The Silent Giants

¨You whose feet pounded the earth, 

the hard earth into powder in ancient times,

so that green things might grow.

You are the protecting spirit of Africa.

You are the whisper of our stories in the

wind that has forgotten its heritage.

Salute you, elephant of the plains of Africa. 

Bayete, elephant!¨ – Credo Mutwa

These past two weeks started off with another Worldwide Celebration. World Elephant Day, was on the 12th of August. This day was created in 2011 by Canadian filmmaker Patricia Sims and Thailand´s Elephant Reintroduction Foundation, and was first celebrated on August 12, 2012. The initiative was greatly supported by film star William Shatner who narrated the documentary Return to the Forest. On this day, the elephants of Deception Valley Lodge, decided they will celebrate the day together with guests during brunch.

Even though the days are a bit cooler with the August winds, the sightings blown our way have been magnificent! Spring is on its way as some of the trees like the Black Hook Thorn (Acacia mellifera) and Shepard´s Tree (Boscia albitrunca)are already starting to flower. Early morning activities surprised us with beautiful sightings of the lion pride, several different antelope species such at the Oryx/ Gemsbok and a quick glimpse of the Eland.

The Kalahari has a way to let extraordinary things happen at the right time. One morning, our guide and tracker had difficulty to get the exact location of the lions, due to the big cats constantly moving around. However, just as they arrived back at the lodge and disembarked the vehicle, the lionesses and cubs came to the waterhole to drink. Another special moment, was when our new guests arrived from the airstrip. Just as they disembarked at the lodge, the herd of elephants came to welcome them. Talk about impeccable timing.

An unbelievable first was experienced during a night drive! None of us had ever had such a special moment! Eight different African Wildcats were seen in the time of about one hour! An absolute amazing memory to hold on to. That evening our guests enjoyed a dinner under the stars in the company of the Honey Badger. The Honey Badger, constantly looked over his shoulder as to let the guests know, that he would not be so kind as to share his food.

Renovations at the lodge are going well, as the new family unit is getting closer and closer to being completed. We also started with the old chalets, renovating and uplifting them with the original Kalahari history mixed with a luxurious colonial explorer feel. Walkways nowadays are lit with warm glowing lanterns, which compliments the vast and clear night skies above.

On this exciting note remember that there are no walls between humans and elephants, except those that we put up ourselves, and that until we allow not only elephants, but all living creatures their place in the sun, we can never be whole ourselves. Also, Earth is the only paradise we will ever need, if only we had the eye of the elephant to see…

Be like the elephant!

Janie Swart

General Manager