After bumping into a couple of bachelor groups of elephants over the past few weeks, the Rangers at Ulusaba were eager to track an elephant herd and locate some of our resident baby elephants.
The game drive began and it wasn’t long before Trevor & Stuart got stuck in a traffic jam of elephants, so reversed and went slightly off track to find a better view without getting in the way. Munching away in the distance was a herd of around 25 elephants including little ones as young as four and five years old, who hadn’t quite mastered trunk-coordination just yet... Trevor & Stuart explained that teeth also help identify an elephants age. Can you believe elephants get as many as six sets of teeth which last around 11 years for every set?
Next we moved over to Ryan & Tom who were soaking up the view of the lush marula trees dotted around, which grow the fruit used to make the popular South African liquor that safari fans know and love – Amarula of course! They also pointed out a family group of yellow-billed hornbills before revealing a pair of saddle-billed storks, one of the most endangered species in South Africa. With only 50-100 pairs left in the country, this was a remarkable sighting.
We then quickly headed back to Trevor & Stuart who had spotted four wild dogs (also known as painted wolves) watching some impala in the distance, with four hyenas trailing behind. Wild dogs move at an incredible pace and whilst Trevor & Stuart took on the challenge of keeping up, one of the hyenas seemed to struggle, pausing for a breather and sip of water along the way. With the vehicle speeding up and the adrenaline kicking in, even safari viewers at home felt like they were in the midst of the chase!
After all the excitement, Trevor & Stuart landed at the local watering hole by Treehouse Suite at Safari Lodge, but with the sun setting and the wild dogs now out of sight the game drive drew to a close…leaving viewers on a high until next week’s Sofa Safari.
Watch episode 4 on YouTube here.
Spotted on Sofa Safari #4
• Herd of 25 elephants
• Marula trees
• Family group of yellow-billed hornbills
• A couple of saddle-billed storks
• 4 wild dogs (painted wolves)
• 4 hyenas