The Elephant Chase

18 02 2012

I can’t believe we are leaving so soon.  I’ll be stepping foot on United States soil (er, floor..) in two weeks time.  It’s crazy!  I’m going to try as much as possible in the next week or so.  We have one week left of teaching – we end next Friday February 24.  Then Friday night we’re off to Cape Town, where we’ll stay in a self-service apartment for 6 nights.  We’ll fly back to Johannesburg Thursday morning (March 1st) and then head out that same night for the United States!  We have a 9 hour layover in Munich so we’ll hopefully get to see some stuff while we’re there.

So as you saw from the title of this post, this is about an elephant chase!  About two weeks ago we went to Pilanesberg, which is a Game Reserve and a National Park.  We left Friday a little early from school and arrived at our campsite – we had 12 people with us, including the five student teachers and other teachers/friends.

Township we passed on our way to Pilanesberg


Our tent!


Once we put up all of our tents, we hung out for the rest of the night.  We had brought coolers of food, with lots of snacks and meat, and had a braii (barbecue). It was a nice relaxing night and great to just hang out with everyone.

Saturday morning we got up at 5am (earlier than I get up when teaching!) and got ready to go on our game drive.  We had 12 people split up into two cars – I rode in our friend Kaitlyn’s car with Kaitlyn (fellow student teacher) and Jeannie (teacher at the school).  The rest of the girls rode in the van and we lost them early on in the ride.

Sunrise over our campsite

Now we continued along on our game drive, seeing a few animals.  Then, we found one elephant eating. We immediately pulled over to the side of the road to watch him eat since he was not too far from the path we were driving on.  After following him walking a little bit, he met up with another elephant and we watched the both of them eating some trees.  The elephants started coming closer to the road, and we realized that they were headed right for our car. The elephant came through the bushes and stared right at us. We started to pull the car forward so the elephant could pass and then he started heading towards us.

Watching the elephants eating

Elephant heading towards us!



He finally passed us and went back to eating, which was a relief.  But then he started coming down the road towards us again, and the second elephant joined him in the road.  We continued to pull forward but tried not to make a lot of noise.  That didn’t go so well .. at one point Kaitlyn (teacher) tried to drive but the parking brake was on so she revved the engine instead .. whoops!  While one elephant went back to the side of the road to eat, the first elephant stopped in the middle of the road, whipped out his extremely large elephant penis and started peeing (apparently this is a sign of aggression).  Then the elephant pooped, and started walking towards us again.

Elephant peeing

Finally, both elephants went onto the side of the road and left us alone, but MAN were we scared.  On top of that we didn’t want to make a lot of noise so we were whispering to each other the whole twenty minutes that the chase was going on.  It was pretty crazy when the elephant was walking right at us, but we were all laughing about it.

That’s all for now! I’ve been uploading photos to my Flickr account so I’ll include a photoset from the rest of our game drives at Pilanesberg in my next post. Until next time!




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