The story behind Tlou

Tlou is a very special drawing to me.

In October 2016 I had the privilege of visiting the Chobe region with my now-fiancé and our two boys.  During what felt like the peak of the drought we spent a few days at Senyati Lodge near Kasane.  What made Senyati special was the man-made waterhole and underground hide.  Climbing down into a narrow tunnel that runs underground to the hide, you could view the wildlife at the waterhole from only a few paces away – so close that the kids would come running to tell about an elephant bathing at the fountain – splattered with mud from said bath!  The unique vantage point also gave new perspective on these majestic creatures as they towered over us.  More than once my heart beat in my throat as one stepped closer and I could just imagine an elephant standing on the hide!

It was during one of these afternoons that I photographed Tlou.  Every afternoon literally dozens upon dozens of elephants would visit the oasis.  Around us the vegetation was scarce – with no rain the grass had dwindled to mere stubs here and there and the trees were mostly barren.  Around the waterhole it was green and lush.  This little guy came rushing into the patch of mud from the overflow and promptly started playing in the mud.  His tiny little trunk was going everywhere, swinging around and spraying mud just about everywhere aside from over his body!  We watched him for quite a while and ever since Christo and I would often just refer to ‘our little elephant’.

In the end I drew him for Christo and I am excited to share our little elephant Tlou with you!

Watch out for prints of Tlou available soon!

Much love

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