“Move Aside Tiny Humans” Said The Bull Elephant

Large Bull elephant approaches our jeep in Tanzania

George Clooney elephant sauntering towards our jeep

Huge..that’s all I could think of as he came towards our jeep. He’s HUGE! 

I was standing on the seat of our vehicle, the top half of my body sticking out of the roof, and his head still seemed a mile above mine.

Our visitor was the strong silent type. He didn’t trumpet or even rumble, he just moved slowly towards us, the dry grass crackling under his step. He held his ears out straight from his head in a show of dominance and then stopped to raise his trunk to catch our scent or look ominous, I’m not sure which.

Elephant in Tanzani

He stopped and raised his trunk, either to look foreboding or get a whiff of us, I’m not sure which

Afterward he laid his trunk over one tusk, as if he was a butler with a coat draped over his arm, and headed for us again.

He was the George Clooney of elephants: tall, handsome—an elephant of a certain age for sure—no tacky charging for this fellow. No, he knew who was boss and it wasn’t us. We were tiny humans in a metal can, we were no match for his fabulousness.

We first spotted George an hour before, appearing first at the far end of the Silale swamp in Tanzania, making his way towards a small herd of lady elephants grazing in the marshy waters near our jeep.

He could’ve walked in a straight line towards his targets and avoided us completely, but he altered his path instead and suddenly, we were between James and his prize.

What a cocky fellow.

Large bull elephant crosses road in front of us in Tanzania

Victorious, George crosses the dirt road where our jeep once stood

He stopped twenty feet from the vehicle and once again raised his trunk in the air. There were literally miles on either side of us for the bull to stroll past but he didn’t want to go around, he wanted us to move.

He stepped forward and stopped again and stood silent, his head imperceptibly tilting right then left.  My guide calmly threw the jeep in reverse and watched as we retreated and came to a halt 30 feet away.

Bull elephant and his ladies in Tanzania

Just to give you an idea of the size of our friendly bull elephant on the right, the female elephants in this photo were bigger than our jeep.

He shook his big head in victory and whipped out his trunk as if he were trying to catch a fly in mid-air.

He hesitated for a second longer and then, with the posture of a conquering hero, sauntered directly over the dirt we’d previously occupied and went on his way.

He’d made his point, it was time to move on….his ladies were waiting…



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7 replies »

    • Thank you very very much. I appreciate you stopping by my blog. I agree, I adore elephants. Never been to Zambia but going back to South Africa and Kenya in June.

  1. What truly beautiful pictures. I’m heading to Tanzania for the first time in Sept and they show that black and white can be even more impressive than color when the subject is so majestic.Did you use a red filter?

    • Hi Mark-
      Have a wonderful time in Tanzania, you’ll love it. No, I didn’t use a red filter when I shot the pics.. I converted them in Lightroom with Nik filters after the fact. :)

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