Etosha, meaning ‘Great White Place’ consists of a large mineral pan of pale greenish-white clay, silt and mineral salts, all baking under the fierce African sun. The salt desert supports very little plant life except for the blue-green algae that gives Etosha its characteristic coloring.

The startling contrasts of color make for a visual, photographic feast which seems to apply especially to the elephants who love to wallow in the water and mud.

etosha elephants 1
etosha elephants 2
I came across my first ‘green’ elephant last week, that particular elephant coating himself with the green algae slick of the pan and gaining a distinctly ‘mouldy’ appearance in the process!
etosha elephants 3
etosha elephants 4
The ‘white ghosts’ of Etosha can be observed frequenting the Nebrownii waterhole, where the dry white clay dusts their skin and coats the entire elephant in white – often brilliantly offset against the bright blue sky.
etosha elephants 5
etosha elephants 6
etosha elephants 7
etosha elephants 8


It is also a treat to photograph elephants at the Goas waterhole, due to the fact that it is so vast and open and very green especially in the rainy season, creating a great contrast between the blue sky, green vegetation and gentle grey giants.

etosha elephants 9

etosha elephants 10

Elephants have always held a fascination for me, not only because of their impressive size, but also for their remarkable intelligence and emotional capacity, demonstrated by their communication habits, mourning rituals, deep sense of family ties and fierce protection of their offspring.

etosha elephants 11

About Anja Denker:
“I am a Namibian by birth and live in Windhoek, my profession being a visual artist specializing in postage stamp design. I have always had an inherent love for wildlife and nature – especially lions and birds, and developed a passion for photography a few years ago. I am a keen observer and try to capture special and unexpected moments wherever I am. Conservation is close to my heart and I tried to raise awareness through postage stamp designs and by supporting the Desert Lion Conservation project. I am rarely parted with my camera and am fortunate to have a large garden with an abundant birdlife. My happiest moments are those that are spent outdoors, travelling around Namibia and other places, with my family and camera close by.”

From :

31 October  2013