The elephant again today spent most of their day feeding in the mopanie.
The big bull Brutus was with the herds and just harassing anyone he came near. This of course included us. He would appear from nowhere and charge, a mock charge of course, and stop in a cloud of dust. Really impressive stuff as he is such a huge beast.
Towards midday as it warmed up the herds joined as one and headed towards Chekwa pan. Seeing this huge herd of about a hundred elephants moving in that tall mopanie woodland was truly awesome. One BIG spectacle. And as they got to the pan they fanned out and then took the plunge.
For about an hour they were in and out the mud trumpeting and playing. Really one of the most awesome sights I’ve witnessed.
One little family decided to cross through the middle of the pan with a tiny little calf. Once this little guy got into the thick mud he just couldn’t keep going. But no problem, mom and his sisters were at his side and pushed him along all the way to the other side. They are such caring animals.
And once on the other side and in the more manageable ‘waters’ the little guy was having great fun climbing over everybody rolling in the mud.
Impala, zebra, warthog and a few buffalo tried to come and drink at the same time but were nervous of all those huge bodies everywhere. Some did eventually manage to sneak in for a drink.
Could it be these lines are the outline of what was to be a final image? In some ways they could be the outline of an elephant.
10th June 2000
Another leisurely night was had by all as we again took advantage of Tjololo sleeping through most of the early evening.
He only really got on the move around 3h00 heading south into new territory and then east all the way along the Sand river, before heading north and resting up after sunrise. Tjololo travels took us through some impenetrable bush, but our determination to stay with him and the faith in our vehicles had us blundering through it following his every move.
A fairly uneventful night except we did get stuck which has luckily become an uncommon occurrence again.