Tembo in Sawhili. These giants are gentle beasts. We never tire of watching them. The females’ maternal instincts are evident every time we find a mother and her young one. Our Landcruiser passes between a female and her baby and her agitation shows immediately. Pascal speeds ahead quickly and the mother’s anger abates. Pat says that a mother elephant will mourn the loss of her baby and will return to the spot where the baby died.
It is amazing how much they must eat, disseminating an entire tree for lunch. They break off branches, strip off the majority of the leaves and if they cannot reach the top the will push over the tree so the tasty bits are closer to the ground. Whole sections of bushes and trees are torn apart and we know that an elephant herd, or parade, has passed.
The bull elephants are solitary creatures and roam the plains alone. A bull will join a herd to mate. The others travel in herds that are lead by a matriarch.
The Elephant Graveyard is a myth started by Walt Disney, or someone like that. It does not exist.
One would think that as they moved they would make much noise due to their size, but they have ‘pillows’ on the bottom of their feet and set each foot down gently so you cannot hear the slightest sound when they move. They are very graceful. The tracks the adults leave in the dust are the size of dinner plates or serving platters. HUGE!
Of all the animals we saw in Tanzania and Botswana, the elephant remains my favorite.