In Kasane, Botswana – probably the wildest town we’ve been to (in terms of wildlife and to a lesser degree its locals), we’d become used to seeing warthogs roam the streets and waking to dogs barking at ellies on the road and falling asleep to the whooping of hyenas.

In Vic Falls, Zimbabwe we’d been introduced to an elephant warzone. As we drove down the streets, Kathy & Sharon would point out the destruction left by ellies. House after house of crushed gates, gaping holes in brick walls, razor wires and tree branches used to temporarily stop the return of the garden gobbling elephant.

Elephant passageways were shrinking due to urbanisation, so the clash between ellies and walls was inevitable.

Last night, at Kathy & Sharons house we woke to Shadow – the half German Shephard, half Weimaraner guard dog – barking incessantly, and then a crash. 4m from our guest room window stood a bull ellie head down coming through the surrounding cement brick wall. Before scaring it off with a flashlight (standing safely being another brick wall and bars over windows), it makes a cheeky grab at some vines then disappears into the night. At 11:20pm our hosts are outside faced with the problem of a returning ellie throughout the night looking for food in their beautiful garden of bourganvillas, spinach and tomato plants.

Its quite startling to look out from your bedroom window at an Elephant breaking in, as I’m sure it is to see anything or anyone breaking in to your home. (This is how close the wall is to our bedroom window).

Not your typical smash and grab incident heard of so often throughout Africa.

Throughout the night, paranoia sets in and every noise becomes that of an elephant. While i am dreaming about a lion in our car, a loud crash awakens me at 4am that same night. Dogs barking. The dogs are too loud for me to be dreaming.

Only 10m from the first hole created 5 hours earlier, an ellie has come crashing through again, straight into the vege garden leaving a 7m wide hole. By the time we wipe sleep from our eyes and untangle the mosquito net caught around our limbs we can hear leaves crunching across the road, the ellie has moved on to the neighbours garden, without even taking a tomato for the road.

I go back to bed and have dreams about elephants grazing in our garden and robbers sneaking in through the broken wall to steal our car.

The entire household is restless with elephant dreams – dogs included.

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