Wednesday, September 25, 2013

HERITAGE DAY...Surprise!

We celebrate Heritage Day on the 24th of September in South Africa. Heritage Day was formerly known as King Shaka Day in honour of the legendary King Shaka Zulu. One does wonder, strict disciplinarian that he was, what he would think of the morality of not only modern day South Africa but the whole World!!

Why am I writing about discipline and morals on this Blog you might well ask? Well, because I had a really special time on Heritage Day. The Elephants surprised us with a visit to the Lodge. The visit came as a surprise because the previous day Darlington had to drive all the way to what we call East Kloof, some 15 kilometres away to find them! It is hot and dry in the Eastern Cape at the moment and the Elephants enjoyed some time at a waterhole…and this is where morals and discipline come in.

It is very dry in the Eastern Cape....on their way to water

Every time we have these ‘special moments’ with the Elephants on River Bend where we are able to observe from close quarters one understands that all Elephant behaviour is founded on a bedrock of discipline. What a joy to watch the tiniest Elephant calf and the dominant bull in musth, and all ages between cavorting in the same waterhole…to those of you familiar with River Bend it is known as No Name Dam!

This sub adult male was the first to No Name Dam

We would do well to reflect on the words of Lawrence Anthony in his incredible book ‘The Elephant Whisperer’. He writes…” “Every wild thing is in tune with it’s surroundings, awake to it’s fate and in absolute harmony with the planet. Their attention is focused totally outwards. Humans, on the other hand, tend to focus introspectively on their own lives too often, brooding and magnifying problems that the animal kingdom would not waste a millisecond of energy upon.  To most people, the magnificent order of the natural world where life and death actually mean something has become unrecognizable.”

He was soon joined by another...

and other members of.....

.... all ages.

Some of the babies were granted permission to get into the water

....others were not allowed and voiced their displeasure....

whilst still others thought it a good idea...but changed their minds.

We hope you enjoy these images taken yesterday…Heritage Day, while others were out braaing or just enjoying a beautiful Spring day in the Southern hemisphere. Our Heritage at River Bend includes the sheer privelege of being able to share space with these incredible creatures, a legacy of one of the greatest conservation stories that has ever taken place. May we do the same for the Rhino’s!


All Images the property of Michaelprice photos and River Bend Lodge and may only be used with permission.

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