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Elephants in Chamabonda

by guest blogger Susan Cottrell

Elephants in Chamabonda

Elephants in Chamabonda



8 December 2021

This week on a last-minute-dot-com decision - which we are so fortunate to be able to make in this richly endowed corner of Zimbabwe, I went camping at Chamabonda Vlei, a mere 10 km from Victoria Falls Town.

As we arrived, hot and dusty, so did 200 elephants in small family groups over the ensuing 2 hours. It was utterly magical to see these great, grey beasts, so huge, yet silent-footed, tread with increasing excitement towards the pan, which the solar pump had filled with delicious, clear water. Well, it didn't remain clear for long.

This was a great social meeting- a gathering of the clans, all desperately thirsty from a day spent roaming and eating their way through the 30 km woodland which stretches either side of Chamabonda. The vlei is lush and green with a fringe of trees in full summer splendour - multitudes of greens and ambers stretching to the horizon.

The elephants mingled and wallowed, splashed mud on their bellies, slaked their thirst and some lay full stretch in the water, no doubt overjoyed to be cool. Tiny youngsters seemed to have just discovered their trunks and waved them about in astonishment, smacking the water and flicking them here and there. Slightly bigger two- and three-year-olds, spread their ears, raised their trunks and very importantly screamed as they turned in every direction looking for trouble and finding it in the innocent guinea-fowl and doves on the edge of the pan, who they proceeded to charge at, much to our amusement. The mothers kept an eye on their babies and the bulls had a quiet session together at the pub, as you would expect, after which, as the shadows lengthened they reluctantly gathered in families and plodded silently back into the forest. We replenished our glasses and marvelled.

Scenes such as these are, we know, incredibly special; they fill up the soul and make one aware of the great privilege of tuning into nature.



Related Links

African Elephant
Zambezi National Park
Victoria Falls

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