Dew from recent rains lingers on tall shoots of grass. Silence. A soft orb of red blossoms on the horizon.
Our seasoned guide, Warren, affectionately dubbed “Wazzu”, finesses our vehicle through the thick scrub and directly into the path of the herd. It’s not long before we’re surrounded by elephants of all size feeding nonchalantly amidst the first rays of light that wash across the savannah. Daybreak.
In the midst of it all a symphony erupts around us. A cadenced transition. Animals and birds call out in chorus as if to notify us that they’ve made it through another enduring night in the bush. Triumphs and failures of the previous evening are soon forgotten as challenges of a new day begin. Life here is tough, but enormously abundant and with boundless opportunities to thrive.
This is Erindi – Place of Water – a Nature Reserve in the heart of Namibia, Sub-Saharan Africa. It’s been 7 months since my last visit and far too long, really. On this occasion two very good friends of mine from Iceland have joined along, fellow photographers Benjamin Hardman and Ben Simon Rehn. Finally – after many months of tales in the bush told back home in Iceland – on this visit they’ll understand precisely why Erindi has become so special to me.
On our first outing Wazzu quickly updates us on the bush news — new cubs of the lion variety, won and lost territories of contending predators, recently graduated guide trainees, and stories of sundry wildlife encounters since the onset of the rainy season. It’s not long before I feel as though I never left.
After first being introduced to Erindi in 2016, I immediately recognized the strong sense of ownership possessed by all those involved in operating the Reserve. Over the collective months that I’ve spent at Erindi befriending the guides and staff, witnessing abundant conservation efforts firsthand, familiarizing myself with many of the animals on a first name basis, and integrating closely with the entire Erindi family, I’ve now fully adopted the communal mindset — everything and anything for Erindi.
Through captivating imagery and storytelling, I want people to understand how crucial Erindi is as a conservation area. As a population island for lions free of feline AIDS, a case study and learning center for leopard behavior, a rehabilitation area for cheetahs and the African wild dog, a sustainable eco-tourism destination for elephants, and a haven for wildlife seeking refuge amongst shrinking natural habitats throughout Africa. Erindi’s sheer abundance of successful ongoing conservation programs and projects aimed at preserving and protecting their wildlife is vital to the region and to the continent.
Without places like Erindi, there might not be anything left to protect. There’s few conservation areas worldwide like this striving to ensure our most precious wildlife assets are protected and I encourage you to seek these locations out, visit them, fall in love with them, and support them. If you’re interested to learn more about conservation at Erindi specifically, check out their multitude of projects under ‘conservation’ via their homepage linked HERE. Feel free to drop me a line at email@example.com as well if you’re interested in learning more about any specific topic. I’d also be happy to connect you with my friends at the Reserve with the possibility to contribute to their cause as well. Perhaps one day after you visit, you’ll discover truly why it’s everything and anything for Erindi.