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Jodi Picoult's Leaving Time and Botswana Elephants

Bushtracks explains what bestselling author Jodi Picoult’s latest book and one of its favorite Botswana safari camps have in common: elephants.

Book Cover of leaving time by Jodi Picoult

We were excited to learn that the latest book by international bestselling author, Jodi Picoult, Leaving Time, has a very affectionate association with Mashatu Game Reserve, one of Bushtracks’ favorite Botswana safari camps. The concept of how elephants display and deal with grief is a focal point of Picoult’s 24th novel which is partly set in Botswana. Ms. Picoult has had a close working relationship with Jeanetta Selier, the elephant researcher at Mashatu, during the research of her novel.

In fact, the author has requested to return to Mashatu when she next visits Southern Africa to publicize Leaving Time. She was so moved during her visit to Mashatu in 2013 that she has also written a fictional e-book about the powerful protective instincts between a mother elephant and her calf. The e-book is called Larger Than Life and will be available on Amazon from the 4th November 2015.

Mountain Bike Safari, Mashatu, Botswana

Mashatu: A Botswana Elephant Tale

Mashatu Game Reserve is itself a fascinating elephant story. Located in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve of Botswana, Mashatu is home to over 1,000 elephants in 72,000 pristine acres of remarkably diverse wilderness land. Notably, there are no fences inhibiting the free movement of animals between the reserve and the national parks in Botswana and Zimbabwe which flank it. Thus, the elephants and other animals on the reserve do not stay there because of manmade constraints, they stay because they choose to. And, over time, as the elephants have gone about accessing food, water and shade, they have created well-worn, smooth paths which form a network of trails on which the ecologically-minded camp conducts guided safaris on foot, mountain bike and horseback The elephant trails, and the variety of ways to explore them, make Mashatu Game Reserve a wonderful place to experience up-close encounters with its elephants, some of the largest herds of elephant on privately owned land anywhere in Africa, as well as giraffes, elands, ostriches, kori bustards, lions, leopards, many more mammals, and over 350 species of birds.


The first version of this article was posted on 21 Oct 2014 at 10:54 AM.


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