March 23, 2016
- as seen by -Ricardo Antunes
I drive to a water hole in Namibia’s Etosha National Park to find cars lined up a few hundred yards from the water’s edge. More cars arrive. With nothing in plain sight, they move on in search of the large African mammals that frequent these water holes.
Time passes, and the ebb and flow of cars eventually stops. Only my car remains in the afternoon’s hot sun. I notice the long shadows indicating the end of the day. I look at my watch and confirm that I have less than an hour to get back to camp before the gate closes for the night. I decide to push my odds and wait a little longer.
My diligence pays off as large herd of over twenty elephants emerges from the bush and cautiously approaches the water whiffing the air with their trunks held high. I watch in silence as adults and calves jostle for a drinking position at the water edge. I can hear their contented rumbles as they calm down and quench their thirst.
As the sole witness of those few moments, I feel a connection with the elephants as I take their picture. Driving back to camp, I barely making it before the gate closes. I think about how patience is an important quality when watching and photographing wildlife.