“Hey. Bodhi’s awake.”
“What time is it?”
“Let’s go for a drive.”
It was our third morning staying in Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa’s third largest national park, and home to roughly 600 elephants. So far, despite seeing numerous antelopes, warthogs and zebras, we’d only seen one elephant in a very brief encounter. At this point we were feeling pretty darn determined to spend some quality time with the rest of the 599 elephants in this massive park during our visit.
We were in the car a few minutes later, and over handfuls of breakfast cereal we began our self-drive safari by watching an incredibly beautiful sunrise and seeing–that’s right–more antelopes, warthogs and zebras (which, to be fair, were totally still very fun to see).
We rounded a curve on the main game road and saw a small sign for a road we hadn’t noticed before. Harvey’s Loop. We turned onto it.
By now, you can probably guess what we saw there. But, just for fun, we’re going to let Bodhi tell you, in this video.
Spoiler alert: across three or four different herds hanging out on Harvey’s Loop, we must have seen more than 30 elephants. Mommies, daddies, teenagers, newborns, there were so many elephants! And because hundreds of thousands of people visit Addo each year, the elephants are completely desensitised to the cars; they behave as though there was no one (human) around.
As you can see (and hear!) it was an absolute thrill for all three of us to be surrounded by these majestic creatures as we continued eating our breakfast cereal. Heather even grabbed the camera and snapped away at the mamas and babies. When we decided it was time to give the elephants some privacy, and the camera battery was exhausted, we all went home and took a nice, peaceful, nap.
P.S. the fate of the world’s elephant population remains in the balance, and the recent decision by the U.S. government to lift the ban on imports of certain big game trophies, including those from elephants, is an unthinkable step in the wrong direction. There are many ways you can help, from making your voice heard, to supporting one of the many organisations dedicated to protect and save the world’s elephants. If you would like to learn more, we recommend this article published by the Guardian, titled ‘What can I do to Help Elephants.’