After a wonderfully lazy day yesterday we were up at the crack of dawn again to head out on morning safari with the hope of seeing an elephant today. We set off walking around the small village behind the motel and almost instantly bumped into a rather friendly and inquisitive elephant that was just meandering about eating. It seemed strange to see an wild elephant so close to people and yet it seemed completely un-phased by us all. We got so close to it, there was no need for a zoom lens at all, it was pretty spectacular being so close to such a big powerful animal. I took a tonne of photos and then we headed off down the escarpment towards the watering holes.
Yet again we saw plenty of kob and monkeys, but there was no sign of any elephants. As we were circling back toward the escarpment our guide Daniel showed us the skeleton of an elephant that was under a tree. He explained that more often than not when an elephant dies it is because when they get old they lose their teeth and eventually cannot eat and so starve to death. Seemed kind of sad really that they die because of hunger, that must be a slow painful death. We were heading back to the motel when we saw another elephant in the distance but Daniel said that it was a bit moody and so we’d leave it alone. We arrived back at the motel and as we were having breakfast by the pool, all of a sudden 12 elephants all came wandering out of the scrub to the watering hole, we sat by the pool watching them for a while before Gen and I decided to go and see if we could pay Daniel to take us back down for a closer look.
When we made it to the watering hole I couldn’t believe how small I felt, to be surrounded by 12 elephants made me feel like the size of the ant! They were all playing around in the water, splashing each other and then when they got out they’d cover each other in mud and run around chasing one another. It was such a great experience to be so close to such a wild animal. I’d ridden Asian elephants in Nepal and Thailand but they were tamed, these were anything but tamed, we had to back off a little at times when they got too close to us as Daniel explained that after the Cheetah elephants are the second fastest land mammal. (I don’t know if this is true, but if it is, that’s mightily impressive!). We spent ages down there taking photos and being taught lots of interesting things about elephants behaviour etc before slowly making our way back up to the motel.
Once back at the motel we ordered some lunchtime beers and sat watching the elephants walk back off into the scrub. We spent the rest of the afternoon deciding what we’d do the next morning, would we head west to Wa or head back the way we’d come and up to Bolgatanga?