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Too Close for Comfort, Safari Adventures, Botswana. #wildlife, #nature

By October 5, 2016 March 7th, 2019 Africa

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Today we begin our safari on a narrow dirt road that is fringed by trees and brush on both sides.  Shortly after we cross the wooden bridge that links us to camp, we discover an old, male elephant standing in the bushes next to the road.  In the past, we’ve been able to maintain a safe distance from the family herds that roamed through the reserves.  But this is a solitary male, he’s not moving, and the road is too narrow for our driver to turn our open-air safari vehicle around.  We wait.  This time the elephant moves on.  But tonight will be different when we return from our sunset safari–in the dark–and he is standing at the side of the road in the same place.  Tonight he doesn’t move, and we have to pass him to get back to camp.  Our driver shifts into low gear to manage the sandy road and we bolt past the old elephant.  He trumpets to show his ill-regard toward the matter of our passage, once again, through his territory.  He could easily charge our vehicle from behind after we pass, but thankfully he warns us with his trumpeting, instead.  It is the most dangerous situation we have been in on our safari because we can’t keep our usual safe distance with him standing so close to the narrow road, and elephants have been known to charge safari vehicles.  I salute his decision to let us pass, unharmed.