We arrived at this dry riverbed at just the right time to see this small herd of elephants. The rains were late and had not arrived in the Serengeti yet. After a few minutes, it became apparent why they were here. In the photo below you will notice a small hole in the sand about the width of their foot. Inside there is water.
We assume that the elephants have dug this hole themselves into the dry riverbed. The Serengeti can be a tough place to live in and animals must be innovative to survive. The adults will pass these skills onto the young calves.
Elephants have a wonderful group dynamic. They work collectively for the survival of the herd. As large as they are they are amazing coordinated and use their feet and trunks to perform tasks that you would think they would be incapable of. However, if you are a young calf, drinking all that water can be exhausting and sometimes you just need to get off your feet.
Fortunately, we were able to spend about 20 minutes with this herd before they had all drank from the water hole and began moving on. This group of seven consisted of 2 calves, juveniles (male and female) and adults. We never get tired of seeing and photographing elephants.
Elephants have great memories and apparently never forget, but our memories are not as good and fade with time so it is best to capture them in photographs. The Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater have been an incredible experience for us with such diversity of life. As we continue to share our photographs of this trip we thought about how surreal it is to be 20 feet away from a 10,000 pound elephant. They are huge and can weigh as much as 14,000 pounds but are very graceful and coordinated. The older males are often solitary but the younger males often hang out in small bachelor groups.
The females which have a older, experienced matriarch leading them hang out in herds which vary in size. The herds we saw ranged in size from about 10 to 40 elephants.
Babies of any animal species are so cute and adorable and the elephant calf is no exception. It stays close to its mother but there has to be time to be a kid and just play.
The baby in the photographs above was the star of the show and came within 5 meters of our vehicle. Although we do very little GoPro video we couldn’t resist doing one here.
We have many photos of these magnificent animals and it is hard to just pick just a few to share with you. Here are a few others that seemed to capture our attention.
And of course, one final photograph which is my favourite picture of the elephants.