loader image

The Day I Met Rambo & Rachel

The day I met Rambo & Rachel will stay etched in my memory forever. It was a day unlike any other, a beautiful sunny day in Zululand. But this one was different…

I had planned a short trip up to Zululand for various reasons; one of them was to collect wood. Not just any wood, but a hardwood used as a base on a sculpture I am working on. Look, I will find absolutely any excuse to head off to the bush. It certainly does not take much cause or reasoning!

As the morning progressed, I loaded up the wood I had collected and headed North to a place called Bayete Zulu. They have a collection of lodges in Zululand and offer Big 5 encounters in the Manyoni Game Reserve. Additionally, they offer a unique experience where you get to meet the Gentle Giants, Rambo, and Rachel. They are both habituated elephants, rescued after their herd was culled some years ago.

I remember patiently waiting my turn to interact with them. Just sitting there gazing at these two majestic creatures in front of my eyes caused a stir of emotion. Never had I been so close and what a thrill to be in their presence! It struck a chord deep in my heart, knowing the struggle and plight of the African Elephant. Despite a ban on the international trade in ivory, African elephants are still being poached in large numbers. Additionally, the elephant–human conflict is an ongoing battle where there is a conflict with the animals foraging for food and raiding crops.

My turn came and I had the opportunity to touch, feed and admire Rambo. All I can say is that it was the most incredible and unforgettable experience. He accepted me into his space so that I could get up close and appreciate his awe-inspiring size, yet gentle nature. Rachel was mostly interested in the food and I am sure the main reason she turns up for these visits every day.

I urge you, if you have not encountered these two Elephants, please add it to your bucket list. Discover what is so special about these gentle giants and add the experience of a lifetime to your memory bank!

The experience encouraged me to reflect on my bronze sculptures of Elephants. And it brought a very special one to mind. ‘Tusker’ is one of my latest sculptures of Elephants that have proved to be very popular with only a small number left in the edition. Tusker Bull Elephant weighs in at an impressive 35kg, titled ‘Titan of the African Savannah’.

Please get in touch with us if you are interested in purchasing a sculpture.

Follow Allen Hallett Sculptor on Facebook and Instagram for latest bronzes.