Beautiful Ellies! They have had a hard couple of years in Tanzania, but these majestic animals are still abundant in the Selous and Ruaha. I spotted the animals below while on Safari with Authentic Tanzania, a specialised mobile Safari operation in Tanzania.
I am a keen photographer, and elephants make an awesome subject, mainly because it's difficult to get a a bad shot of them! If you're close up you get the lovely texture of their skin, or the wisdom in their eyes and If you're far away you capture these giants in their own habitat, making for some beautiful and interesting landscapes.
We came across large herds in both parks, and in the Selous I was fortunate enough to meet Laygos the elephant. A remarkably friendly fellow who spends his time at Lake Manze camp, sister camp to Mdonya Old river camp which is found in the Ruaha National Park.
So below are a few of the pictures I have taken of elephants on my Safari of 5 days, of which 2 were spent in Ruaha and 3 were spent in the Selous.
This is a large herd of elephants we came across just outside of Authentic Tanzania's camp on lake Mzizimia in the Selous. There were probably sixty animals in total, which I have not done a brilliant job of showing in the above, but in my defence the bush is very thick in the Selous. We were just about surrounded by rumbling and crashing noises while we watched these beautiful creatures make their way to whereever they were going to spend the night. An interesting note, the elephants in Selous appear to be developing smaller and smaller tusks. Some argue it is because the genetics are being removed by the killing of animals with larger tusks, others hold the opinion that it is a protective evolution of these animals in this area. Most of these animals had no tusks at all.
Someone's been playing in the mud! Here was a smaller male in the group shown above, that felt he needed to let us know he had his eye on us. He pulled up some grass and mud and threw a bit at us before promptly running off to hide behind a tree. Cheeky thing.
This is a picture of the matriarch of a small herd of elephants seen just outside Lake Manze camp, giving this guest a short inspection before carrying on feeding. She later led her herd, which had several young elephants in it, to a nice shady spot where they promptly lay down and had a nap. Pics of that further below.
This is beautiful Laygos! the most friendly elephant I have ever met. He is completely relaxed while he is around Lake Manze camp.
Another shot of Laygos. Looks like he just had a bath in this one he is so clean!
This was a lone bull in the Ruaha National Park, seen about 5 minutes after we landed. The Elephants were definitely larger in the Ruaha. I love this picture for the wisdom I was speaking about earlier. You can just see it in the eyes of this beautiful creature.
Here is a matriarch we saw in the Ruaha, just outside Authentic Tanzania's Kilimatonge camp. This is one seriously wild place. This female was a little uncomfortable with our proximity to her, and we had a bit of a standoff that lasted about 20 minutes, with her standing about 3 meters from the vehicle, until she decided we could move on.
Here are the elephants I mentioned above having a nap in the Selous.
Look how peaceful this little elephant is! Wondering what they were dreaming of....
This is the Painted bull I photographed in the Ruaha National park, moving with a large herd. The mud dried on his face in an interesting way, making this large bull even more impressive.
In case of interest, the images above were taken with a Canon 6D and a Canon 550D. All pictures were taken using a Canon 100-400 is ii L lens, and edited in adobe Lightroom CC. Please visit our website at www.adventurecampstz.com to plan your own Photographic Safari with one of our awesome operators.