Epic Elephants of Etosha, Namibia
"We listen to the still evening air. Nothing. There is not the slightest sound coming from the procession of giants walking past, several tons heavy but quiet as mice. Their colossal silhouettes first move silently in front of the pink sunset sky, then fade in the dusty twilight before finally they are lost in the dark" (from the book: Etosha. Rhythms of an African Wilderness by Claudia & Wynand du Plessis). Observing elephants in the wild, even in less spectacular scenery, is always a memorable experience. At first it's mainly their sheer mass & muscle strength that impresses us humans, but there is MUCH more about elephants that's truly amazing.
For one, they are social and caring creatures, looking after their families and protecting their young & weak (see photo above: Elephant calf protected by the herd). Then they are highly emotional, showing aggression, fear & excitement and even mourning their dead.
Another fascinating discovery has been their ability to communicate over dozens of kilometers via ultrasound with each other, which has been researched in depth by scientists in Namibia's Etosha National Park.
If you want to catch a glimpse of the elephants' magnificence, take time to observe and photograph them. Best opportunities present themselves at the waterholes of Etosha.
Elephants drink regularly & take extensive time to lessen their thirst, but also to relax & socialize afterwards (see photo above).
During the hot months of the year the herds' arrival at waterholes often coincides with the setting of the sun, presenting us photographers with fantastic opportunities for atmospheric shots (see photo below).
Hope we could increase your enthusiasm & love for Namibia's elephants.
With best regards, Claudia & Wynand
Claudia & Wynand du Plessis NAMIBIA WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHERS www.photos-namibia.com
PS: For more details on Etosha's elephants have a look at our book Etosha. Rhythms of an African Wilderness by Claudia & Wynand du Plessis.
For in-depth reading on the full range of elephant behavior we recommend the book 'Elephant Sense and Sensibility" by Michael Garstang (availabe at Amazon).