At Tanda Tula Safari Camp we have been absolutely spoilt, with some of the best elephant viewing I have experienced in quite some time.
Huge herds have been seen throughout our traversing area with the largest herd consisting of approximately 60 elephant! We managed to follow this massive herd toward a large dam during a late morning drive. The sun was up and the temperature was rising.
I hoped to see them drinking or doing some mud wallowing, and we were not disappointed. The entire herd poured into the dam! Bulls, cows and young calves proceeded to have a massive mud wrestling competition, much to the enjoyment of our guests.
The adults were rolling on their sides with their legs in the air. What a sight they made, all 60 elephant covered in mud from head to toe. They were having an absolute ball and eventually crossed the dam to our side and walked straight passed the vehicles.
There were a few very young calves with the herd. One looked to be only a couple of days old as he and was still a bit unsteady on his feet and fell over a few times while the herd pushed through the water. The patience showed by the mother was incredible, as she gently used her trunk to lift the calf back up to its feet when it fell and then carefully guided him across the dam.
A large mature bull was trailing this herd and I managed to get a photo of him with the two day old calf and its mother. The comparison between the bull, cow and calf is fascinating. To think that this little calf will eventually grow into a 5 ton animal!
Words and photos by Dale Jackson