Pachyderm Paradise in full colour. By Steve Roskelly Clearly Africa.
Pachyderm Paradise in Full Colour!
By Steve Roskelly, Clearly Africa.
Recently, Ruaha has become almost overrun by those great, grey ghosts of the night called
Elephant. They are literally almost everywhere, pervading and permeating every woodland,
grassland, forest and riparian habitat this Eden provides for their hungry mouths and stomachs!
And then...poof! They are gone, magically and silently disappearing overnight into the heart of this
great wilderness leaving behind only the traces and signs that reveal their recent nocturnal
presence and activity.
Sometimes my guests think I've had a few morning shots of fine Irish because I'm all over the
road, swinging the car left and right (it's gentler than you think!) as we discover and read last night
's “newspaper”...only we're dodging all the dung left by the huge beasts lying everywhere on
the track before us! Dung-beetles (and other insect attendants attracted to such excrement) have
right of way here and we try to respect their culinary and reproductive resources - it's the rule of
the road and we try to be as respectful as possible.
And besides, it's fun!! The fact that we are in the middle of the .Emerald Season' here means that
almost everything around us is verdant, bright, clear, new and punctuated by sometimes
Plants are reproducing at a breathtaking pace and in so doing bear a profusion of bright colour in their fine flowers with many different fruit now being borne on heavy boughs dripping with morning dew.
Everything sparkles and is unmistakably alive!
On our .discoveries' (game-drives) we have been fortunate to witness and experience wonderful
spectacles, including many interacting mammals.
A few weeks ago we had just passed over the Mwagusi bridge after having spent some time
observing and laughing at a troop of Yellow Baboons lounging around on the sandy bed of the river
as if they were on a beach in Brazil, and began looking for a ʻpicnic spotʼ to enjoy a breakfast in the
shade when we stopped at a herd of Impala.
Their graceful bodies were illuminated by the late-morning sun which was shining in individual rays
through a grove of Baobabs they were feeding under - what a sight, we couldnʼt just drive by!
Impala up ahead began shouting a little half-heartedly at something and we took notice, enough to
start up and proceed forward very slowly and see what spectacle might unfurl before us. A little
further on we saw the vociferous Impala and followed their gaze carefully into the green
One lioness and two attendant males, one of which was courting the lady-lion due to
his very close proximity to her and the other male's more distant location. After sitting and watching
a while with the feline couple copulating a few times we heard a distant branch break only to
discover that a large herd of elephant were on their way...on a direct trajectory toward the cats
laying before us!
Here comes some action - and our educated assumption wasn't off the mark! The elephant
proceeded forward and the two amatory lion became increasingly nervous and began to growl in
their frustration that today they were not to be “king of the jungle” but rather “scare-dy cats”,
eventually running away with the elephants charging and trumpeting after them at great speed! The
aural bombardment we were being happily subjected to leapt to a higher level because the
running lions started roaring at the top of their lungs displaying their extreme displeasure at being
evicted from their honeymoon copse under the shady baobabs! After that we really should have
brought a shot of good Irish along to douse the coffee we enjoyed
a few minutes afterward under our own shady wood further on...excellent! Back to butterflies and
birds on the way back to camp we said...but we didn't get very far with that
because we had to endure a traffic jam or three on our return. ELEPHANTS
Enjoy the images, they speak volumes of what we have witnessed and experienced so I'll let them
do the 'talking'...too many to choose from unfortunately, youʼll just have to come and take some of your own!