South Africas Elephant Encounter
After spending some time in South Africa, seeing many of the animals from a distance, it was time to get up close and personal.
We were transferred from our accommodation at the Victoria Falls Safari Suites to the elephant sanctuary which is run by local company Wild Horizons. Upon arrival, we were briefed on the history of the facility and how their primary function is the protection and conservation of the elephants. The elephants at the reserve were either abandoned by their families due to illness or orphaned as a result of poachers.
We then boarded a typical off-road vehicle used for game drives and drove into the reserve where we spotted several elephants grazing.
In the presence of the local guides and park rangers, I walked toward one of the big adult males, and I was able to touch his leg, his trunk and his tusk. His skin was dry, thick and wrinkly. It was such an amazing and emotional experience being so close to this amazing animal.
We then walked along a trail with elephants in front and the adult male following behind.
The encounter ended with hand feeding the elephants which was so much fun. I felt so humbled to be in such close proximity to these awesome creatures. This was truly the ultimate interactive experience.