Two days after our close encounter we were again driving home through the park when we noticed a lot of dust blowing into the road up ahead. It was late afternoon, the sun was very low in the sky and visibility was not great, so we slowed right down; if a herd of elephants was about to cross we didn’t want to run straight into them. As we drew closer and were engulfed in the dust cloud we saw that it was indeed a large herd of elephants moving through the bush on our right hand side.
We were alongside the herd when suddenly, from the opposite side, a tiny baby elephant came rushing out of the bush – directly into the path of our vehicle. Thank goodness for Piet’s quick reactions (and for ABS brakes)! We screeched to a halt not more than two metres before hitting the elephant – who was now squealing with fright, his bum tucked in, his trunk straight out, his little legs a blur as he made the final dash to his Mum and the rest of his family.
In the moments before we gathered our wits and drove off we could hear his Mum reassuring him with her low, rumbling murmurs.
Thankfully we were in a different vehicle, not the elephant-chasing one. The elephants didn’t recognise us and we were left to carry on our journey home unscathed.