Saturday, January 8, 2011

Elephant Rides

Not to miss out on the fun, we decided to sign up for a number of different opportunities that were available…I mean how often are we going to be out there on safari in Africa -even if it is a tourist spot. Oh well…. We decided to go out to look for wildlife at sunset from the backs of the elephants. 
Riding on an animal has its advantages because they’re much quieter and wild animals, in theory, won’t run away meaning you could get better photographs, however, we discovered that theory and actual experience didn’t mesh. Yes, we could get closer and evening was a great time to be out because there were quite a few animals around. The sunset was gorgeous…but the photos…hmmm. 
Just imagine being on the back of a great elephant – it’s not a smooth ride, he kinda rolls along in great undulating waves. You can get into the rhythm of it and it’s not uncomfortable however, it’s not smooth, you don’t stop quickly, and the pictures end up being pretty blurry. Ah well…I did indeed try and I think one I took came out and only a couple from the man taking pictures of us on the elephant – and then they were only the ones when the driver actually stopped the elephant for him.
 Alas… It was, however, a great trip. There was something magical about watching the sun set in vivid colors with the blackening trees standing out in the horizon. You could hear the calls of various birds and animals and even hear the roar of the lions. The terrain became quite dark for human eyes but the elephants continued on, lumbering into the darkness, surrounded by the sounds of the veldt. Quite an experience. 
You must note that our wonderful elephant didn't work for free...all along the way she would reach back for a treat from our guide - I even got to feed her when we got off to leave at the end of the trip.

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