We tumbled into the boat panting almost as soon as we arrived at Chobe Lodge, anxious not to miss the afternoon tour. I looked skeptically at the large boat, the bartender, the people with camera lenses as long as my arm, and thought, “Well, it’s all part of the experience. Any wild animals will be miles away.” But my skepticism vanished almost immediately. There across the river, in the lush spring marsh, was an IMMENSE elephant, munching away like one of Aunt Audrey’s milk cows, oblivious to our boat and several other smaller boats.
And that was just the beginning. The lone bull elephant was our first sighting of what are known as The Big Five in Botswana, big five as in Really Big Animals Who Look Prehistoric. Wow. Even the loud/drunk South African pig farmer on our boat (reminded me of a Dutch rugby player I dated in college) couldn’t diminish the experience. Magical. Unforgettable. So magical that I didn’t even try to sketch, I just took photos with my tiny camera, knowing that sooner or later I would be back here in Oregon watching the rain and loving the intensity of fond memories as I sketched. So here he is, with his personal entourage, which at some point I will research to figure out what these birds are and why they were following him… elephant poop hors d’ouevres perhaps?