Saturday, January 22, 2011

A special day In Africa!

I can smell them.

Thick and musty. It takes my breath away.

The air outside is hot - a thick blanket of heat that smothers anyone who dares walk in it. Not a breath of air. Not a sound. But they're around.

I can smell them!

We get out of the car to observe the view at a view point. The sun beats down and the horizon looks hazy. No movement. Not a sound.

But I can smell them.

We slowly turn a corner, our eyes scanning the veld - and there they are!

Mothers and babies - tiny babies! Toddlers and tweenies rolling in a huge, wet, mud bath! Sticky brown water spraying in the air! Little ones nursing and nuzzling against their big brown Mommies - the mud encrusted on their backs protecting them from the hot sun!

We watch for ages - oohing and aahing - a social gathering. Adults grumble quietly to each other.  Little ones playing - smacking each other with their strong trunks - what a game!

And then ...

... it was time to go! Time for the herd to move off to the opposite side of the road and make way for another family to enjoy the coolness of the wet mud. Slipping, sliding, struggling to get their big bodies out of the muddy pit. Pushing, guiding, protecting, the bigger ones help the tinies, and soon they are on solid ground.

A trumpet here, and a grumble there, a low, low sound - sometimes difficult to hear - they get their message across, and gently, silently, they amble across the dusty road to the open bush on th other side.

As if in slippers, their big heavy bodies move without a sound until we cannot see them anymore!

I can still smell them!

Photographs taken by P and myself at the Addo Elephant National Park on our visit there on Sunday, 16th January 2011 with our girls, Cliff and Beryl (P's parents) and Allen and Nancy Contival,  our new American family!  We had a wonderful day!


Shaun said...

Awesome ! Love the Ellies. Have a wonderful weekend.

Avril said...

Your description is fantastic ... I can (almost!) smell them too! Love the shots of the babies playing!

Hayley said...

Such an awesome, awesome post abut such amazing creatures! Love this!

Hayley said...

Just put a link of this post to my facebook profile :-)

PAM said...

You had me right there with you. Amazing!!

Janet said...

Thank u Hayley!

Rebecca Louise. said...

Why are you so incredibly lucky to have these beauties literally on your doorstep. In Woking we have Foxes who eat everything! haha.

Lovely pictures though, they're so gorgeous!

Oh by the way hope you can take part in my friend Holly's Blog Secret 2011! It will be fun!!!

Jenna said...

Oh my gosh! That is AMAZING!!! So awesome!

Firefly said...

I absolutely love Addo. Haven't been there for ages though. The first view is from on top of Zuurkop which is probably the best view across the park with the Zuurberg in the background. It looks like you found the elephants at Hapoor. Great spot and fantastic sighting.

cat said...

What a lovely post! We once went horse riding in the Addo amongst the elephants. It was such an experience.

lalooowable said...

What a lovely post about elephants! I wish I knew how they smell. I wish someday I'll be back in S.A. and enjoy the same moments than you did.

Hugs & Kisses from Belgium!