, cheetah and lion.
I will breathe the desert and listen to it’s endless quiet thunder in my heart. I will see more sunsets than humans, and, if I’m lucky, I will see elephant. Desert elephants!
I will be alive in my own dream, and will tell you if I saw them when I get back.
Enjoy the wildlife, the passion and WildEarth!

Written by Pieter Pretorius