Travel Namibia: Survival of the fittest

I love Southern Africa as a location to see wildlife. There is this amazing landscape with these endless wide-open savannas. When I think of my last trip to Etosha in Namibia, I cannot forget a certain little baby elephant whom I saw one late afternoon.

Tiny and fragile baby elephant

He seemed very tiny and fragile, like a real helpless baby. He was at a watering hole with his parents when the unthinkable happened. The little baby elephant fell into the water hole and could not get out anymore. I was sitting in my Land Rover and was just as helpless as the baby elephant. It was so hard not to be able to ring a ranger to beg him to come over to rescue the little rascal. Often you see wrinkly baby elephants play in the mud, but this was serious. I realized how distressed his parents were; they were walking helplessly up and down the water hole and trying to pull him out. 

Survival of the fittest

It was a proper lesson in survival of the fittest. We were in the bush, in the middle of nowhere and I understand elephants have to be able to help themselves to survive. I watched, shell shocked for what felt like endless twenty minutes or so, tears streaming down my cheeks ... Baby elephant nearly came out of the hole, slides back in, fell over, got out of the hole, slides back in … in the end his parents were able to help, support and rescue him with carefully manoeuvring him to the far end of the water hole. There they helped him coming back to the shore. 

The baby elephant lied down and relaxed, he seemed totally exhausted from his battle. So was I, just from watching the dramatic accident. After a while the family walked away. 

Terrible accident - baby elephant falls into water hole

Baby elephant can't get out

Parents nearly manage to get him out

Baby elephant slides back in

Rescued and totally exhausted ... look at the white soles

Glad to be reunited with Mama

Off they went

I still wonder whether the baby elephant had to go to bed without dinner. What a nightmare situation this was, it will stick with me.

A drama in the wild.

From Berlin with love