The size of elephants is often underestimated. Spending a few moments with a big boy in Kruger National Park made me realise just how enormous they really are.
My friend and I were travelling down the H3 past the Afsaal area. We approached a dry riverbed and decided to take a quick break and scan the area. In the far distance we could see a herd of elephants crossing the riverbed. The riverbank was extremely steep and we were surprised that the elephants would trample up that hill. As we were about to leave, one of the elephants gave a thundering trumpet and the sound echoed through the dry riverbed. It was a great experience hearing how loud the sounds are, even from a fair distance away.
We carried on with our drive and came across a rather open field. A car or two had already stopped there so we did the same. Then seemingly out of thin air, an enormous elephant came wandering out of the bush. This was the biggest elephant we had seen in the park. It seemed to be moving along on its own pace, not too bothered with the cars in the vicinity. A younger elephant followed close behind.
I remember how cautious we were of elephants at a sighting. We really kept our distance from them. To my surprise a game vehicle approached the elephant and gave its guests a super close up experience. I’m not sure if we were quite ready for that level of bravery just yet.
The two elephants simply walked across the open space, safely crossed the road and disappeared into the bush.