Okavango Delta

Quiet night last night if you discount the elephant in the camp again…

We slept in this morning with coffee arriving at 7 am. Then off on a short game drive before arriving at the site of our Elephant interaction. Three orphaned elephants (orphaned as a result of an official culling operation) were taken in and semi-habituated by two elephant handlers, Doug and Sandi Groves. These two have now spent 25 years living with the elephants.

We were introduced to the elephants, Jabu, Thembi and Morula, and taught a lot about their biology, history and current threats. The elephants allowed us to touch them and pose with them before they demonstrated their amazing communication skills. Apparently Jabu, the biggest bull, made up his own rumble and showed it off to Sandi until she acknowledged it with a reward. He demonstrated this creative rumble to us. It was amazing to stand beside Jabu, a 27 year old bull with 4 foot tusks, as he let us stroke him and pose.

We were then taken to a picnic lunch where the elephants chomped along side us. The grand finale was a big kiss from Morula, the most affectionate elephant, which left us a little scratched and gooey. 🙂

Returned to camp for a rest and then the usual amazing tea. We’d thought we were heading for the mokoros for an evening ride, but we ended up cruising on the motor boats. Fred, our guide, found a spot for sundowners on the river where we watched a large elephant herd knock and shake palm trees on the far bank. Truly an african experience.

This evening, the last in Botswana, was magical. Before dinner we found bubble baths on our deck surrounded by lanterns. We headed to the boma where the staff put on a show for us with traditional music and dance. So fun! Ice, one of the guides, pulled us away from the party to show us a HUGE hippos right next to the building. It grazed contented, apparently also enjoying the music.

Dinner was a barbecue, featuring crocodile, kudu, and impala. Our favorite was the croc. We stayed late at the table hearing Ice’s tales of growing up in the bush.

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