Namibia's real-life Mowgli in jungle book

10th Jun 2013

The story of Namibia's real-life Mowgli has been captured in her own jungle book.

Tippi Benjamine Okanti Degri's first 10 years growing up in the African bush are captured in Tippi: My Book Of Africa.

Photographs show the young girl befriending Abu the elephant, whom she calls her brother, and a leopard, her best friend.

Living with her French mother and father, wildlife photographers Sylvie Robert and Alain Degri, they travelled throughout Africa on working family holidays.

The adventure started when Tippi, often compared to the Jungle Book film character Mowgli, was born in Namibia, and ended in her travelling through countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Tippi's mother said: "Tippi had so much freedom. It was like having the biggest playground."

Many years on, Namibia is still one of the world's biggest playgrounds, with wildlife remaining its No.1 attraction, especially among visitors on group tours.

Etosha National Park accounts for a quarter of all its tourists.

Pictures in the book include Tippi riding an ostrich, relaxing with a young caracal wild cat and dancing playfully with an elephant.

Ms Robert added: "She was so at ease with animals. She would talk to them with her eyes and her heart. It is like Mowgli's story, but for Tippi it's true."

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