Monday, January 31, 2011

On Saturday the 29th Springbok lodge headed out on the afternoon drive looking for Elephant. We knew that they were feeding in the valley near the lodge, as we seemed to have missed them by mere minutes on the earlier morning game drive.

We came across a lovely Journey of Giraffe. A herd consisting of an old bull, females and calves of various ages. We had a great view of a little month old calf, still with part of the dried umbilical cord attached to its belly.

Heading back to the lodge after stopping for a lovely Sundowner at "Social point', The Elephant herd had emerged from the valley. They sauntered into the spruit below Springbok lodge where we all had a fantastic view of the breeding herd.  We first spotted the Big bull. 'BFE' (Beefy). who was slowly approaching the breeding herd. He then joined the some of his ladies at the stream for a "Sundowner". We watched them drawing gallons of water into their trunks and then pouring it down their throats. Elephant can draw about 14 liters of water into their trunks. The Trunk is acutely a muscular nose which serves as a , "hand", extra "foot", & signaling device aswell as a tool for gathering food, siphoning water, dusting, digging, smelling touching.

The young bull, A teenager in elephant terms, lifted his trunk and smelt BFE approaching. He tried to block BFE's way to the rest of the herd. But BFE, toping the scales at about 6 tons, just gently pushed him back. The young bull eventually just turned sideways and submitted the road to old BFE.

It was the perfect way to end a game drive. We spent about about a half and hour watching the herd greet the old bull and see the little elephant calves totter about in play. 
The herd slowly moved along in the direction of "Elephant Rock lodge". finally we were able to pass by and return to the lodge. The Elephant bull &herd still spent the evening in the area. While we were sitting in the boma around the fire before dinner, Their trumpets and rumblings could be heard n the cool night air.