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Pictures from There She Goes Again

There She Goes Again

Discovering myself, one trip at a time.

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Sat
1
Oct '11

Damaraland

Up bright and early (6 am) and out for a drive to see if we can find desert elephants.  We (we being Regan) see these guys first.

Owls

How in the world did Regan spot these guys?

After that Regan quickly find new elephant tracks and very fresh poo.  We’re all very excited.  Unfortunately we hit an area where we can’t drive further unless we want to sink into quicksand.

Dry riverbed

Could you drive in this? I certainly couldn't. Well I could start but I'd be stuck as soon as all four wheels were in the dirt.

We try to go the long way around only to discover there’s no way to cross the riverbed. We have to backtrack and figure something else out. It turned out to be worth the effort, we saw Rosie’s herd (the three herds have names – Rosie’s is NOT friendly) but couldn’t get close.  Regan and the other Wilderness guide think one of the elephants is in labor.  How amazing would that be to see a brand new baby elephant?  Unfortunately by the time we see them off in the distance and head their way they’ve disappeared.  All but one large male who we spent a while watching.  He actually laid down for a nap!  I’ve never seen an elephant lie down, they don’t show that in nature programs.  It was kind of freaky, I kept thinking he was dead but considering he’d just been eating and moved every so often I felt pretty confident he was just napping.

Elephant

First eat, then nap.

Elephant lying down

So much work to find a comfortable position.

Elephant lying down

Nap time

We’re feeling very fortunate.  There are only three herds of desert elephants and yesterday we were told one was 1-1/2 hours away and nobody had seen the other two for 3 weeks.  A couple of things I’m realizing:  there’s no way you could do this without a knowledgeable guide and a 4-wheel drive vehicle and it’s worth it to pay for this since the guides talk to each other and can work together to locate animals.

I can’t believe the terrain Regan is driving over.  Before becoming a guide he worked for Audi for years, test driving their cars.  He’s driven at 290 km/hour.  I don’t know what that is in miles but I know it’s well over the speed limit.  When he’s driving us around here he makes it look so easy, he’d be great in snow – sand is absolutely no problem for him.  I’d drive 10 feet and be stuck spinning my wheels.

We head back to camp for lunch and then around 4:00 head out again.  We’re driving, driving, driving and I’m thinking we’re not going to see anything.   Regan starts heading down a riverbed into a canyon sort of area and oh my god, there’s a herd of elephants.  It’s Oskar’s herd which has a one-month old baby!  We are all beside ourselves.  We must have watched them for two hours.  I think we all could have stayed all night actually.  There is nothing else like this.  Time flies and you forget about everything.  At one point a male looked straight at us and starting walking toward the truck.  Regan wasn’t worried at all but it freaked Charles and I out a bit.  They are massive and when they look at you there is no doubt they ARE looking at you.

Elephants

Look, a baby!

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