Rino Eliassen: elephants in the sunset

A land of dust and magic

Tuli is a word meaning dust, depicting the conditions in the Tuli block during the dry season. I was fortunate enough to visit the property ‘Tuli Wilderness’ in the season change over through November and December 2010, experiencing the blossoming native flowers and thriving Mopane trees. Few words truly describe Tuli and its unique rhythm. It is a destination off the main tourist track where volunteers can become in tune with nature by actively living and working alongside the wildlife.

The project itself is a constructive means of collecting crucial data to be utilised by interested researchers on a wide range of African wildlife. More interesting than this is the fact that as a volunteer you are privileged enough to feel Tuli with its native inhabitants. And what makes it a mesmerising experience is that your exposure to the wild is truly diverse by nature; ranging from watching a majestic herd of elephants on the Marsh Plains to observing a dung beetle robustly roll elephant spoor up a hill.

It is the small things that captivate you, such as taking a shower under the stars and being awoken by the sun and bird chorus right outside your hut. Giving part of yourself to the Tuli project returns favours even more than what you could imagine. It changed me as a person and that is a testament to the power of Tuli.

Sigrid Johnston