Monday, 17 October 2011

Okovango Ele's

My first Animal Einstein’s shoot.
We ventured to the Okavango delta to film elephants. I hadn’t been back here for 15 yrs.
A small team of myself Rich, Giles and Liz landed in Maun and was met my Mike holding and TJ - wonderful people. Local filmmakers of prodigious talent and kindness.
It was their camp we went to. Set up on the shores of the Okavango floodwaters.
Little tents with bucket showers and gin and tonics by candlelight…perfect.
Days were spent filming from mikes Cessna or on foot.
I had never been to this part of the delta and was blown away by its beauty. Huge bodies of water surrounded by game of all descriptions, it felt we had stumbled on eden at times.
The Botswana elephant haven’t been slaughtered or abused like most of the continents gentle giants, so they were very calm and came to within 6 ft of me, a situation I just wouldn’t have allowed in Kenya. But I was under the watchful eye of ele expert Mike, so never felt in danger. It was so wonderful to experience and be so close to these, my favorite of animals.
Mike and TJ had such good guys working with them, who helped with the kit, made amazing food and provided cold beer at appropriate times. A truly luxurious shoot.
One evening I was taking a bush shower, my glass of wine in hand, when a shout went out that lions were in camp. I turned and saw a male lion amble past at about ten feet… magical.
Liz and mike did some wonderful pieces and we were able to get one very special piece where we guessed the water hole the ele’s were heading to and managed to have them sat quietly on one side with the family of ele’s playing and drinking right in front of them. The knowledge of people like Mike and mike is invaluable and yielded amazing intimate opportunities.
The week disappeared far too quickly with none of us wanting to leave.
Hopefully a lovely piece due to an amazing location, my favorite subjects, great presenting and incomparable local knowledge.

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