It was the last morning drive of my guests’ two night stay here at Kapama River Lodge. We had been quite spoiled the previous three drives with a couple of really nice lion sightings and even the elusive leopard walking slowly down the road the night before. All we were missing from completing our Big 5 sightings was the elephants. They had proven difficult to see the last couple drives, as we had located them the afternoon before but they were deep in a riverbed where we were unable to see any of them properly – just a blur of grey moving through the thick bush.

About an hour into our last game drive, I got a call on the radio from one of the other vehicles that had been helping us try to find the elephants. They had seen one of them walking into the bush, and now had the sounds of the rest of the herd deep in the bush quite a way from the road. When we arrived in the area all we could here was some branches breaking quite far into the bush, but still no actual sight of the elephants. It seemed we might be frustrated again, so we decided to go have some coffee and come back to the area afterwards to see if they had moved closer to any of the roads.

Our patience with these surprisingly difficult-to-see elephants was richly rewarded when coming back to the area after coffee; we turned a corner to find the herd of about 20 elephants slowly crossing the road not 100 meters in front of us! We slowly drove closer to the magnificent animals and got to watch them feeding for about 15 minutes just on the side of the road, with the curious youngsters cautiously approaching closer to our vehicle to investigate our strange sounds and smells.

It was a fantastic way to complete my guests’ stay. The frustration of not being able to see them properly in the drives before was completely washed away by their smiles at witnessing these amazing animals so peaceful and close to our car.

Kevin – Kapama River Lodge

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