It's the middle of the night in the Namibian desert when zoologist Tammie Matson wakes with a start to find two elephants standing beside her tiny tent. She makes a promise: "If you just let me survive tonight I will give up Africa. I'll give it all up. Just don't let them stand on me."
It's not a promise she will easily keep. At 29, Tammie has spent nearly half her life in Africa, her first love, working as a conservationist. But as her 30s approach, Tammie is conscious of not having ticked those boxes: no house, no kids and no husband. Broke and with her visa running out, it seems like Africa may just force her to give it up after all. On returning to Australia, Tammie lands a job at the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Sydney. There she meets Andy, a charismatic Brit, and Africa suddenly has a rival. But she's not ready to give up on the elephants yet...
From the magic of Bushmanland, to the banks of Chobe River in Botswana, to the civil strife of Assam, India, Elephant Dance takes us to the heart of a conservationist's fight to find a way for elephants to live peacefully in a world with too many people, too few resources and the increasing threat of climate change.
Passionate, funny, and moving, Elephant Dance is also a classic story of self-discovery, love, and the courage it takes to follow your calling, especially when it takes you places you least expected.
Paperback, 320 pages. Published 2009.