Thirsty!

A Thanda Safari Elephant herd on its way to a waterhole!

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Landing!

An Egyptian Goose was landing in front of two of our Elephant bulls as they were having a morning drink stop at a waterhole.

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The Big Five in one drive!

We went on game drive this afternoon to find Elephants, but we got much more. As we left the Thanda Safari Lodge we encountered two male Lions and when we stopped to watch a few Warthogs and Impalas we spotted a large male Leopard hunting. After this very special encounter we continued on our Elephant quest and almost immediately ran into a White Rhino. And towards the end of the drive we finally found the long-noses.

What a day! The Big Five on one drive.

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HOT DAY AT THE WATERHOLE

Yesterday midday I stopped by one of our largest waterholes and stayed for an hour.

It was an impressive scene with a large bull Elephant bathing, over two hundred Cape Buffalo relaxing around the water, many dazzles of Burchell’s Zebra and many herds of Blue Wildebeest coming and going, sounders of Warthogs playing in the mud, and many different bird species having a drink.

I only had my iPhone with me so I took a few video clips instead of my usual photography. What a Sunday treat!

I wish all of you a good week ahead!

Music by Root

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Sometimes it is advisable to get out of the way

Having an experienced field guide with knowledge about Elephant behavior helps a lot when encountering these incredible creatures.

When meeting young bulls it is important to stand ones ground and not to reverse, as they see reversing as a challenge and want to sparr.

If meeting a cow with her young who is moving with lifted head and extended ears towards ones vehicle, it is a good idea to reverse slowly until the lady turns around and deems the distance to her young sufficient.

But if – as in this picture – an old bull strides towards ones car it is advisable to move to the side of the road out of his path. He will ignore the vehicle if he has enough space to pass. What an experience to have him that close! Learning to interpret the Elephants’ body language helps a lot to react properly.

PS: If a Bull is in musth = increased testosterone levels (indicated by his back legs being wet from dribbling urine) then it is best not to get close, give the him plenty of space and position the vehicle to have a easy escape route.

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📷 Picture by Christian Sperka

The Trunk …

If anyone tells you Elephants drink through their trunk, tell them they should try to drink through their nose 😊.

Elephants use their trunks like a large syringes. The fill them with water and then empty them into their mouth!

Depending on their size they can drink between 70 and 200 liters (18-50 Gal.) of water per day. The trunk will hold up to 10 liters (2.6 Gal.) to be deposited into the mouth at one go!

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DIFFICULT START

From time to time a game drive can have a difficult start if one of Thanda’s Elephant villa decides to have a snack in the driveway to the Lodge. But our guests enjoyed observing this gentle giant for a quite a while.

📷 Picture by Christian Sperka

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MONDAY GREETINGS …

… from a young male Elephant using a branch broken off a tree 😊

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📷 Christian Sperka Photography

WHAT A NOSE

An Elephant’s trunk contains over 40,000 muscles. A human body contains a mere 639 muscles!

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