As we are busy with our hectic lives, running from one task to the next, small details often get lost along the way. These little details could determine the outcome of many aspects in our lives, influence the decisions we make, or perhaps even change our life’s journey.

When we conduct Bush Walks at Mhondoro, we leave the comfort of the vehicle to start slowing down. We engage all the senses – drop our eyes to the ground, fine tune our ears and start inhaling the freshness of Mother Nature, hoping to detect the small little clues and details that would lead us to hidden treasures.

Wandering along, a massive round indentation in the dusty road reveals an elephant track. Moving on without slowing down, we would see no more than just the elephant track. But if we gear down and stop to take notice, small details will appear, revealing important information left behind.

Experience and knowledge passed along over generations can tell us much about the elephant’s behaviour, show us in which direction the elephant was walking, and provide information such as what time of the day the footprint was left behind. The circumference of the front foot multiplied by 2.5 will give us the estimated shoulder height of the elephant, and knowing his height, we can even make a rough estimation of his age.

And now, suddenly, the track is more than a footprint, it tells us the elephant’s story!

Ivan Ueckermann

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