Silence is most certainly golden when it comes to being up close and personal with this incredible giant….
Eswe Ras, Front of House manager of Sausage Tree Safari Camp of Balule Private Game Reserve, was fortunate enough to experience a heart-pounding encounter with such a majestic animal.
Eswe is a qualified guide and occasionally does the tracking on game drives (as per this incident).
“This was a unique experience for me, but occasionally trackers do get approached by various animals out of curiosity.”
This happened in February 2016, shortly after we departed for our afternoon drive from camp. We approached a herd of young elephants and perched about 30 meters away from them, respecting their space.
They slowly started to approach us, this is when Ezulwini (the elephant bull) came to the car to pass. As seen in the video, he walked over to me and stood in front of me (what is not seen in the video is he put his trunk around one of my ankles, sniffing me) for a few seconds. Our lead guide Kevin van der Linde was filming the incident.
Sure, it’s pretty scary to have a big animal come up to you and touch you, but I never felt that I was in danger. Ezulwini is an elephant popular with guides and trackers here on Balule, and it is a very gentle animal. The feeling that I think is best described as utter fear and certainly an adrenaline rush. “