There really isn’t a way to describe walking among a herd of wild elephants without sounding pretentious. But I’ll try anyways.
Yesterday the group went on two safaris—one walking, the other riding on the roof of a safari jeep. Both were incredible. I kept remarking to the students to appreciate how many different animals we were seeing…it seemed like every 100 feet another creature would emerge from the brush. In Wisconsin we get excited if we catch a glimpse of a deer bounding away in a distant cornfield. At one point I saw a warthog, antelope, guinea fowl and monkey all within 20 feet of each other.
The real excitement though came when we happened upon a herd of elephants about an hour into the second safari. I couldn’t have asked for better shooting conditions: The elephants kept stepping in and out of golden afternoon light, the rain from the previous hour made the leaves and grass sparkle in the sunlight and the elephants weren’t in any hurry to run away. As a group we crept around them, at times coming within 15 yards. It was close enough to hear them breathe as they munched on leaves and snapped twigs beneath their feet. Definitely one of the highlights from leading this trip so far.
Besides the safari I also have some favorites from just walking around…