This is the third post from our recent trip to Mashatu in late July.
“I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendour of fire.
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.”
– Saint Patrick
We were privileged to be able to sit and watch this herd of breeding Elephants walk very close passed us on their way down to the lower areas to feed.
The herds comprised just females and calves.
The passing parade was walking with purpose but was very peaceful. The calves at the front of the herd often assumed the responsibility of ensuring the parked vehicle knew its place!!!
It was early in the morning.
On another occasion we saw this herd walking along a game path and our ranger Maifala knew exactly where they were going to come out of the bush just close to where the Matabole joins the Majale river.
“The more I sit quietly and watch and listen the more I become aware of the natural intelligence all around me.”
“For the 99 percent of the time we’ve been on Earth, we were hunter and gatherers, our lives dependent on knowing the fine, small details of our world. Deep inside, we still have a longing to be reconnected with the nature that shaped our imagination, our language, our song and dance, our sense of the divine.”
–Janine M. Benyus
Mum was allowing junior to throw his weight around. These youngsters are very cute, all “cocky” with ears and trunks flapping all over in an uncontrolled way – you cannot help but smile.
No aggression from the female just posturing.
The calves were always close to their mothers. Some felt emboldened by the security of their mother’s presence.
Each herd was coming down early in the morning from the higher ground where they had spent the night to feed down by the rivers. I think it must be warmer higher up where there is not the temperature inversion.
This was another occasion where a herd was coming down near the Matabole river.
Each herd followed a well-worn path.
The herd could see us from afar. Some were more cautious smelling us before getting close.
This female was not going for us, her ears fell forward as she stepped down the sand bank.
A typical scene of a calf keeping very close to its mother.
It was good to see so many calves – a healthy sign.
Down at the Majale river, a small herd crossed over on its way down to feed further down the river.
One happy family.
The herds did not waste time. They were on a mission to get down to their feeding grounds.
It was noticeable how small the female’s tusks were and many of them did not have any tusks. That could be their saving grace in the eternal dance with poachers.
“Your deepest roots are in nature. No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of life you lead, you remain irrevocably linked with the rest of creation.”
– Charles Cook
On each occasion, we parked close to the Elephant paths but did not block the path. They walked within five to ten metres of us on each occasion.
We sat very quietly mesmerised by the spectacle passing us.
On no occasion did any of the Elephants give us a “rev”. It was very peaceful and serene. It is quite remarkable how quickly and quietly these huge animals passed us.
“You didn’t come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here.”
– Alan Watts
Explore, seek to understand, marvel at its interconnectedness and let it be.
Great piece Howard. I really enjoy your postings!.
Absolutely love this post Mike! Think it’s all the baby ellies tucking at my heart. Mashatu really delivered. Great work.
Thank you my friend!!
i realy like the place
Yes Moses me too!