Steve Bolnick is a zoologist with a passion for walking in the African bush. Most people associate the bush with danger and choose the safety of a car to observe wildlife. But Steve strongly believes that because we only evolved relatively recently from the hunter-gatherer, we still have a deep and natural affinity with the bush. Through walking, he hopes to bring people back to their ancient roots and help them better understand nature and animal behaviour.
In this film Steve travels to the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe to get up close and personal with the elephants who roam this vast wilderness. He is well qualified to undertake this risky journey – over the past 10 years he has trained rangers in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe and has developed an incredible knowledge on the African fauna and flora.
The park covers almost 15.000 square kilometres and is located just south of the mighty Victoria falls on the Zambezi river. Although it’s close to one of Africa’s main rivers the area is extremely arid as it borders the Kalahari dessert. Yet Hwange National Park has one of Africa’s largest populations of elephants, more than 50.000 of them. Over the years, Steve has developed a special bond with these fantastic animals. They’re not only the biggest living land mammals, but they’re also extremely intelligent. On top of that they’re very important for the survival of other wildlife and for the ecological balance in general.
The audience is given an intimate insight into these iconic animals and we are treated to a different perspective on their human-like social organization and communication skills. Steve explains and illustrates the elephant’s behaviour while giving clues on how to spot danger signals and survive generally in the wild. His ability to translate complex biological and zoological facts into fascinating stories which can be understood by a broad audience provides an entertaining narrative throughout. While a healthy taste for adventure is never far from his agenda, his deep concern for ecology, biodiversity and a healthy relationship between humans and nature are his main drivers.
By the end of the film it becomes apparent that walking in the bush can indeed be a relatively safe and fascinating experience, providing you follow the correct procedures. This adds weight to Steve’s belief that this form of safari could become an integral part of future wildlife tourism.
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