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Digital Subscriptions > Travel Africa > January-March 2020 (89) > INTHEGIANT’S SHADOW

INTHEGIANT’S SHADOW

Actress Claudia Sermbezis’ longstanding passion for nature and an involvement in a conservation project has drawn her back time and again to Namibia, where she disappears for weeks on end tracking desert elephants in the remote Kunene region.
Legend: Voortrekker in his later years, with a broken tusk
CHRISTIN WINTER / SHUTTERSTOCK

Squatting on a high rock, the sun was setting, the moon rising. Below me elephants grazed. It was an unexpected moment in my life, and I couldn’t stop staring. Monday morning. Everyone I know was at work, but I was on the rock looking across one of the last known wildernesses on Earth. I was in Namibia, the northern Kunene Region, and luck had risen early. There, below me, a herd. Nicknamed Mama Africa. They weren’t my focus here, just a surprise treat. Elephants are traditionally matriarchal creatures, wandering about as mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts. But I wasn’t looking for the female desert elephant, I’m on the trail of the male. The bull. The largest land mammal in the world.

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