Our elders have so much to teach us, so much wisdom to pass on. They have simply walked the journey of life for so much longer. Make time to learn from them and cherish their knowledge while they’re still around to share it ✨
We have seen the sharing of wisdom with the rearing of the little ones in our herd. Orphans Jabulani, Khanyisa, Kumbura and Timisa for example, but also the elephants born to the older cows: Limpopo, Mambo, Klaserie, Zindoga and Pisa. The females like Tokwe and Lundi, Setombe and Bubi, and the males like Fishan, Sebakwe and Somopane all continue to teach the younger elephants how to navigate their worlds.
It’s a vital and key part of elephant dynamics and what enables the harmony of a herd. With adults living among calves, juveniles and subadults, so much knowledge is shared to enables young elephants to grow in competence and confidence, while giving elders a purpose, a feeling of belonging and importance.
This is mirrored in human families and communities. It’s tied to the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Children learn so much more from being surrounded by parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. In the case of elephants: mothers, allomothers, older siblings.
We couldn’t have raised the orphans in our herd without the help and guidance of the elders in our unique blended elephant family. Tokwe plays a crucial role in this but she has support from Lundi, Setombe, Bubi, Fishan, Sebakwe and Somopane. And the herd is better for it.
Artwork by local South African artist, Maryke Vosloo.