By Joan Larsen
Readers have continually remained fascinated, returning to our site to again read the story of a little girl named Tippi, who had the most special bond the world had seen with the animals of Africa.
Searching, I have been able to find some additional videos as well as a few photos that were unavailable in my earlier articles that I am sure you will enjoy.
The child’s name is Tippi Degre – daughter of Alain Degre and Sylvie Robert, a couple who chose to leave France for southern Africa to pursue their lives as wildlife photographers and film makers. Born in the newly independent Namibia in 1990, films of Tippi were made from the age of 10 months on as she explored the Namibian desert and bush.
For the next 10 years, Tippi wandered the bush barefooted, making friends with all of the wild animals of that part of Africa. Her playground was the hills and desert tribelands of southern Africa. And we see that Tippi as a small child was even friends with Abu, a five ton 28 year old elephant she called “her brother”.
She would ride to a water hole on top of Abu, splashing with the elephants of the herd, cuddle up to huge bullfrogs, lion cubs. . . and could be found hunting grasshoppers to feed the chameleons that she loved.
We see photos of Tippi, now acquainted with the Himba tribes of the area as well as the Bushmen of the Kalahari, who taught the little girl how to survive on roots and berries as those who live in the desert must do in lean times.
Tippi’s life in Africa came to an end when she was 10. It was then that Tippi moved to Paris with her mother. Now an adult, she remains in France still today. But Tippi says that in fact and in her heart, she always has remained an African.
Writer Joan Larsen has spent a lifetime searching for the most remote places on Earth. But it is the polar regions of our world that she has been drawn back to again and again. She has done research in these lands of ice, and considers Antarctica to be her “other home.”
PHOTO CREDITS: PHOTOGRAPHY BY SYLVIE ROBERT / BARCROFT MEDIA LTD. FROM TIPPI MY BOOK OF AFRICA, available HERE on Amazon.com