Young Elephants

Young elephants

Elephant babies off to play

Young elephant are notoriously playful, naughty and cute. A bit like a toddler really. They don’t know what their trunks are for yet, so they just swing them around like they are an accessory. Their feet look too big for them, their ears are all over the place and they love to rough and tumble together, squealing and trumpeting. I always feel very lucky when I have witnessed them playing.

Paradise Charge

Charging bull elephant

elephant charging

Elephant bulls are notorious for charging as an intimidation tactic, but, as in this painting, they are often mock charges. One of the signs of a mock charge as opposed to a ‘real’ charge, is that the position of the ears in a real charge are flat against the head. In a mock charge they are usually splayed wide and high, in order for the animal to appear larger than it is to get the enemy to back down.

Zambezi Express

Charging ElephantThis herd of charging elephant are actually charging towards water, after a long, hot, dusty day in the bush. In October, the hottest month in Southern Africa, the build up towards the rainy season is intense, and the contrast between the brooding, dark and stormy sky and the dry, dusty earth is huge. Water is a precious commodity and the wildlife compete for it every day, herds upon herds of elephant stampeding down to one pan can be witnessed every evening, and it is an awesome sight.

The Hot Dry Time

Elephant on the scent of water

The Hot Dry Time

Elephants live in a matriarchal society, meaning they are lead by a dominant female. The mature males, or bulls, are either solitary or in bachelor herds, and move through the herds of females and babies, socializing and sniffing out any females in oestrus. They are generally relaxed and casual animals, until they reach a period of their life called ‘mustch’ where excess testosterone starts to course through their bodies, making them aggressive and super confident. It is a good idea to avoid and elephant bull in mustch!