We would like to tell you a tale of courage, perseverance and tenacity. It is the story of Voortrekker, the famous Namib Desert Elephant bull pictured above. Voortrekker means
"pioneer," "the leader," or "the one who shows the way." Never has there been a name more apt than his.
In the 1980s there were no elephants left in the northwestern stretch of Namibia's Kunene region due to over-hunting and rampant poaching. Then in 1989, Voortrekker visited the area, scouting around for a couple of weeks, patiently assessing every possible location, looking for danger, protection, hide-aways, watering holes and secret juicy food supplies.
A few weeks later Voortrekker returned, bringing his family to the Ugab River area. The small group of elephants must have been surprised at their leader's actions, but trusted him implicitly, as his instincts always had turned out right before. The family unit, consisting of only about 20 individual elephants, had moved in. The Damaraland Desert was now their home and they had to survive.