Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Elephant-Back Safari

Isaac and I had shared with out team about our experience with Clover, her team, and their elephants at Thornberry Lodge.  They asked if we could do it this trip, and we gladly said yes!  Time with elephants again?  Easy!

Our 2nd full day in Livingstone began with a ride out to Thornberry to meet up with our guides and elephants.  Man Cub can't ride until he's 10, so I had plan to hang out at the lodge with him.  It's right on the riverbank, and often there are baboons and vervet monkeys hanging nearby.  I was excited for our morning together!  However, at the last minute, Isaac decided he wanted to stay with Man Cub and for me to ride.  I hated that he missed out, but I wasn't about to not go!

I told our guide that Isaac and I had ridden Marula two years ago and asked if Sarah and I could ride him again.  My request was gladly accommodated, so we loaded up on Marula's back with his handler Kennedy.  Kennedy has worked with the elephants for over 10 years, starting as a groundskeeper and working his way up.  The handlers stay with the elephants for 24 hour shifts and then head for some time at home.  They have quite the bond with these elephants!

In the last two years, two babies had been born.  They aren't trained for riders yet, but they go wherever their mommies go.  They tussled and ran around each other until one got mad at the other.  Then they'd run to their moms to 'tattle'.  It was hilarious!

We rode through the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, seeing many impala and a few bushbuck.  This ride wasn't as full of wildlife, but just watching the elephants interact with each other, completely unbothered that they were carrying passengers, was fascinating.  I always enjoy our time down at the river, watching the elephants drink and splash just a bit.


Man Cub and Daddy had a great time toddling around the river bank, playing with the lodge staff, and watching some very active baboons while we were on our ride.  What a ham!

Clover allowed us to bring Man Cub down for the elephant interaction when we were finished with the ride.  He was allowed to meet Marula for a family shot.  Then we went over to Liwa who is a big momma at heart.  She investigated every last bit of that little baby. Her trunk was very intrigued with sniffing out all of his smells.  He was in awe, completely unable to take his eyes off the creatures he loves seeing in the zoo but from a distance.

On the way back to Livingstone, the shuttle dropped off the couple that was part of our group at their river lodge.  On the way in, we saw a small herd of zebras!  Other than the cats, I think we saw all of the animals we had said we wanted to see.  Thank You, Lord for giving us eyes to see and ears to hear the wonders of Your creation!

I don't know if we'll do the elephant ride every trip back to Zambia, but it sure is an experience that we enjoy!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...