I adore elephants. I love the way they walk, the swish of their tales and the way they splash themselves with water from their trunks while having a bath and a drink.
I’ve been lucky enough to see wild ones in Africa and ridden behind on their backs behind their trusted mahouts (elephant trainers) in Asia. But I saw them in their greatest numbers in the beautiful Chobe National Park in Botswana.
The Chobe River winds like a ribbon through the heart of the park and a river cruise provided a superb vantage point to see a herd of around 30 elephants. It seemed a lot of elephants to me, although Botswana has some of the highest concentrations of elephants anywhere in Africa and there are believed to be as many as 70,000 living among the swamps, floodplains and woodland of Chobe.
We watched as the elephants ambled along beside the river and then stopped to drink at the water’s edge. Some splashed around to cool off, the young calves copying their five-tonne parents, as we studied their actions and stayed just out of range of their water cannon trunks.
On the way back we also had a close encounter with a cantankerous hippo. Great memories and I hope one day to this beautiful corner of Africa.