By: Scott Ramsay, YearInTheWild.com
For the past few weeks I have been travelling through Kaokoland and Damaraland in north-west Namibia. My first highlight of the trip was spending time in the massive conservancy of Puros, an area of incredible scenery and the desert elephants.
One misty morning my Himba guide Robbin Uatokuja and I found them on the hillside of one of the mountains. We watched them from afar for a while, then they came walking slowly past us down the huge gravel plain towards the dry Huarosib River. Robbin and I were with the only people for miles around and we watched the ellies for several hours, but it went so quickly. The surreal light, the immense landscape, the sound of elephants walking softly across the gravel plains, the ellies which seemed so happy in such a harsh environment and let us get quite close to them…I’m still not sure if I was dreaming the whole experience!
Definitely something I’ll never forget.
[quote]It’s important to note that these are not a separate species of elephant. They are the same Loxodonata africana that you will see in Kruger, Tsavo, Tembe or Amboseli – they have just adapted remarkably well to arid conditions, a remarkable feat for any animal, even humans. Importantly too, these are unfenced elephants, roaming free across community land which the Himba people still own and use for livestock of goats and cattle. It’s a very different scene to traditional wildlife areas in South Africa, where there are lots of fences and local communities are often absent. There’s definitely a sense of old Africa here, where wild animals and humans live side by side – not always in total harmony, but certainly with respect and freedom of movement.” – YearInTheWild.com [/quote]