There are views so big, spaces so wide, that an elephant standing in the open, will become a dot so small, it is not visible to the eye. It will disappear on the canvas of infinite beauty, from every wispy tuft of grass, to distant mountains and the sky blue of continuous horizons.
You feel each breath you draw as far away as the endless horizon, and the mountains as close as the air you breathe.
It is a sensation, a feeling. It is a reality where the space is is so part of you, you of it, that it is easy to remember..every thing you feel is real.
This is what what the desert brings to me. I can feel it now. I can touch it.
Damaraland, Namibia is such a place. Where you can experience this and the word 'expedition' comes to life. I went there with my close friend Rory Johnstone, who you've met here at WildEarth. I did see more sunrises than people, and became invisible in the solitude and vastness of that place. I saw elephants, we walked with a black rhino and woke up with lions roaring in the desert. Had coffee around a stone ringed fire, when they walked out on the forever canvas of the ancient Huab valley.
I left that spectacular wilderness and arrived back at this one, Djuma, another very special place. As always, things at WildEarth are changing, progressing, getting you closer to our nature!
The tank is a happy, distant memory now, winter has arrived, the impala are halfway through their rut and the ellies are coming back more and more!
The wildlife's been fantastic! Elephants at Vuyatela pan, the Mapogo male with a belly like a hippo at Buffelshoek dam, sandy patch lioness and Karula's cub surprising us at Treehouse dam.
I write this more just to say hello to you, to scribble down a few words to draw you more into the spirit of nature. Over the next few weeks WE will see amazing sights, share intimate moments with wild, wonderful animals and hopefully, feel that beauty stronger in our hearts.
My adventure in Damaraland reminded me yet again how evocative nature is, how the spirit of exploration and the power of passion, can be so much greater than any individual person, specie or event. Then, the elephants last night!
They let us wait for a while, or shall I say WE had to wait a little while, but what a place to wait. The small birdlife, strarling, dove and threebanded plover, early evening and Humgo the hippo snorting and yawning, rippling the sunset gold water.
WE waited and they came..First a few, gentle gray giants in the crepuscular glow of evenings' approach. They walked slow and heedful, all of them acquainted to the youngest addition to their family herd ... a little one, perfect from trunk to toe, wobbly legs and eyes opened only weeks ago.
Such a beautiful scene, a sea of legs and trunks, all ancient next to his little elephant body. His trunk still only a floppy nose he'll still learn to use with dexterous precision.
Every day out here, I see and feel such beautiful things, and then there are events that just, yet again, leaves me in absolute awe of our wonderful earth, her capacity for beauty,magic and life.
It leaves me with a feeling as vivid and enchanting as the silhouettes of the elephants leaving, the little one kept safe and sheltered in the embrace of the whole herd. They are free to live, right now, as you think of them!
Explore the dream, share the surprise and enjoy WildEarth! Everything you feel is real.
Written by Pieter Pretorius