African Elephants - Beautiful Giants
Some of our most memorable animal encounters have been with African elephants. They are imposing indeed and impossible to ignore.
On several occasions we found ourselves totally engulfed watching them interact with one another. They are clearly very social animals. You can see the cows nurturing the calves. They also play amongst themselves. It is hard to imagine such large animals rolling around on their backs and playing with each other, but they do and it is an amazing site to behold.
The photo below is of the very first elephant we encountered. It was at the end of our first full day in the Etosha Game Park in Namibia. All day long we wanted so badly to see an elephant but it appeared that we would be shut out. We were actually feeling a little like losers because we had failed to find any. Seeing this guy was very rewarding.
The next day we felt redeemed when we happened upon a herd at a watering hole. We were comfortably in the shade and spent at least an hour watching them. The highlight was a baby elephant chasing guinea fowl and trumpeting.
Later, we would run into hundreds of elephants in Botswana. We observed them from on the side of the highway, driving ourselves through game parks and on guided boats. It was impossible to avoid the elephants as they were everywhere and that was so awesome.
Our most memorable encounter occurred when we awoke to a sound outside our tent around 1:00 AM. There was an elephant right along the side of our tent. He followed our deck railing right around to the opposite side of our tent. It was a full moon and we watched the whole thing from our screen only feet away. You only appreciate just how big these animals are when you get up close. It was definitely an encounter that we will never forget.