Africa is a continent defined by its wildlife. The spectacular fauna has shaped this continents past and will define its future. Without this wildlife, Africa would be a desperate soul.
The plethora of species, the multitude of ecosystems and the vastness of the open spaces are breathtaking. Yet amongst this abundance, there are those creatures and species whose standing elevates them to a prominence others cannot attain.
Weighing up to 6000 kilograms and standing 4 meters tall, the mighty African Elephant is the world’s largest land-based mammal.
Elephants are giants in every sense of the word, from their size to the way they defend and protect their families.
When you spend time around elephants you are left with a sense of a mighty but peaceful force that just wants to keep walking its path in life. It’s not an aggressive soul that is needlessly confrontational, but by the same hand, it will not tolerate a threat. The Elephant is a wind that blows where it wants, sometimes calm and sometimes volatile. It is a wind that brings change to landscapes.
The Elephant is Africa’s Giant.
Their footfalls may be silent but their absence, if they become extinct, would be thunderous.
As iconic a creature as the elephant is so another African stands tall and even the elephant is cooled by her shelter. The enigmatic Baobab has stood sentinel across the African bushveld for millennia.
45 meters in circumference and 37 meters high with age limits being argued between 1700 and 6000 years old.
It is as much a ubiquitous part of Africa’s landscape today as it was to our ancestor’s generations before. Bushmen called the baobab the upside-down tree as God was angered by this tree and planted it with its roots skywards. Standing at the base of a baobab and looking upwards you get a real scale of the magnitude of this amazing living organism. You look at a tree that saw Arab slave traders leave messages on its bark, you see a tree that is selectively harvested by African tribes to make amazingly decorative floor mats. Above all though you see a tree that shares a relationship with the Elephant for where both occur hardly a single baobab has not felt the touch of the tusk. In times of drought and hardship, the baobab is a source of water and food. When feeding on and under the tree, the elephant’s dung nurtures its roots.
It is thus perhaps fitting that these two largest of all of Africa’s Giants find themselves together as sentient pillars of a mighty continent.
As a photograph, this image represents two Iconic symbols of our mighty continent that is Africa.
Exhibition: 173cm x 114.5cm (68” x 45”)
Classic: 118cm x 78cm (46.5” x 31”)
© Chris Fallows 2018