Go for a walk with Elephants

Elephant in Okavango DeltaDo you like to go for a walk? Do you like to try unusual experiences? If the answer to these questions has been ‘yes’, we have the ultimate recommendation for you: Meet Jabu, Thembi and Morula and go for a bush walk in the unspoilt Okavango Delta in Botswana with them. Why unusual? Well, they are elephants. Having been on safari in Southern Africa a couple of times now, elephant encounters are not the most difficult ones to tick off my must-see list. However, I had never dreamt of being “adopted” by an elephant herd, even it were only to be for half a day. But here’s the story. There was this guy from the US, having worked in a zoo and then called to Africa to support a film project with elephants 20 years ago. Doug went, filmed, met 2 elephant orphans – and stayed. Later on, he adopted a third elephant, who had been sitting already on death row and managed to bring the best and sweetest sides of her out to the world. So today, Doug Groves goes on his daily walk with Jabu, Thembi, and Morula, enabling them to live as close as possible in and with their natural environment, as they cannot survive on their own. If you happen to be in the Okavango Delta in Botswana (and have the means to do so), book the “Meet the Elephants” encounter. It will be a very rewarding, once-in-a-lifetime experience! Doug does a great job on explaining the physiognomies of the elephants, their social structure and interaction within the little herd and there are plenty of “touch & feel” and “Kodak picture spot” opportunities included. After the first meet & greet, the little group finally starts its stroll and upon invitation you walk in front of Morula, who places her trunk over your shoulder – pushing much to my surprise against it if I walk too slow, subtle, but very firm on leading me in HER pace.
The lesser fun I thought was the elephant’s definition of giving you a hairdryer job. Three trunks on top of my head and shoulders were just – eh, were just three too many, judging by the face my husband was making. So I concentrated on taking the pictures instead. At the end of the walk, the group (guests are limited to a maximum number of 10 per activity) enjoys a pick nick, elephants a few meters away. Then you line up and Marula officially welcomes you as a member of the family with a big kiss on your cheek. Smooch!

Learn more about the project here

Author: jb

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