African Dream

Powerful, dignified and awe inspiring comes to mind when I think about elephants. They are the biggest and most spectacular land animals.  A big tusker can stand up to 4 meters tall and weigh six or seven tonnes.  A big bull’s tusks can weigh up to 100 kilograms, and it is the elephants tusks that humans are greedy to own. These gentle giants are richly endowed with all the better attributes of mankind have forever been stalked and hunted by the uglier and darker side of man.


When we discuss ‘animal intelligence’, do we as humans take on a anthropocentric view? Are we the most important beings? Whilst we are an intricate part of this wild and beautiful world, we are but one thread in this web of life.  We are all creatures of the soil, and we need to learn to honour all that leaves their mark in the sand. Sadly, we seem bent on destroying not only each other, but the environment as well. These magnificent creatures and other animals are also intricately woven into evolution’s slow magic. They are however, not preoccupied with control or destruction. Elephants reveal to us humans all the goodness in creation. They possess an inner beauty: Natures soothing breeze.


Southern African countries are a mass of teeming humanity: a canvas of brightly coloured African textiles and bronzed sunsets. This land of extremes is vibrant, garish and spicy but sadly the spacious tree lined avenues of the cities and towns are a silent witness to the corruption and greed.

ellie coming into hotel

However, get close to a mango grove in Zambia and the magic of Africa will leave you reeling. Where else in the world can you book into a hotel and be a witness to the migration of a small herd of elephants who return every November to gorge on the mangoes. With a low frequency purr that you can feel rather than hear, they enter the lobby, large ears fanning the breeze gently as they rumble on through. Pausing every so often, a large versatile trunk leans over sneaking a quick peek at the register offering guests a breathtaking glimpse of their compassionate and huge hearts. Wrinkle upon wrinkle of intelligence and a large mass of bubbling exuberance best describes these animals as they glide out the lobby lifting their trunks to where the sunshine hangs lazily in the cerulean sky.

elie checking register

Building the lodge in their path was never intended but these magnificent animals continue to seduce guests for the +- four to six weeks of the year with their regal presence. Africa, a land of extremes with it’s golden bush and limitless blue heavens is also a land of constant movement and violent corruption.

We hold the destiny of every living creature in our hands, and yet so few of us hear the silent cries of agony and the  helpless pleas. The greed for ‘white gold’ has become the elephants downfall and their numbers are decreasing at an alarming rate.  As the large drop of sun lingers, idle in its goodbyes, let us not allow the darkness to envelop and destroy the riches that these countries have to offer. Help to keep the African dream alive.

rory young twitt

 Rory Young is a wildlife tracker and activist who has been fighting against poaching all his life. Born in Zambia and brought up in different parts of Africa, Rory took to wildlife tracking as a child and decided to make it his life’s mission.

Rory Young has formed an alliance with Jacob Alekseyev, an American living in Zambia. Alekseyev is a former Major and Federal Agent of the US Air Force, Office of Special Investigations. Together they have worked out a plan of action to stop poaching in the Zambezi River Valley. Chengeta Wildlife is completely volunteer run and this investment will allow the rangers the much needed skills and resources to defend themselves and protect the magnificent elephants and other wildlife. Please also take a look at their facebook page where you can offer them some support.

 rory and co

There is hope, if we stand together. Our partners at described the free training we offer, “We are offering training to Africa’s anti-poaching units (APUs) in the most comprehensive, intelligent and pragmatic doctrine ever devised to bring the practice of poaching under control.”

If anyone would like to take an active role in the solution to poaching, you can now donate directly from Chengeta Wildlife’s Facebook page. So far 100% of donations to Chengeta Wildlife will support the APU training. We have no paid staff and all overhead cost up to this point have been underwritten by our board members.

You can be a part of the solution! Join our team here:

Chengeta was started by Lisa Groenweg of Rock Valley, Iowa.

Chengeta Wildlife is a group of people from around the world who formed a nonprofit organization to support Rory Young and the work he does. He has skills and knowledge that the teams protecting wildlife badly need to protect themselves and wildlife. If enough funding is generated we would like to purchase tactical equipment needed by the teams. Things like night vision goggles, thermal sensing equipment and motion sensing cameras. Chengeta Wildlife is run by volunteers. So far 100% of funds raised have gone directly to the field where it is desperately needed. WE HAVE ZERO OVERHEAD COSTS!

Like Lisa, we too can do our bit to help combat the horrors of poaching. Collectively, we can ensure the continuation of Chengeta Wildlife’s ability to adequately train and equip the necessary new generation of rangers required to assist the continuation of the circle of life in elephants within their natural habitats in Africa.


6 thoughts on “African Dream

    • This would be a dream come true and book into this lodge and see these majestical Ellie’s come to visit! Love reading your stories and keep up the good work xxx

  1. This is on my bucket list……we must visit this lodge when we are next in Africa.

  2. These creatures are incredible!!!! I would love to be there at the hotel over those weeks! We need to make some plans! Beautifully written! X

  3. Thank you for your continued support Jenny. The men who protect these magnificent creatures need our support. They put their very lives on the line for elephants and other wildlife.

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