To Tombouctou

Monday I set off for Tombouctou, deciding it was best for me to make this trip now rather than at the end of my stay when the elephants are more likely to congregate by water in the daylight. The other researchers have gone to Inadjatafane for a few days, giving the elephants at Banzena a short break from our presence. I am hopeful that when I return to the Sahel, the elephants will be more cooperative. I have extended my time in Mali by a couple of weeks to improve my chances. To those of us in the western world, ‘Timbuktu' usually conjures up notions of distance and isolation. So it was quite strange to know it would be just a 4-hour drive from my Sahel camp and much more connected to the modern world. In the 1300s, Tombouctou was a great center of commerce and culture, and it is now the regional capital. I will stay 3 nights in a hotel, make some pictures, get some rest, and gather my thoughts for my final weeks of work.View new photography at