So far my experience with elephants has only been on Okambara (Namibia), where there is a small herd of 9 elephants. Generally on Okambara we monitor the elephants from no less than 150 meters (unless they come closer to us). And there is at least on badly behaved elephant (a juvenile testing his testosterone, er, boundaries). So it was really a delight to get up close and personal to the elephants at Knysna (mentioned in my last blog post). Two days later I went to Addo National Elephant Park, where they have vast herds of free roaming elephants. The park was established in 1920, so these elephants (unlike those at Okambara who are young enough to remember being darted, transported, and collared) are used to vehicles as just another part of the “natural” landscape. When I first pulled up to this waterhole I was (a) astonished at the sheer number of elephants and then (b) astonished at how close we were to them, and how the streams of elephants coming to the waterhole morphed around the vehicles parked watching them. It was truly a breathtaking experience for me. I hope you enjoy the pictures my poor photography skills managed to capture.
Gosh, I just sat there for almost two hours. If I didn’t have to drive 800+ kms back to Cape Town and catch my flight back to Namibia, I might have just moved in with them. MESMERIZING! Boy I really love elephants!