I remembered this day like it was yesterday… I am used to the bush as my parents took my brother and I on safaris from a very young age. But this was a whole new experience.
As it was my first time in Greater Kruger and staying in this fancy 5 star lodge, I was very excited. My partner and I had planned this holiday for a very long time. We were heading on our first sunset game drive. Blankets, snacks and drinks – all packed. We shared the vehicle with three Americans as well as Kavi, the game ranger and our trekker. It was a relaxed game drive until we headed into the river bed… In the river bed we saw two or three elephants playing around until we heard something RIGHT NEXT to us. Just a few feet from the vehicle appeared this massive elephant bull. I remembered on of the Americans asking if we can please leave but we were unable to move as this would have upset the bull even more. Kavi, spoke to us calmly and quietly, urging us to stay quiet, remain calm and sit still.
I was sitting on the side where the elephant appeared and my boyfriend on the other side. And here he came closer, and closer. I was starting to really panic but my entire body just froze. My boyfriend held me and repeatedly told me that everything will be okay and I remembered thinking that “everything is NOT okay”. The elephant still came closer while shaking his head and making very scary sounds. Luckily everyone on the vehicle remained calm. The elephant walked to the back of the vehicle, touched it with his trunk and then turned around and walked away.
We slowly drove off and when we were at a safe distance, begun talking about how amazing this experience was! In the moment, it is VERY scary but afterwards we all agreed that we were very lucky to have experienced this!!