The two women were photographed close to the nature of their lives as a wild male elephant approached their porch as they sat out in the sun.
And quick-thinking photographer Marsel van Oosten made the most of the rare situation by capturing a holiday moment to remember.
He was staying in Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia with his wife, Daniella Sibbing when the African elephant introduced himself.
As Daniella and motel manager Lana De Villiers sat motionless for fear of being trampled, the 43-year-old aimed his camera and captured the breathtaking sight of the monster.
Dutchman van Oosten said: ‘The camp is on the banks of the Zambezi River and set in a grove of acacia trees towering over a giant male elephant that loves to eat them.
‘They especially like the fruit that falls from the tree, and they actually shake the tree so that more fruit falls.
‘The elephant in this shot is picking up pods all over the camp, and slowly moves into the direction of the veranda.
‘It was the elephant who decided to move closer to the humans, rather than the other way around – which was what made this such a special, if not a bit astounding, experience.
‘This is a wild elephant, and all wildlife is at risk. You should never try to get close to an elephant. ‘
He added: ‘I was rearranging my camera bag and cleaning my gear as it can get very dusty at times.
‘When I saw the elephants up close, I didn’t see many photo opportunities at first because the light was getting pretty harsh.
‘But as one of these elephants started getting closer, I quickly grabbed my camera and positioned myself behind the women, hoping to get the elephant into the frame.
‘When it was only a meter away, it looked up to check the situation, and that was when I took this picture. ”
It’s a similar story at Mfuwe Lodge in South Luangwa National Park and Zambia, where elephants are more frequent visitors.
The site’s inside forms part of a traditional trail used by an elephant family for several years.
The unique sight occurred as up to 10 giant African elephants strolled past the reception on their way to their favorite mango trees inside the hotel compound.
Hotel developers in 1998 inadvertently built the hotel on the well-trodden route favored by elephants – but this doesn’t matter much for powerful animals that simply passed through the building as if they were guests.
The herd marches to the hotel – and through it – at the end of October each year when the fruit is ripe.