Manual Mountain Road: Not Dwelling on Yesterday or Tomorrow

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We climb the ladder to our roof tent for another night of camping on top of the car. Better be in time for more elephant and perhaps even giraffe? We are ready to start shooting elephants. On film obviously. We cross the campsite to explore the surrounding nature and as the dirt road becomes smaller, we have to dodge the prickly branches of acacia trees that swing into the sides of the car as we pass them.

We are lifted from our chairs by the bumps and dips in the dirt road and the rambling sound of the jeep makes me wonder if we are not scaring away the elephants. Some ten minutes into our drive, a crackling sound comes from the board radio. Would someone have spotted the elephants already? Our guide informs us that the elephants have been at the waterhole in one of the nearby villages last night. And so we backtrack the road and leave the campsite in the other direction. We have never been so excited to see fresh kaka faeces. He himself however holds up the big brown ball, puts his finger in it and licks it off.

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Luckily, our attention is quickly focused on another big thing. Round circles of around 20 cm in diameter are imprinted in the dry, red sand. We follow the footprints of a herd of elephants, hoping it will lead us to them. We are lucky to find a lead like this, as unlike the common African elephant that lives in Etosha and Kruger, the dwelling desert elephant only drinks once every three days.

The guide drives on with considerable speed and we are launched from our chairs to considerable heights. We continue dodging branches which makes the ride adventurous but also rather uncomfortable. But obviously, this is exactly the way we want our guide to drive. Anything to see those giants. And there they are… moving at even higher speed than we are.

A group of around fifteen elephants is crossing the valley towards the mountain in front of us.

I am surprised by their speedy movement. Are they on the run? We take some photos and then hop back into the jeep to hopefully see them coming down the hill on the other side of the mountain. Bouncing along the road, we excitedly scan the bush for a glimpse of one of the elephants. Suddenly they appear in our sight just some twenty metres away from us. Our guide zigzags through the foliage to keep up with them. The elephants reduce their speed to a leisurely walking pace as soon as they have crossed the hill.

We come to a halt in the valley to watch them on from a distance. They calmly flap their ears to cool themselves and the group splits up.

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Our guide explains the elephants are now at ease because they feel safe on this side of the mountain. The elephants use their trunks to throw dust over themselves to keep their enormous bodies cool in the heat of the sun. And with that, we have the answer to the question we asked ourselves yesterday: their brownish colour is not the colour of their skin but the colour of the sand that they cover themselves with. In awe, we watch the giants and cannot help but wish to be a bit closer.

It is a good thing though that we leave the groups alone. When both groups of elephants start to move to the far side of the mountain, the show is over for us. Back at the campsite we swap the bumpy seat in the jeep for a comfortable sun chair at the swimming pool, built into the rocks just like all other campsite facilities that blend in well with the natural surroundings. We conclude the easy afternoon and evening with some star gazing from our own campsite and continue doing so from under our private open — air shower.

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Searching for the elusive desert-dwelling elephant: a desert safari in Damaraland, Namibia

When you visit the rock carvings in Twyfelfontein, you will most probably receive offers from locals that are willing to arrange a tour for you on the spot. We however decided to join the tour organized by Grootberg Lodge the more affordable Hoada campsite we stayed at some 20 km further north is also owned by Grootberg Lodge to have plenty of time and thus increase our chances of a sighting. You can book the tour in advance through their website or sign up upon your arrival.

Does include a very nice lunch :. The desert elephant is actually the same in terms of physical appearance as its relatives living in more habitable areas. Desert elephants do however differ in behaviour. Since the elephants are aware of the limited supply of trees as well, the destruction of trees commonly seen in elephant inhabited areas is very little in Damaraland. Unfortunately, no. The manager of the campsite we stayed at was not lucky enough to see any of the elephants when she joined the elephant tracking tour.

By his side is the old mountain man named Preacher, who'll teach Pages: Size: Kb. Road to. This filename was submitted by an external advertiser. As an access provider we do not assume responsibility for the availability of this file in the Usenet.

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Open Web Book Archive. DMCA Contact. Cover Book Details Download Mountain Road: Not Dwelling on Yesterday or Tomorrow by Hoover Liddell In traversing the earth and living with the wilderness from Africa to the California Sierras, author Hoover Liddell came to realize the great energy of youth as we struggle to educate our planet and ourselves. Pages: - Read Online Download Mountain Road: Not Dwelling on Yesterday or Tomorrow by Hoover Liddell In traversing the earth and living with the wilderness from Africa to the California Sierras, author Hoover Liddell came to realize the great energy of youth as we struggle to educate our planet and ourselves.

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