Elephants of Chobe – Faye Anderson Blog #2
I recently went on game drive in Chobe National Park. The group that we met the night before mentioned that they had seen lots of Elephants. While they were discussing this, I couldn’t help but think, “that’s nice but I hope we see more than you guys”. Let’s be honest, isn’t this how most of us feel at times when someone says they saw something great, especially wild animals in the park?
After everyone piled into the 4×4 vehicle we drove to the main entrance gate full of hope. The cameras were out and ready as we headed off towards the river. To our delight we soon started seeing elephants – hundreds of elephants. It was going to take us another hour just to go the short distance to the river. For as far as the eye could see in every direction, elephants seemed to have taken over the park. Which way do I look, where do I start taking pictures? There were elephants playing in the mud, some swimming, others looking for the shade of any tree they can get under…
Of course there were lots of young adolescent elephants running around madly chasing one another. This was the first time I had seen them at play like that, they were even making a cute trumpeting noise, obviously having a great time! This was incredible to see and I was happy if we didn’t move anywhere else.
In the past I have seen anything up to 40 to 50 elephants in a herd, but this is beyond anything I’ve seen before. Many elephants came within touching distance, which is when you realize how big they are, especially when in you’re in the vehicle and you still need to look up to them instead of down. At one point I think everyone was holding their breath as an elephant almost put it’s head in the open 4×4 vehicle – an ultimate adrenaline rush. It was incredible.
Our driver estimated anything up to 400 elephants, and who were we to argue, if he had said 4000 elephants, we would have believed him. Later in the day we went on a sunset cruise along the Chobe river and this gave us the opportunity to see the elephants from a different angle. To see so many in the water and being able to stay in a reasonable distance was the best. We were now watching the baby elephants having fun yet at times struggling to keep their heads above the water level. Sometimes all we could see was a trunk waving around, then it’s head would suddenly pop up and we would all be full of excitement and happy that it had resurfaced.
We also got to see many other animals in the park including Lions, Buffalo, Giraffes and Hippos, which was really great, but the elephants really took the prize for me. I have been here on many other occasions and have never been disappointed in this park. And in spite of me thinking I wanted to see more than the last group, I was happy seeing so many other people enjoying this wonderful experience. This is one trip that will always remain special.