It is truth universally acknowledged that we are living in difficult times at present. The last year for everyone has been a challenging one to say the least. We have had to make sacrifices and adapt to living within confined spaces and most of all, we have had to give up the one thing I think we all love to do – travel. Visiting countries and experiencing different cultures, sights, sounds, and smells is for us, the most magical and enjoyable experience out there. Meeting new people, experiencing new things, it’s what drives us to do what we do. Our job is our life, and we are inadvertently supporting others within the industry, from the meet at and greeters at the airports, to the guides who drive you through the bush passing on their knowledge and passion, we all have a shared interest and love for everybody involved. We may all work quite a distance away from each other, but the knowledge we are supporting each other through tough times remains strong. Of course, this does include our wonderful clients as well. Without your continued support for the communities, staff, teams, and wildlife, we wouldn’t be able to get through this pandemic. Planning to travel is key to this, so have a scroll through our website and set your mind on fire with the next place you think you would like to travel to. Don’t think, just do!
As we have said, a lot of the camps and lodges have had to adapt and adjust to the ever-changing trends, they are seeing more family travel, more long-stay safaris, more work for camp options, slow safaris that take the edge of the need to see and achieve everything in 2 days, that manic drive to force as much ‘fun’ into every moment. Slow is most certainly better, more detailed. It is the ‘long form’ versus ‘sound bite’ version of Africa. It is analogy versus digital safari, not quite vinyl record analogy, but close. It is the world that elephants live in, and they move at a very different pace. A quote from Derek Joubert from Great Plains, has learnt a lot from the elephant:
‘We watched a herd of elephants as things got overly excited as they neared a waterhole, resulting in a baby elephant being over and down into the mud. He yelled (trumpeted in his little voice), and the herd panicked, then, after a moment, just a moment, regrouped to perform the most incredible rescue plan. A sidebar lesson is that when elephants are unhappy, they let you know!
Females tugged at the calf, others pushed, and one went down on her knees and dug in under the calf to relieve the suction that was holding it back. Finally, and quickly, they built a ramp for the baby to walk out on.
During all of this, the herd communicated with gentle, reassuring rumbles, instruction, and warnings. It was the most extraordinary example of compassion, wisdom, empathy, altruism, and communication.
In the harsh world we live in, it is so reassuring that in some corners of the world, empathy, and support in times of struggle are still alive and kicking. Although all lodges have their own guides, the elephants still provide everyone with examples of their wisdom, and nobody needs to reinvent this stuff! They show you.
Communication is the second lesson on wisdom provided by elephants. In times of crisis, there is no better description of what we are all going through, and it is vital to keep these corridors of communication open. Some messages will be about the future, some about the past. At times it is about protocols to keep everyone safe and sometimes (we hope!), to inspire or encourage reflection.
For that family of elephants, their communications ranged from reassurances to warnings, details around ramp building to rallying calls, just like the variety of communications we send to you. We know the feelings produced by an elephants soft rumbles when sitting amongst them. But mostly, it takes us to a place where we know we are not alone in the world. We hope that our own rumbles of communications do the same for you!