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.
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.
Yesterday afternoon we were looking for Elephants and found them busy munching fresh green grass in a broken dam basin. I recommend that you watch this video twice. Once with your eyes open and once with your eyes closed (to experience the sounds properly).
We stayed for a long time to observe them converting a ‘long grass field’ quietly into a nicely cut ‘sports field’ 😊
The most important function of the huge Elephants’ ears is that of a cooling system. Pumping large amounts of blood through the ear’s many blood vessels, while waving the ears back and forth, helps these large creatures to stay cool 😎