The Elephant’s Play

Our guide, Jonatan, retells this story of a thrilling sighting…

I had a game drive with three guests and shortly after entering the Etosha National Park, which is only 8 km away from The Mushara Collection main gate, the request was: “Can we seen an Elephant?”

I told my guests that I would try my very best to scout out where the elephants were that day. I drove in a northerly direction toward the “Stink Water Hole” where the elephant herds normally gather.  My guests were so excited when we arrived to find a herd of elephants When we arrived my guests were so excited t started shouting and giving instruction where the elephants were. I ask then to be very quiet and then the settled and started taking pictures of these magnificent animals.

Suddenly two young bulls started pushing each other around. One of the guests asked if they were only playing or was this a duel between two of the strongest animals on earth. I said it seemed that they were only playing with each other and pushing each other around a bit. Suddenly the clearly dominant bull elephant pushed the second bull elephant to the ground.  This is a very rear sighting, I explained to the guests that we hardly see this behaviour, and they were very lucky to bare witness to this spectacle.

When the fallen elephant was back on his feet again the play continued for a short while and the dominant bull chased the weakling away.  Shortly thereafter though they could be seen feeding side by side on the lush green vegetation that is now available to the animals after the rains.

My guests were ecstatic as this was the first time any of them had seen elephants play fighting with each other.

This was a very successful game viewing experience for the guests, and also for myself.