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This blog is dedicated to one small elephant, only a few months old, whom we had the privilege of viewing late in the afternoon while on safari at Londolozi Private Game Reserve. This whole story played out in front of us in just a matter of fifteen minutes. It is this type of experience that makes you want to return to Londolozi again and again… FOREVER.
It was late in the day and the herd had been moving all day… and this guy was tired.
With some encouragement from his mother the wee elephant was up and moving on.
The older elephants had all visited a waterhole for a shower and it was time to move on once again.
When the older elephants stopped in the road for a dust bath, all the wee elephant could do was stop and try mimic them.
Finally the wee elephant could go no further and simply lay down in the road.
Wanting to show the others the stuff he was made of, and to prove he rightfully belonged in the herd, he decided to get back up.
But it wasn’t all that easy. First he had to get his feet in the proper position and then swing his trunk to get the required momentum.
And if at first you do not succeed… try, try again.
“I am telling you mom, I can’t go on any longer, these little pads have had it!”
“This is not a joking matter; I can’t go on any longer.”
“I give up! All I want to do is sleep right now.”
“Okay, okay, I will try this again.”
“See I am making progress – front legs are straight and I am working on my hind legs.”
“See, I told you I could do this. I do belong in this herd!”
“It is all about belief in oneself. There are no obstacles too big for an elephant to conquer.”
“Come on, what are you waiting for? Follow me and this bird.”
“Come on legs, don’t desert me now. My reputation is on the line.”
“This isn’t looking too good right now!”
“Why me? I gave it my best shot and I am just bushed. Tomorrow will be another day and I will show them I can be a member of this herd.”
“Mom. Stop calling. I did try!”
“Okay, I will try one more time.”
“I know I have embarrassed you but please don’t thump me with your trunk. You watch, I will make you proud.”
It was time for the herd to continue their journey and the wee elephant took up his place in the herd once again.
It was an honour and privilege to share a few moments of this wee elephant’s life and gain some insight into the rigours of life in the bush. Thanks to Mike Karantonis, our guide, and to all the people of Londolozi for the great work you do every day in preserving this opportunity for all to see.
Written and Photographed by: Edward Hubbard
Feel like being transported to the bush? Watch this video filmed of elephants playing at Maidies Dam: