This is the incredible moment a wildlife photographer captured her fellow adventurer being explored by an African elephant as it swam across a river just meters away from them.
The breathtaking close-up was taken by Jean Tresfon as she sailed along the Moremi River in Botswana with her friend Steve Benjamin.
The pair had been photographing lilies from below the surface when they spotted the animal feeding, meters away from the riverbank.
The 40-year-old man from South Africa then climbed into the water with Mr. Benjamin to take a closer look. Amazingly, when they did, the elephant moved towards the couple and began to cross the river in front of them.
When he spotted the duo, he blew up Mr. Benjamin with a trunk full of water, warning them not to come near. But Mr. Benjamin still managed to capture the second stunning photo, capturing the magical encounter.
Ms. Tresfon, who specializes in underwater photography, said: ‘We saw the elephant quietly feeding about ten meters away from the riverbank. Steve and I waded a little further to make space.
‘The elephant slowly moved closer to the water’s edge and then, almost unbelievably, decided to cross the river right in front of us.
‘Only when he was knee-deep did he see us. He sucked up a trunk full of water and blew it at Steve as a warning not to get any closer, then turned around and swam across the river. It was a magical encounter. ‘
She added: ‘In underwater photography, it’s not possible to shoot from a distance with a telephoto lens, so I’m used to getting close to large animals underwater – although this was as unusual as it happened on shallow. ”
Benjamin insisted that he did not feel threatened by the gentle giant.
He said: ‘I was cautious but never felt threatened. However, when the elephant turned and walked towards me, I knew it wanted to cross the river.
‘I knew I had to stay calm and stay in my position, not to make sudden movements. It decided to splash me with water, which I took as a ‘I know you’re there and don’t move’ sign.
‘Holding on to the camera, I took the pictures I could without interrupting the encounter. That was a moment I will never forget. ‘