This elephant got a taste of purple rain – which came to save the day.
After a long drought season, the lonely giant was trying to drink from a muddy watering hole.
The sun was forced to retreat, but just as it struggled to extract any moisture from the earth after a 60-mile journey, dark thunder clouds rolled in, and the sky opened up.
The pictures were taken by South African photographer Hannes Lochner in Botswana’s Chobe National Park.
“I spent a month in the Chobe National Park at the end of the dry season to capture all of the desolation, dust, sandstorms, striking skies, thunder and lightning storms.
“I wanted to capture the first rain of the wet season with an elephant. On this particular afternoon, an incredible cloud formation was produced.
“As I was sitting with the elephant, the temperatures rose to over forty-four degrees Celsius. The clouds formed quickly into enormous rain and thunderstorms.
Your skin was screaming for moisture, thanks to the scorching heat and extreme aridity.
“The elephant was eating a muddy slush since the waterhole had been out of clean water.
The first rain came just before sunset in this colorful natural environment. These were the first rains since a particularly parched year.
“The desert foreground, the desperate slurping up of mud slush combined with the downpour of hope were exactly what I had had in mind for this photo.”