Despite living in the wild in Botswana for 30 years, filming, researching and exploring the world they have come to know so well, award-winning filmmakers and conservationists Dereck and Beverly Joubert say they are often still surprised by what they come across on their journeys. Such was the case when the couple were exploring the backwaters of the bush one day and stumbled upon the skulls of two large bull elephants with their ivory tusks intact. To the Jouberts, this is always cause for celebration because it means the giants died of natural causes and not, for example, from poaching, snares or bullets. To understand the lives of the two old bulls, the Jouberts paddle from one end of a river to the other in the Selinda Reserve, home to over 7,000 elephants in a remote corner of Botswana. Their journey brings them into extremely close contact with herds that, over time, seem to accept their presence as the couple film and photograph them.
Soul of the Elephant is a Public Broadcasting Service Nature documentary that aired in October 2015. The story follows the journey of a husband-wife team of filmmakers and conservationists who come across the skeletal remains of two large bull elephants with their ivory tusks intact. In an age where 35,000 elephants are poached each year for their ivory, this unlikely find sparked a journey through a river delta in Botswana to retrace the steps of these bulls.
Botswana is host to a third of the world’s surviving elephants, one of the most intelligent, sensitive beings on the planet. The documentary takes the viewer on an intimate journey into the lives of elephants in the wild, exploring the heart, home, and life patterns of these magnificent giants.
Soul of the Elephant is a breathtaking ode to the compassion and humanity of these creatures. The footage is beautiful, the narrative lyrical and quiet, allowing the focus to remain on these majestic, elegant spirits who rule the savannas.