When life gets busy, one often craves a short break from the city to recalibrate. Activities in nearby locations are always top of mind. One such instance was a spontaneous road trip. My friend Refiloe Kobeli and I took a 3 hour drive from Johannesburg to Bela Bela Limpopo, to spend a day with elephants, something that promised to be an extraordinary day experience.
Adventures with Elephants is a reserve that works with rescued elephants and trains them in order to offer a number of activities to the public from interactions to safaris and the establishment has over 15,000 guests a year. On this particular day, we chose to do interactions with the elephants, which came at a cost of R600 per adult and was more enlightening than we had initially thought.
The hour long experience started with us meeting seven of elephants, they were introduced to us by their knowledgeable handlers. Each of the animals had unique African names such as Naledi, Chishuru, Bela, Zambezi, Mussina, making it easier for us to form personal connections to them as we could now identify their individual personalities and behaviours.
We then got to use our five senses(see, touch, smell, taste, hear) to communicate and establish friendships with the friendly animals. By just smelling an item of clothing, the elephant could remember who it belonged to and hand it back to the owner. Another exercise was where we got to speak and prompt them to say yes or no, by show of nodding in agreement or shaking their heads in disagreement. Also got to playfully kick ball, feed and also kiss the gentle giants.
Totally fun and informative. This experience left us with a deeper understanding and love for elephants!
To book a unique encounter with elephants:
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: +27 (0)14 734 7730
Mobile: +27 (0)79 431 7655