I have read this thread with great interest. I am absolutely terrified of elephants, or maybe its great respect for them, and dont like coming anywhere closer than at least 50 meters minimum from a feeding peaceful one, let alone a lone bull elephant in Musk! It appears that now seems to be the time that they are in musk (spelling not sure of), is this so? Or do they come into musk at different times of the year? (Would rather cancel my booked trip in two weeks time and go later if necessary )
Have had one experience, (one too many) of having to wait nearly an hour, reversing and stopping, whilst one lonely bull took ownership of the road, dirt road, between L S and Skukuza, (we were late back to camp because of this).
Have also had an experience, not in KNP, but in our Hlane Game Reserve in Swaziland. A whole lot of baby elephants were brought in about 20 years ago, (I think from the KNP and were ones left over or out of a culling). We watched them with interest over the years, starting off with them in an enclosure then when a bit older being let out into a much bigger enclosure, where the Game Rangers used to go calling for them at feeding time...... yes they were fed as well) and then finally two years ago being taken by one Game Ranger into this really large enclosure, many hectares in size, to look for the ellies.......... we came across about 6 or 7 or them, the Ranger said, "turn off the car and sit absolutely still". We did. These ellies came right up to the car, the one ran his trunk all over our windscreen, one rubbed himself aginst our vehicle. They were all around us, we were like a human/vehicle sandwhich, (I was petrified and kept my hat on low and kept reading my book, - did not take in a word of what I was reading - I did not want to look, but did peep now and again!).
After about 15 minutes, the ellies wondered off, it was a terrifiyng experience, but I suppose an equally wonderful one.
The Rangers obviously knew these ellies, but I still think its taking a chance, as I have heard reports on how unpredictable these sort of ellies are that are brought up alone with no parental guidance.
Anyways, please tell me what is the season when they are in musk? How long does it last?