Tusker the patriarch of our wonderful herd of 12 Elephants has long been a revered as a Victoria Falls living legend, but he has also found himself becoming something of media talisman as well.
Of the many things to do whilst enjoying a stay in Victoria Falls, riding atop the world’s largest land mammal on an Elephant back Safari is one of the most popular – as that bitter sweet arbiter of popularity Trip Advisor will attest to. A look at the site will demonstrate how many visitors view this as the highlight of their trip, a memory that will last a life time and a deeply moving experience.
What really comes across is the deep sense of emotions stirred by such a close and personal encounter with Africa’s most iconic animal – an animal that epitomises the outrageous uniqueness of the continent – and this location in particular, where they can still be found unbelIeveably wandering in the town, crossing roads and eating plants from within private gardens. And one that also epitomises the capricious nature of poaching for human self-indulgence. It is not surprising that some who partake in this activity need to be handed a tissue so overwhelming do they find the visceral encounter.
Of course none would have a complimentary word to say if they did not have an overwhelming sense of how deeply personal the bond between Induna and Elephant is and how their welfare is at the forefront of every consideration. Our twelve trunk swingers have anything between 5-11 hours a day to roam the bush entirely free doing as they do naturally, but entirely safe from unnatural threats, and touching to behold – all return happily to stables at the end of the day.
We were all delighted with the response we had to Tusker helping us concord with voices around the world in the Je Suis Charlie acts of unity – not that the interest of the media phase the wise one the slightest bit.