Our general manager, Glen, had some close-up encounters with a bull elephant on a mission. Read his story here.
“On a recent weekly farm inspection, where I check the state of the waterholes, parts of the fence line, and road reparations that have taken place, I stopped at Wilderness Pan to have some lunch. I was just leaving when I came across an elephant bull and I knew he was on his way to drink, so I made a quick U-turn. I positioned myself out of his way, but close enough for me to get some decent photo’s.
He approached very cautiously as he knew I was there. I knew that his thirst would win in the end, so I just sat patiently and waited. On arrival he went to the far side of the pan (as far away from me as he could get). I sat as close to the inlet as I dared knowing that he would want to get the sweet, cool water being pumped up by the solar pump.
He proceeded to drink for a while but knew that the nice water was closer to me.
I just sat watching him quietly, making sure not to challenge or threaten him in any way. He eventually decided that the time was right to investigate whether he could get to the freshwater supply and made his way towards me. Initially he hid behind a thin broken Mopane while assessing the risk of this strange, silent and stationary object, which is normally moving, smelly and noisy. When he thought that I was not much of a threat he gave me a warning by coming closer and making himself look as big as possible.
When he got no reaction and a silent standoff for a while, he decided that I was no threat and proceeded to drink from the water inflow pipe.
We spent about an hour together and formed a mutual trust bond. Although I had a 70-300mm zoom lens I could not use the zoom for a number of the pictures I took as he was no more than 10-15m away from me at times. These are some photos that show what I would have gotten on full zoom.”