Giant tusks on display

Letaba Travel Blog

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Small elephants grown buffalo

I finish lunch and even though I am a bit thirsty I can’t really manage the standard 70 liters of the elephants so I just drink modestly. As I leave my lunch spot I meet a friendly elephant which is standing close to the road flapping its ears as I drive up alongside it. The sight of friendly elephants is doing some good in removing the elephant phobia I had suddenly acquired this morning. Down in the dry Shingwedzi River is a small herd of elephants hanging out. There are also some buffalos down there. Seeing elephants and buffalos together gives you a perspective on the size of the animals. Generally you would consider a buffalo a big animal - but walking around next to the elephants it look tiny - it is so much smaller than the young elephants down there.

Elephants being friendly

 

A little further down the river a big antelope show up - I am quite thrilled to see this one - it is a big male kudo. First of all I had never seen a kudo before - but seeing a kudo here in Kruger is special because it is the symbol of the Kruger Park. Everywhere you go inside the park you see the horn of the kudo as a symbol. They are on the coffecups; the plates even on the soap are an imprint of the kudos horns. Hence finally seeing a kudo alive was great.

 

Driving along I see a rare side - a giraffe - ok maybe the sight of a giraffe is not super unique in Kruger. But this giraffe is behaving strangely - it is eating a bush. Usually giraffe will only eat the leaves of the trees and not bow down to eat close to the ground. But this one is actually eating from a bush - to reach down it need to spread the legs. This is really unusual because a giraffe bending down is vulnerable against attacks by lions. Later I talked with some people about this giraffe - and even though they knew a lot about the wildlife they had never seen a giraffe behaving this way before - so it had to be quite unique.

Just walking along - the symbol of Kruger

 

I drive out on a little side road and after I have gone a bit down the road I meet a couple of bull elephants - they are standing next to the road and having a bite to eat. One of them has got a giant set of tusks. They act nervously when I drive past them. It seems this time around the elephants are more scarred of me and my car than I am of them. This is doing wonders towards curing my elephant phobia. Not much more is happening on this game drive except for a few zebras hanging out next to the road.

 

I drive to one of the big camps in Kruger - the Letaba Rest Camp - it is famous for housing a little shrine showing tribute to seven dead elephants. These seven elephant were known as the magnificent seven during the 70ties and early 80ties. There claim to fame were giant tusks. Despite Kruger being plagued by poachers from Mozambique during this period because of the civil war in that country - only one of the big elephants were killed by poachers and they even managed to get to the dead elephant before the poachers managed to cut off the tusk and run away with them.

Very confused giraffe eating a bush.
One of the elephants had a big hole in the skull which was assumed to be a result of a poachers bullet years before the elephant died by natural causes.

 

I get ready to leave the camp but before I leave I spend some time to look at the special visitors at the camp a group of small bushbucks are walking around eating the grass inside the camp - I guess they can save some money on the gardeners this way when they don’t have to move the lawns.

 

I drive out of the camp towards might camp for the night - the Olifants Rest Camp - along the road I see several waterbucks walking around both next to the road and on the road itself. It is getting a bit late so I need to get to the camp - but right outside the camp is a bit of a traffic jam. Several cars are backed up looking for something - and yeah there it is under the trees behind some bushes I can see a couple of lionesses - I wanna take photos now - this is the first opportunity I have had to take photos of lions in the park. But it is pretty dark and I can see the shooter speed on my camera is really slow - hence I need to change the film speed on my camera.

Tusk of the magnificent seven - with poacher bullet hole
I start to change the film speed on my camera but unfortunately the lions decide to talk off while I am changing the film speed hence I never get to take the photo. The lions are gone and I might as well go to the camp - I drive through the gates and I got almost a full minute to spare before the official closing of the gate.

 

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Small elephants grown buffalo
Small elephants grown buffalo
Friendly elephant flabbing ears
Friendly elephant flabbing ears
Elephants being friendly
Elephants being friendly
Just walking along - the symbol of…
Just walking along - the symbol o…
Very confused giraffe eating a bus…
Very confused giraffe eating a bu…
Tusk of the magnificent seven - wi…
Tusk of the magnificent seven - w…
The elephants in the dry river
The elephants in the dry river
Friendly elephant flabbing ears
Friendly elephant flabbing ears
The elephants in the dry river
The elephants in the dry river
Finally - a kudo
Finally - a kudo
Argh traffic jam - again
Argh traffic jam - again
Giraffe acting natural
Giraffe acting natural
Confused giraffe
Confused giraffe
Zebras
Zebras
Zebras
Zebras
Nervous elephant
Nervous elephant
Nervous elephant
Nervous elephant
Nervous elephant
Nervous elephant
Nervous elephant
Nervous elephant
Nervous elephant
Nervous elephant
Nervous elephant
Nervous elephant
Just a zebra
Just a zebra
Head of the zebra
Head of the zebra
Fast worthog
Fast worthog
Letaba River
Letaba River
Letaba River
Letaba River
Letaba River
Letaba River
Letaba River
Letaba River
Marobou stork
Marobou stork
Tusk of the magnificent seven
Tusk of the magnificent seven
Tusk of the magnificent seven
Tusk of the magnificent seven
Guest at Letaba
Guest at Letaba
Guest at Letaba
Guest at Letaba
Minor birds - all over the place
Minor birds - all over the place
Minor birds - all over the place
Minor birds - all over the place
Male waterbuck
Male waterbuck
Female waterbuck
Female waterbuck
Female waterbuck
Female waterbuck
Letaba
photo by: tj1777