Postcard: The Elephant And The Egret

Egret and elephants in Amboseli, Kenya

In the swamps of Amboseli, Kenya, it was baffling how easily the world’s largest land mammal could slip from sight. If it weren’t for the ever-present egrets, bright white against the dark green of the foliage, there were times we would have missed the ellis altogether.

If was funny really, we’d be driving past a swamp and we’d see the egrets, proud and tall, their wings close against their sides inexplicably moving sideways as if on a very slow people mover. If you waited long enough, the tell-tale trunk would unfurl and you’d see the pachyderm below.

Egret sitting on the back of an elephant in Amboseli, Kenya

Best friends, the egret and the elephant are inseparable: the elephant graciously supplies the egret with a never-ending source of bugs on which to feast—not to mention a comfy ride—and the egret wholeheartedly embraces the task of ridding the elephant of its pests.

However, while the egret’s affections are open to any large animal with an infestation problem, the elephant prefers to keep its favor limited to the yellow-footed flier.

A little one-sided perhaps but elephants don’t seem to be the jealous type.


6 replies »

  1. Fantastic photos, and well-written blog, as always, Susan! I love these egrets, too. Watched them on backs of ellies, hippos and on cape buffaloes, too, at Chobe NP. As much as you love elephants, you will love Chobe. They are all over the park, especially along the Chobe River. We did not see as many lions, but here we saw the only leopard on our last hour, last day of safari in 16 days and 4 countries! I’ve also been to Kenya and Tanzania. I love their landscape especially when you can include the mountains in the background. Chobe has dense vegetation, so it is harder to see the animals, I think. But the river that they share with Namibia draws the big game and the birds along its’ banks. Keep clicking, keep writing. I so enjoy your posts! Thanks for sharing!


    • Hi Susan.. Chobe is definitely on my must-see list. Saw some great video from there over the weekend and it only peaked my desire to go. I am so glad that you liked the post. I really appreciate you returning!


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