THE POWER OF TOUCH
To celebrate Tourism Month, the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency organised a 3-day blind friendly tour. Most of the delegates have been blind from birth and, prior to visiting Elephant Whispers, had no ‘picture’ in their minds of the sheer size, power, and distinctive physical characteristics of the majestic African Elephant.
Before the group arrived, the staff at Elephant Whispers brainstormed ideas on how to use senses, other than sight, to assist blind guests to be able to ‘visualise’ an elephant. Andre likened the blind guests to blind elephants who can survive in the wild by making use of their other senses, and knew this was the key to creating their special elephant experience.
The visitors put their trust in Andre, the Elephant Handlers and the elephants, giving him their hands to take them on a complete ‘tactile tour’; from the elephant’s smooth tusks and the patterned ridges under their feet, to the wiry hair on their tails. The guests put their fingers on the throbbing pulse in the elephants’ ears, they felt their breath against their cheeks and leant into their bodies to smell their distinctive elephant odour.
Through touch, guests recognised that elephants’ trunks are unbelievably strong, yet they can gently take an elephant cube from people’s fingers and caress their faces in a greeting. With an incredible look of amazement on their faces, the visitors used their hands to ‘paint’ an elephant image in their minds, their sense of feel to imprint the texture of the elephant’s skin, opened their hearts to complete their unique elephant picture.
ELEPHANT WHISPERS GOES INTERNATIONAL!
The Elephant Whispers’ Elephants proudly posed for photographs for the Tsonga European summer collection.
Tsonga products are made in the rural village of Lidgetton, in KwaZulu-Natal at an abandoned school building which they have transformed into a bustling hive of activity.
160 Ladies gather daily to create handmade, homemade, from the heart quality shoes and handbags.
PAULA UND DIE WILDEN TIERE COMES TO HAZYVIEW!
Elephant Whispers were delighted to host ‘Paula und die Wilden Tiere’, a German wildlife television documentary series when they recently filmed an episode of Paula’s popular program. Paula’s passion is to enhance children’s knowledge of wildlife; to make the information she imparts memorable and meaningful by comparing aspects of animal and human behaviour and physical characteristics.
The entertaining film shoot found Paula holding a human toothbrush against Lindiwe’s mouth, balancing her petite body against the mound of food Tembo would consume in the next hour and measuring her leg against Tembo’s.
THE RACE IS ON!
Fun Team Building Activity
The humans get 30 minutes team planning time and a 45 minute head-start to outsmart the elephants and successfully hide away from them on the Elephant Whispers property.
Tools at their Disposal…
Extra time and whatever they can find in nature to cover their tracks, their scents and to hide behind or under!
The Usual Outcome…
No matter how inventive the groups have been, the teams are no match for the elephant’s incredible sense of smell. The elephants take great delight catching their escapees.