Elephant encounter

May 30, 2024
Elephant encounter

The dust rose from the eastern side of Hwange National Park and the birds took to the air, their songs creating a melodious symphony. It was as if nature itself was setting the stage for a grand entrance...

And what an unexpected entrance it was! A herd of about 200 elephants - calves, cows, bulls, and even the mischievous teenage "askaries" (askaries are young male elephants known for their antics), were making their way to the watering hole. We had parked our game drive vehicle close enough for our guests to get those coveted up-close shots.

Everyone was happily snapping away when one bull elephant decided to make things a bit more interesting. Calm and composed, it slowly approached our vehicle. And no, we promise we didn't pay him to put on a performance, he just decided he wanted to be the main character that day. Sitting at the front was a 10-year-old boy, eager for the adventure, with his parents seated in the middle seats.

Elephant Encounter

As the elephant got closer, the vehicle fell silent... Now keep in mind, our game drive vehicles are completely open, so you can imagine the tension. Then, in a move straight out of a wildlife documentary, the elephant gently placed its trunk on the bonnet of the vehicle. I honestly think it was posing for a photo because they are usually curious, but not this curious. It lingered there for a moment before turning back to the watering hole, leaving us all in awe.

I have to admit, our hearts were racing, but with guests on board, we had to stay calm and collected. We had to assure everyone that all was well, even though we were just as amazed as they were. As much as we experience this, each time always feels like the first time and it's just as exciting.


Well, the elephant wandered off and we decided it was a good time to quietly drive away, leaving the magical moment behind us. Just another day at Gwango, where every sunset promises a new story and every adventure leaves you with memories you'll never forget.



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