Rather messy than blue I say:) These photographs were taken on Monday this week and once again just proves that life in the bush, being a game ranger is never boring and always filled with unexpected surprises. Shane has never had this happen to him in nearly 9 years of guiding!
It was at a sighting of the breeding herd on the reserve, having some fun in the mud. Splashing around in one of the puddles that has been left by all the rain in the past month. We had 3 vehicles at this sighting and were thrilled to be watching these gracious giants enjoying being elephants. Snapping away in a frenzy Shane was half hanging out of the vehicle to get just that perfect shot, which I will be adding a bit later, to find himself within a blink of an eye sprayed with mud from head to toe! I guess the ellies thought that we should join in their fun and see how fabulous it is to be a prehistoric creature! Leaving the green machine full of funny smelling things also covered from tip to toe. Gasping at the thought process happening: “what just happened?” with stupid grins of uncertainty. One can’t help but get a smile on your face when nature voluntarily involves you in its daily course of events.
It always leaves me wondering how much these amazing animals actually understand and how much of a personality each individual has in the herd. Their intricate herd structure is a clear indication of some sort of intelligence with a matriarch leading the way, knowing each highway and footpath they should be walking on, with each tree, rock, bend and obstacle they are to encounter on their journey. They are mobile most of the time, eating as far as they go and stopping in between to have a drink of water, and making full use of the opportunity to have some fun in the sun! Having to consume 170kg – 300kg of food per day, one would think that they would be on a mission most of the time!
We just happened to be in the right place at the right time to be able to photograph these massive animals playing around like they are really having fun. We sat with them for a good while before the incident of having a mud bath, the African bush way! After which we headed back to the lodge to drop off some funny looking guests. Shane took most of the day cleaning up his gear including the very pricey digital camera and lens along with his .458 riffle, this is when it’s not that amusing, but if you really think about it, it all seems worth it. It’s a feeling that you can not describe in any sort of words that we know. Words will definitely fall short in this case.
These are events that people write stories of, and grips people like me to read each and every book that has anything to do with the African bush, stories that will leave you craving for the rhythm of the bush. We get to live it here each and every day, with all sorts of surprises and first time experiences just waiting to be had! What more could you want out of life? Everything that goes on around you in the bush has a mystical way of seeping through your skin and leaving you feeling inspired and alive. You start seeing things you never would have noticed before and you somehow get sucked into the timelessness of Africa.
That leaves me thinking how you may leave Africa, but Africa will never leave you…