Given the cost of reaching Botswana’s tourist attractions, I’ve been
watching my budget closer than usual, though I still didn’t think it
would have come to dumpster-diving. Well, I was wrong – I did end up
at the city dump. Contemplating alternative access options to the next
and last of Botswana’s overpriced national parks, I and my teammates
were driving through the outskirts of Kasane, when a large flock of
marabou storks on a hill caught our attention. It was getting late,
and good light was escaping with the setting sun, so without much
deliberation I and Vladimir jumped out, leaving Alex with the car, and
all but ran towards the hill which we soon realized was a mountain of
trash. Fixed on the mission to get a close-up shot of the marabou, I
pressed on until a loud trumpeting sound stopped me in my tracks. A
huge male elephant was charging at me tusks first, flailing his ears,
protecting his dump! Vladimir was saying something, but all I could
hear were the clicks of my shutter. I managed to snap a few photos
just before he dragged me away by the wrist, saying something like”
When a zoologist tells you to run from an elephant, you run FROM the
elephant!”