Africa

The Crazy Way a Four Ton Elephant Descends a Sand Dune.

Papa G in Namibia near Hoanib Skeleton Coast

I watched as Papa G looked down at us over the long expanse of his trunk. We were in our vehicle at the bottom of the dry Hoanib riverbed where the water would be if we weren’t in the middle of a desert.

It was sunrise and we were at the beginning of a day trip to the Atlantic Ocean. The Hoanib riverbed was our highway.

From his body language it was clear that Papa G was planning on descending the bank but the path was steep and he was a big boy—at least four tons if he was a pound. The big bull looked right and then left, then curled his trunk up toward his forehead like an Olympic athlete signaling to the judges he was about to begin.

This should be interesting.

Pappa G elephant sliding down a dune in Namibia

He tested the edge, placing his large round front foot in the sand. It instantly fell away resulting in a miniature avalanche rolling down the hill.

Hmmm.. that didn’t look too promising.

He moved 20 feet to the left where the incline was a tad less formidable and began again. This time the border held and he walked his front feet down the slope until he was splayed in a hilarious elephant version of downward facing dog.

Pappa G elephant sliding down a dune in Namibia

Ever so slowly the sand began to collapse beneath his weight, moving his front feet forward until he was on his knees and then with the grace of a dancer he slid down the embankment.

And from the U.S. judge..….the score is a perfect 10! 

~Taken near Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in Namibia

For more stories about my Namibian adventure, click here

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