We quickly make up some gin and tonics so we can get to the hide as the sun is setting. Across the parking lot from our picnic area and onto a long, squeaky wooden bridge. The hut at the end looks super cool.
Looking back towards camp from the bridge
We try to be as quiet as we can approaching the hide. There are a set of double doors and then another set to enter the main room. Looks like there are two levels. The door to the room opens with a squeak and a bunch of people all turn to look when we come in. Peter is trying to juggle camera gear and a beverage and knocks the door making a ton of noise when he gets in scoring glares from everyone. Sheeeeesh, tough crowd. Oh shit. There are elephants at the pool. Ok ok, our bad. We tiptoe over to take a look.
Wow this is crazy they’re right there in front of us just chilling, having some water, making funny noises and washing themselves. So cool.
Oh shit, can they see us up here?
We’re so close, what the hell? This is the best thing ever.
Oh sweet! Here come four more. Fuck, this is awesome. Everyone is dead quite as they approach. Amazing. They get in on the water too. Thirsty duffers.
We just sit and watch. It’s mesmerizing. Elephants are so neat. This little family is adorable.
Mark nudges me and points at the horizon. He covers his mouth and whispers in my ear, “Are there more out there?” I squint into the horizon. “Yeah, there are definitely moving shapes. I think you’re right”, “Looks like they’re heading this way, right?”, “Yeah, totally. Holy shit man, there’s a ton of them.”
And that’s when 30 more elephants showed up
Wow this is bonkers. I guess we picked the right time to show up. There’s like 40 elephants out there now! Sticking their trunks in the air to smell around them. Low rumbling growls. They totally communicate with each other. One little guy starts blowing bubbles in the water. One rushes another as they’re walking away and headbutts him in the rump knocking him over. There are trumpets of protest. peppy bleats.
It’s elephant happy hour at Olifanstrus.
The sun highlights off of this euro-teen’s carrot top is kind of magnificent as well
We watch them for a long long time. It’s so entertaining. We’re beside ourselves. Does this happen every night? When do you ever get to see this many elephants from this close just doing their thing? It’s incredible.
I don’t really know what else to say, this is one of the coolest experiences ever.
40 elephants at sunset in Namibia.
A bunch of elephants just being elephants I guess
Everywhere you look there’s something amazing happening.
Look at this goofy young one
And these two keep play fighting each other
This one is just in the muck chilling and her buddy keeps nudging her to get up.
After watching for a while you can start to pick out the relationships and family members. There are real bonds here.
This big one is rolling around on a dirt pile for a while massaging itself. Tossing dirt on it’s back to cool off or maybe keep the critters off.
Skim through these real quick (I’m too lazy to make a gif)
Actually, it only takes 10 seconds to make a gif. Fine
Peter gets lots of nice up close shots with his telephoto. You can see their personalities. Ahhg elephants are so cool!!
The elephants start to mosey off and most people have had their fill and start to leave as well.
We go down to the bottom floor to see what the view is like down there. It’s astounding.
Looks like they have a red light so you can see animals in the dark. If we ever stop watching these elephants maybe we’ll come back after dinner.
Oh a few more come back. YES!
Oh, I think they’re done. Wow. Probably the best sunset ever. What an experience. Etosha.. you win.