By: Brian Crail
It was early Saturday as we left the Lodge on a beautiful January morning and eight of us, plus three young children, were looking forward to the game drive. The birds were singing, the sun was shining, and everyone was smiling.
Less than half a kilometer from the gate, we came across a small herd of elephant on their way to drink at the water hole next to the Lodge.
As we were talking about elephants, their habits, their likes and their dislikes – one really large female elephant started ambling over towards the vehicle. In fact, as I was sitting in the front of the vehicle, I seem to recall that she was eyeing me – and only me.
I have to admit to a feeling of extreme discomfort.
However, we were told to sit tight, not to make a sound, and that we were quite safe as we weren’t blocking her way. Which, happily, as it turned out, was exactly right.
Fast forward to some months later. While in the Kruger Park, we were confronted by a rather surly looking bull elephant with his trunk slung belligerently over one of his tusks.
Not being able to turn our car around, as we were pulling a trailer, I remembered our experience at the Buffalo Thorn Lodge, and Jacques’ wise advice, “Get out of the elephant’s way and be quiet.”
This is exactly what we did.
As the elephant was passing our car, he unravelled his truck and almost stuck it through the window to sniff out what was going on. I could swear he gave me a wink as he ambled off, and I like to think it was with a little farewell wave of its tail.
Thank you Buffalo Thorn Lodge for the heads up on what to do in such a situation