Wednesday, 6 April 2016

E IS FOR ELEPHANT : A-Z Challenge

Welcome to Day 5 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. My theme is:


'Wildlife Encounters'


Edited extract from a travel essay:

Namibia is nirvana for a photo junkie like me. Intoxicated by sensational scenery and exotic animal sightings, I was overdosing.
My husband takes underwater photos but refuses to carry a camera on land.
'I don't want to see the world through a viewfinder,' he says.
However, 'Can you get a picture?' is his favourite refrain.



Our first stop was Etosha. Namibia’s flagship game park is structured to allow self-drive game viewing. Exploration of an African game park without a guide is a heady experience.





The Etosha Pan dominates the park. This former inland sea stretches into salt-white infinity. 

Nothing had prepared me for its vastness. 

We were watching an ostrich floating on a mirage out on the crackle-glazed pan when we heard branches breaking nearby.

‘Sounds like an elephant.’

I have a husband who delights in scaring me. His strategy is to plant suggestions in the hope that I will succumb to a moment of blind panic. This he finds very amusing.
I sighed at his unsubtle attempt to tease me.
Nevertheless, we lowered our binoculars and swivelled our heads.

An adult bull elephant was breakfasting on an acacia not twenty metres from us. 
'Can you get his picture?' whispered my husband.
The angle was awkward so my shot wasn’t good, but I quietly took his portrait before we snuck away.




See you tomorrow – I’m heading west. Can you guess where and what the next animal will be?



If you want to blog-hop to the next A-Z Challenge, please click HERE



30 comments:

  1. Whooppee... I was right! Great post... especially as you have to be the official tour photographer! Now... what's on the menu for tomorrow?
    Do they have flamingos in South America? ;-)
    AJ at Ouch My Back Hurts

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    1. He he - yes, you were right. I know elephant was a bit obvious, but I wanted to tell that story!
      Clue for tomorrow - you're in the right part of the world... :)

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  2. What your husband's afraid of is that your on-land photographs might be better than his! I was watching a YouTube video yesterday of an elephant destroying a car while the occupants were still in it - they are not to be taken lightly.

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    1. Hah! You may be right (although he does take amazing underwater photos - all the ones I post are by him). As for the dangers of elephants - it's important to take great care and read the signs! When we saw this one we froze and assessed the situation. Fortunately he was more interested in his breakfast. :)

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  3. With all wild animals it is wise to be very wary around them as their world is full of predators and we don't want to present ourselves in that category! Wish I could have been there with you and husband on that plain. :-)

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    1. Hi Roland, Namibia is a wonderful country to be able to explore without the need for official safari guides, but you're right - you do have to be sensible - and sensitive(!) - around wild animals!

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    1. It was, Silver Fox, it really was. (And there will be more to come in other posts.)

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  5. I've seen elephants in Asia but not yet in Africa. Roll on September when I shall.

    Today my story features 3 obscure E words

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    1. The Asian elephants are pussycats in comparison, Keith - but fabulous animals all the same. I've left a comment on your latest post.

      By the way - how do you do a link like that? I've been trying and failing to achieve it.

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  6. I was right about elephant :) Great post, I love the photos! I've seen them only in ZOO...

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    1. Thanks, Zeljka. I saw my first elephant in London Zoo - and have never stopped loving them!

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  8. Beautiful creatures, but best to admire from a distance!

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  9. Quite! Actually I do have more elephant encounter stories, but I'll save them for future posts! :)

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  10. OK....when I saw that photo of the huge elephant right behind you, my mouth fell open-no lie! That is uneasily close. Great shot though as well as the others. you have had a wonderful experience. A dear friend of mine lived in South Africa for 3 yrs when he was a teen. He took a tour and was in the back of a jeep when one bull elephant was not happy and started to charge them. My friend said he got very close and he was yelling at the driver to gun it all he could. He was bloody lucky!

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  11. Hi Birgit - elephants usually give plenty of warning if they want you to back off, including a mock charge before the real one. The trick is to recognise when an animal is giving a serious warning and retreat before it's forced into action! Having said that - there are exceptions... a bull elephant in musth - or must - is highly unpredictable!

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  12. Wow! Brilliant... Must confess I do regret, sometimes, watching things through the camera lens and not really 'experiencing' it. The thing I hate most is having to film a theatre production, so anything OH is in now I refuse to do! I'm guessing flamingo for tomorrow.

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  13. Thanks, Liz. To carry a camera or not to carry a camera? It's a tough call sometimes, but during my years of freelance travel writing, it has been an essential tool.

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  14. Wow, you have been everywhere! :D Great pictures - I don't think that my hands would have been steady enough to take such a clear picture with the elephant so close!

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

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    1. Ha ha, not everywhere, Tracy - but I've been fortunate enough to do quite a bit of travelling.

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  15. Very cool. I really do need to get out more.

    I’m exploring different types of dreams and their meanings.
    E is for Epic Dreams
    Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Blogs

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    1. Thanks, Stephen. Yes, elephants are very, very cool!

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  16. Another great entry, Susan. My daughter and I discussed always seeing life though a camera lens recently as we both get designated for the job on trips. With scenery you can still look at it afterwrads but events such as a sporting (or animal) encounter mean it is either one or the other.
    Ann

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    1. Thanks, Ann. Yes, sometimes it a split decision. I still regret some of the photos I didn't take because I was too busy watching the event, but there you go.

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  17. What an incredible experience this was! I recently learned a lot about elephants from Jodi Picoult's book Leaving Time--about their complex matriarchal social structure and lifelong mother/daughter bonds and mourning rituals--all of which causes great suffering in captivity. So, it's a delight to see your free roaming elephants. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Deb. There's nothing like seeing animals in their natural environment - I don't think I could bear to see an African elephant in captivity now.

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  18. Everybody loves ellies! Me included :)

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  19. Everybody loves ellies! Me included :)

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