Battle for the president's elephants: life, lunacy and elation in the African bush.

Battle for the president's elephants: life, lunacy and elation in the African bush. Sharon Pincott.

Auckland Park: Jacana Media, 2012. Octavo, paperback, colour photographs.

Searching for something more than her high-flying executive life was offering, Sharon Pincott traded her First World existence to start a new life with The Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe, the country's flagship clan of over 450 wild elephants. She knew nothing of Zimbabwe's ways; she was unpaid, untrained, self-funded and arrived with the starry-eyed air of most foreigners. For more than a decade, this passionate wildlife conservationist has lived in the Hwange bush among the Presidential Elephants that she is devoted to and will do anything to protect. One minute she's cherishing incredibly intimate encounters with these gentle giants, the next she's accused of being a spy and then her name appears on a Zimbabwe police wanted-persons list. While things often seem to go from bad to worse, she relentlessly perseveres in the face of overwhelming odds to stick by the elephants she so obviously loves. Written with engaging humour and warmth and a deep, tangible love of Africa's wildlife, Sharon recounts the enchanting times that make her life in the wilds bearable, as well as some of the preposterous incidents that force her to question her sanity in staying in Zimbabwe. Succeeding her highly praised book, The Elephants and I, this captivating collection of bush tales, including two eight-page picture sections, offers a further glimpse into the wonders, and grim realities, of choosing a life less ordinary.

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