While Sophia Loren and Penlope Cruz are among the beauties who've posed for Pirelli since the calendar was founded in 1964, this year it features unknown models in the Botswana wilderness. Here a trio of watchful meerkats get some glamorous company
Photo: Pirelli / Peter Beard
Click on photos for gallery

The beauties were pictured communing with animals in the Okavango Delta, a labyrinth of lagoons and lakes
Photo: Pirelli / Peter Beard

Scantily clad lovelies get mystical in Botswana for Pirelli calendar

21 NOVEMBER 2008
The spectacular sun-drenched vistas of Botswana's Okavango Delta, majestic elephants and some of the world's loveliest models grace this year's Pirelli calendar.

In the past, stars like Penelope Cruz, Naomi Watts and Sophia Loren have posed for the Italian firm in glamorous locations such as Majorca and Saint Tropez.

In 2009, though, the images will feature largely unknown beauties roaming amidst animals in the wild. Typical of an approach intended to show how unspoilt the African landscape can be is the shot of a model leaping out of the lagoon, surrounded by water lilies and an elephant behind her.

Shot by Peter Beard, a photographer who's lived in Kenya for 30 years and is renowned for his interpretations of the continent, the images celebrate "nature as a metaphysical entity".

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