Incredible Elephants

Kruger National Park | January 2018

Phenomenal! What more can I say! The elephant viewing has been ridiculous this last month! The trackers and guides who have been working at Singita Kruger Park for many years have said that they have never seen so many elephants. Every single game drive has produced sightings of more than fifty or sixty of these incredible giants, with more than one hundred seen on a multitude of occasions, often in one sighting. The elephants are highly concentrated in the southern sections of the concession, where water is most abundant. They often swim in the N’wanetsi River, and have been visible from the lodge rooms almost every day.

It is impossible to cite all of the incredible moments we have experienced over that past month, as there have simply been too many. Whether it be at The Weir, down at Dumbana Pools or on the roads near the water, we have seen elephants big and small playing, drinking, sparring, swimming, running, sleeping and anything else you can think of. A favourite moment for many has been when the herds have left the water, and are stained black by it, they often move to the red soils to the west of N’wanetsi Road and in great fiery plumes, cover themselves with dust. It is amazing to bear witness to their transformation into dark moving mountains, covered in shades of ochre red.

Of course, the largest land mammal of all has to eat a lot, and their impact is starting to become visible on the vegetation where we are so consistently seeing these concentrations. However, when the summer rains truly hit us, we are certain the elephants will move to the grasslands of the north, and the everlasting bush in the south will recover, as it always has.

It is difficult to be the star of a spectacle we’ve witnessed on our concession over the last month, but there is one elephant that has upstaged all others. On a few occasions we have had the privilege to be in the presence of a true giant: A ‘tusker’ of unknown age and origin has been seen walking in the midst of these big herds, dwarfing all around him. His tusks are massive, but the actual size of the bull is awe inspiring. He is sometimes seen sleeping, propping himself up on his tusks against the banks of the N’wanetsi River, the picture of tranquillity. We often think, if only he could talk, as we can only imagine the wisdom he could share.