Slide background

Video: Elephant encounter at Kariega

Jone Haesslich

Close up viewing of Elephant at Kariega Game Reserve

This short video features a young elephant bull munching some green grass ever-so-casually just in front of the safari game drive vehicle. Although not fully grown, the size of any elephant can be a surprise to guests and demands a certain kind of respectful silence and even fear or nervousness, despite their very gentle manner.

Our game rangers tell us that any given species of wildlife does not recognise each human being as a separate entity within the vehicle, but rather they view the safari vehicle as one entity or being. Having grown accustomed to the sounds and movements of this entity, they are no longer threatened by it. This is the reason why it is strictly prohibited to stand up or put limbs out of the vehicle at any time, as this would change the nature of the ‘safari vehicle entity’ which may pose as a threat to wildlife thus causing serious danger to everybody in the vehicle.

Having said that, when we consider the emotional and cognitive intelligence of elephants, and when we see or experience encounters such as this where the elephant looks straight into the vehicle with such a seemingly soulful face, it’s hard not to wonder whether they know what we are.

Thanks to Bronwen dÓliveira and her family who stayed with us in early June for sharing with us, and we are glad to hear your girls had the great experience of encountering an African elephant in the wild at Kariega.

If you have any videos or pictures you would like to share please find us on Facebook, or contact us at