Renowned wildlife photographers Peter and Beverly Pickford recently paid a visit to Nambwa and were fortunate enough to witness some amazing sightings, including a huge herd of elephants going for a drink at the waterhole. This is what Peter had to say about his experience:
“The elephant hesitates, one forefoot in the air swinging slowly back and forth. It has our scent, its trunk held upward to the wind. We sit still. I talk to it softly so that there is no pretence that we are inanimate. I imitate the low rumbling which elephants use to reassure each other in times of distress. It is a poor mimicry, but the elephant listens, its ears forward. Its forefoot comes down. It shakes its head. I rumble again. Again it listens but this time it relaxes and turning, walks to the water with a heavy nodding of its head. And like the breach of a dyke the elephants flow out of the bush from behind us. At first in a single file trickle, that grows slowly wider, until finally the dust hangs thick from the rush of hundreds of huge round feet clamouring to quench their thirst.
I am endlessly fascinated by the hierarchy of elephants, who drinks first, who waits, who declares the coast clear, who turns and stands defiant in defence. The bulls may dominate with their size, but elephants are a matriarchal society and it is the experienced cows that lead. It was a cow that declared us safe and advanced past us to the water. I look for her, with her singular shaped tusks, amongst the crowd of great grey bodies. She is across the channel, wet with mud. She has drunk her fill and is now luxuriating in a mud bath. The mud is black, but in the afternoon light, her skin is fragmented into a myriad reflections of gold and blue. The bulge of her belly is like the mosaic dome of a mosque.
I take my eye from the lens. There are more than a hundred elephant now. Some drink, others spray mud along their flanks. A few sink their tusks into the soft soil, their haunches high in the air. The young roll and jostle in the wet clay. Two tall trees frame the savannah behind, its corn yellow grass running to a hazy horizon. In the pause I become aware of the breath in my chest. It is something more than air, than the taste of dust. It is not liquid but it satisfies something in me like cool water to a thirst.”
Nestled in the heart of the Mayuni Conservancy, Nambwa Tented Lodge offers luxury tent suites that are built up in the trees and are reached via a walkway.
Built with privacy and comfort in mind, each suite boasts their own private viewing deck. The area is a sanctuary for more than 35 species of both large and small game and over 330 different bird species. The unique landscape combination of floodplains, woodlands and Kalahari sand dunes ensures a truly unique safari experience.
Contact Nambwa Tented Lodge
Tel.+264 (0) 61 400510 or +264 811 252 122