Anne's ipad was sitting on the console behind me so our guide Neil quickly snapped this parting shot just before the elephant decided he'd had enough of us...
I'm always looking for new and better images when I travel even if I've been on safari before and already have lots of wildlife pictures. Take this recent safari to Botswana and South Africa for example. Every African safari, indeed every game drive and bush walk, is different and I just have that constant urge to capture each unique wildlife encounter and cultural experience to share with our travelers as well as my own family and friends at home.
Sometimes I have to remind myself to put the camera down and embrace the moment like our elephant encounter in Sabi Sands Greater Kruger Nature Conservancy.
Neil saw these two eles approaching so we parked by the shore of the water hole and waited.
On our first game drive out of Savanna Lodge our guide Neil saw two eles approaching a water hole at dusk so he pulled our vehicle around to one shore where he figured they would likely meander around. We parked. Shut off the engine. Started photographing and watched in the waning light of the day. It was serene, just us and the two elephants. But when the elephant started approaching our vehicle I stopped taking pictures and just turned the video camera on so that I could pay full attention as he got closer and closer and closer...
Parked in the path of a young bull elephant at Sabi Sands Greater Kruger Conservancy.
As Neil describes on the video below, we were parked in his path so he came right up to the open vehicle and played with our minds. Acting casual with his trunk hanging off one tusk, he just stood there checking us out to see who was going to blink first. The camera was rolling as I gave him my full and very relaxed attention sending vibes speaking silently to him: "I'm cool. You're cool. We're all cool here." And he seemed OK with it all. You know the ending already. He flinched.
The founding President and CEO of Wildland Adventures and the director of the non-profit Travelers Conservation Trust. He has traveled and guided throughout the world since 1975. Kurt completed an M.S. degree in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan after conducting research in the National Parks of Costa Rica. He has also worked on international programs for the U.S. National Park Service. Kurt has authored a chapter on adventure travel for Fodor's guide books and published numerous articles on ecotourism. As a recognized industry pioneer in adventure travel and ecotourism, he has served on numerous professional boards and conservation organizations including The International Ecotourism Society, the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association, the Maasai Environmental Resource Coalition of East Africa, and the Adventure Travel Trade Association.