In my line of work, I am periodically treated to spectacles and experiences about which many can only dream. Recently I was in The Okavango Delta when I had such an experience. I hope that Denen De Silva doesn't mind me using one of his photo
graphs here so that I can better share this exquisite story. For those who don't know, the Okavango Delta is an enormous (13,500 square kilometres) inland delta composed of innumerable islands scattered in an expanse of crystal clear water.
We were camped on the banks of a seasonal river course which was flooded.
Late one afternoon while I was strolling close to the camp, three Painted Dogs came trotting toward me and toward the camp. Those in my party who were caught in the shower simply watched over the canvas walls of their showers, while the rest of us followed the dogs on foot. Walking with wild Painted Dogs is an incredible experience. This is not only because they are so beautiful and energetic but also because they are completely disdainful of humans and seem not to even notice one's presence.
Not wanting to in
terfere with the dogs, we turned to return to the camp when we noticed a small group of four elephants (including a baby) drinking at the river nearby. So we made a detour and went to watch them.
As we watched we became aware that more and more elephants were silently approaching through the mopane forest.
We watched their numbers swell until there were about 200 elephants on the opposite bank, and then they crossed the river . . .
. . . and continued calmly right through our camp!
I did manage to get some video and Dean Paarman kindly stitched it together into a short clip. If you would like to watch the video, please go to http://www.youtube.com/user/deanpaarman?blend=1&ob=5#p/u/0/D4H4ap7MEjM