Autumn Adventure – First encounter with elephants at uMkhuze

While we’re on the subject of elephants; in four previous visits to the uMkhuze Game Reserve, an integral part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, we’ve never seen the reserve’s elephants, despite them numbering around a hundred animals. Finally that unlucky streak was broken on the 22nd of March this year during our fifth visit. We had been following the drive back to camp from Nsumo Pan, dodging droppings and broken branches on a wet road, when first the matriarch and then the whole herd emerged out of the thicket into the road ahead of us.

The whole herd were quite relaxed with our presence. The whole herd that is, except one youngster. He sneaked out of the thick vegetation like a cat on the prowl, keeping his head low as he came running towards us, only to stop with head held high and ears widely spread, doing his best to intimidate us. We tried not to laugh in his face though, because one day he will be enormous and he might remember us…

22 thoughts on “Autumn Adventure – First encounter with elephants at uMkhuze

  1. wetanddustyroads

    Pragtige olifant foto’s! Gelukkig kon ek bietjie lag oor die jong olifant se gesigsuitdrukking (hy weet mos nie van my nie … ingeval ons mekaar dalk eendag “raak loop”) 😁. Hy lyk amper so half verbaas dat julle nie vir hom geskrik het nie.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thank you very much, Anne. Aside from Addo, where the elephants seem to be on tranquilisers (I wonder if it is in the spekboom?), we’re always careful with elephants – both in herds and lone bulls – and take time to determine their state of mind before deciding whether to stay put, move closer or move on.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Standing tall with their ears spread out is how you know it was a mock charge, Lois. When it is the real thing they keep barreling down on you, trunk tucked beneath their chest, to smash into you with their head and tusks first…

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. lois

        I did not know that about their ears and a mock charge. I just love all your photos, but especially those of the elephants. Tell Joubert I was in ellie heaven with these shots.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  2. sustainabilitea

    Such expressive shots, Joubert. The elephant remembering you reminds me of “Holiday in the Wild” (now one of our top Christmas movies) and the elephant that remembered Rob Lowe’s character. Elephants are pretty cute, even the big ones, although an enraged, charging elephant would be anything but cute!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thank you very much for the compliment, Janet – I’ll pass it to Joubert as soon as he wakes up this morning.

      We simply love elephants – from the smallest to the biggest and from the meakest to the most aggro (though we give the latter a wide berth!)

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

Please don't leave without sharing your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.