Saturday, September 8, 2012

My elephant adventure

I wanted to share with you an amazing video shot by my friend and fellow quilter Cynthia England while we were on safari together in Kruger National Park in South Africa last month. I was busy shooting still photographs (you can see me – or at least the back of my head – when she pans to the left through our vehicle).

Our guide, Sophiso, went off-road when we saw a few elephants in the distance. As we got closer, he slowed down but kept driving, and we were soon very near a large herd (about 30) elephants. Cynthia started shooting as the elephants came closer to investigate. Then the largest male came to the front of the vehicle and looked our guide right in the eye. He kept his eyes on us until the rest of the herd – including some darling babies – got past us. 

I could tell that our guide was a little nervous. He kept looking to the left and the right, and afterward I asked him about it. He said that he was a bit worried once he realized that the elephants had surrounded us, so that we could not back out. And we certainly couldn’t go forward with the big male standing his ground. 

Being this close to wild elephants gave me goosebumps and brought me to tears. You’ll notice that we were all very quiet until the elephants moved farther away. Partly because we were not sure if we were in danger, and partly because we were in total awe of these massive, intelligent, beautiful creatures. We were also trying to absorb everything, to remember this moment for the rest of our lives. To hear them breathing.

Most of us have a few experiences in our lives that are so amazing, so special, that we remember them always. This was one of them.


  1. Oh, how amazing and thrilling! My experience pales in comparison but was almost as moving to me. We stood on the shore of a pond at Callaway Gardens (GA) and watched a pair of Canada Geese swim their eight goslings to shore for their first time out of their island nest. And just like the big male elephant, the papa goose kept the people away from the babies. Thanks for the video!
    Martha Ginn

  2. What an awsome experiance, I got goose bumps just watching the video. My son and I swam with the Manatees in the wild this summer and it was the same thing, the babies would come right up to us and want us to rub them. They are huge and can be a little intimidating at first.

  3. Wow! You can feel the atmosphere just watching your clip!! What an amazing thing to experience.....

  4. • • • Thank you so much for sharing with us. It must have been a spectacular site to behold in person.

  5. Wow, an amazing video! Thanks for sharing this with us:)

  6. It must have been amazing! I'm pretty sure I would have been terrified with those big males standing guard.

  7. Susan, I went on safari in Kenya back in 1989 when 'poaching' was in full force. The thing that frightened me the most were the Cape Buffalo. Really mean looking creatures. Our rover got stuck in the sand right next to a pride of resting lions. All I could think of is that the rover would overturn and we would be 'gobbled up'! A trip of a lifetime!


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