By Alex Matthews
This elephant got a taste of purple rain – which came to save the day.
The lonely giant was attempting to slurp a drink from a muddy watering hole after a long season of drought.
But just as it struggled to coax any moisture out of the ground after a 60 mile trek, dark thunder clouds rolled in and the heavens opened.
The pictures were taken by South African photographer Hannes Lochner in Botswana’s Chobe National Park.
Hannes, 45, said: “I spent a month in the Chobe National Park at the end of the dry season to capture all the dryness, dust, sandstorms, dramatic skies, thunder and lightning storms.
“I wanted to capture that first rain of the wet season with an elephant.
“On this particular afternoon there was a magnificent cloud build up.
“As I was sitting with the elephant the temperatures rose above forty-four degrees Celsius.
“The clouds quickly formed into huge rain and thunder clouds.
“The incredible heat combined with extreme dryness made your skin cry out for some moisture.
“The elephant was actually eating a muddy slush as there was simply no more clean water at the waterhole.
“Just before sunset the first downpour presented itself in this colourful natural scene. These were the first rains after an extremely dry 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.”
More of Hannes’ photography can be found here.