Driving along one day trying to find some elephants for my quests, who really wanted to see at least one, I stumbled across some tracks of a lone bull in musth (it’s a word that describes a physiological condition in elephant males where higher testosterone levels, among other things, can make them aggressive in their preoccupational quest to find mates), I knew it was in musth because of the dribble mark that I found with the tracks (the dribble is urine that constantly drips out the penis, probably a way to get rid of excess testosterone that can be toxic to the system).
After a few minutes of following the tracks we came across the lone bull. The guest’s were ecstatic to finally see an elephant.
But everything changed very quickly as this male started charging the vehicle. Viewing the elephant from a safe distance I realized that the bulls plan was to walk down the road. Making it difficult for me as there was no space to turn around. I reversed for 2km before I found a spot to turn around.
Luckily we found a big breeding herd of elephants 30min after we left the bull alone. It was an awesome sighting with calves playing in the water and the females drinking.
Everybody was very happy to see the elephants that they wanted to see. That was the end of a very exciting day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Story by: Stefan De Weerd-Kapama River Lodge Ranger