The first elephant adventure started out on our first full day of cruising the park. We stopped off at a watering hole for a quick look not too far from Satara rest camp. It was getting hot quickly and we thought it might be a good possibility to see some sort of creatures coming for a drink or a mud bath. We were out of luck though, not only were we the only humans there but there weren’t any animals in sight as well. We drove the 200 feet back to the main road and took a right to continue down the dusty trail. About two minutes down the road Chris spotted a huge herd of elephants moving in. It must have been bath time. We made a mad U-turn for the watering hole and crossed our fingers.
The leathery creatures swayed and stomped their way one behind the other to the water. The leader of the herd raised his trunk as if to say, “We made it gang, have FUN!”. They all b-lined it for the water and enjoyed their cool retreat splashing and swimming around. It was such a neat thing to watch, like a scene straight off of the Discovery Channel.
After about 15 minutes of innocent water fun things got even more Discovery Channel-esque when two of the elephants starting making water love. The rest of the herd — including what looked to be like an elephant family — got out of the water. It was as if they sensed some funny business about to take place.
The two lovebirds where having a good ole time in the water but someone wasn’t happy about it. Apparently there were two bulls after the same lovely lady elephant. (I know ladies, happens all the time to you too, right?? ) A fight ensued; the bulls’ tusks were in gridlock. They put on a great show, making loads of trumpet noises and splashing around angrily together.
Then, suddenly it was over. Their herd had left them and they need to play catch-up to get back in line. They ran out of the water, eventually caught up and fell right back in with the others as if nothing had happened.
As the herd stomped off into the distance Chris and I just looked at each other and laughed. What could there possibly be to say after that?
One of the coolest 45 minutes EVER!!
(Please forgive the quality of some of these pictures. It was some of the first shots with the big daddy rented lens I used for Kruger.)
The second animal adventure is brought to you from a lone stretch of Kruger road with a herd of elephants to the left of us in the distance. The herd was on the move and we wanted to stop the car so that the elephants would cross the road in front of us. In order for them not to feel threatened we gave them a pretty wide birth as to not impeding their path. We were sitting patiently for about 10 minutes as they approached. They were about 20 yards away when an — excuse my French — a$$hole zoomed up ahead of us and stopped his car for the scene to unfold in front of him instead, basically ruining everything we had set up. Cuss words filled our car, but we were unable to do much else about it.
So that was that, I got as many shots as I could sans ugly white car and then just enjoyed the moment. The herd, with a few babies swayed across the road. There was one male bull lagging behind the herd, as if standing watch over his family. Once they crossed the road he made his way across as well, but not before scaring the daylights out of the inconsiderate car ahead of us.
Ahhh. Sweet revenge!
He charged after them with his ears flapping and trunk sounding. They threw their car into reverse and panicked for about 15 seconds. In the end the bull just wanted to scare them and establish some dominance, but to us it was poetic justice!