The ele came from behind the palms

1st August 2014

Monday 28th July 2014

Elephant on a walking safari at Makuleke

© Ulrica Vilen-Letts

A few of us headed up to the Sandveld in search of any interesting tracks that we could follow up on. Alas we found nothing of real significance so we settled for a gentle amble and explore. This yielded a spring that none of us had seen before so there were many suggestions for a name, James’ Spring didn’t cut it with the rest of the guys and no decision was reached but I imagine it will end up being known as “Dead elephant spring” as that’s what we discovered just above it.

Once back at camp there was only time to lock my rifle back in the safe before dashing up to the gate to pick up the graduation guests. Arriving today were Ulrica’s Mum, Dad and brother, Will’s Mum and my aunt and uncle, Peter and Paddy. Disappointingly there was no game on the drive back to camp but given the number of elephants about at the moment I wasn’t too concerned.

In the afternoon we headed out on a drive/walk at Reed Buck Vlei but Tamboki was playing up so we never got there. Instead we limped to Jachjacha and walked around the koppie. I lead, I guess these were my first real guests as a lead trails guide so very exciting but I was also a little bit apprehensive as I doubt my Mum would be too happy if I got my aunt squashed.

We had a couple of encounters, first with an ele bull feeding on a fever tree. It wasn’t the most earth shattering of encounters but still it was great to show the guests an ele. As we continued on our walk, Will, who was backing me up spotted an ele as it came out from behind some LaLa palms. This took me by surprise as it did the ele I think. He came towards us in an inquisitive slightly agitated way. Our positioning was good so it was just a case of asking everyone to remain still and then asking Will to lead the guests up the ridge once the elephant gave us the opportunity.