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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:22 pm 
They are highly intelligent animals so it could be their way of livening up a dull day. In the same way as dogs chase cars. The difference being that a dog usually backs down or loses :?

I'm taking this all on board and I may well be a little more cautious during my next trip.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:07 pm 
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I am sure we saw the same ellie with attitude as Nunu and Richman saw a couple of years ago when we were driving up the tar road towards Mopani and as we passed either the mooiplaas road or the S142, I can't remember which now, but we stopped and were considering whether to go down that particular road when we suddenly saw this car reversing at high speed with an ellie in hot pursuit, ears flapping and decided that discretion was the better part of valour and we would definitely not be going down that way!!! we moved on and waited until the car made it to the tar road safely and then watched in the mirrors as the ellie stood triumphant in the road. :roll: :shock:

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:03 am 
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Ok .. from experience on monday .. DO NOT TRY TO PASS AN ELLIE IN MUSTH WHEN HE IS IN THE ROAD!!

A vehicle in front of us thought ellies are slow .. it was cm's and that car would have been history.

Best is to wait it out. Let him go into the bush and then drive past. I have to reverse a few times for young bulls this trip. They all seem to enjoy this little game. No harm intended but they like to see cars going in reverse.

OH and btw, don't think your vehicle's hooter is going to get him off the road ... In fact you will just make him more determined to get you to reverse. This I have seen as well. :lol:

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:43 am 
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Welcome back Wild@Heart. I fully agree, trying to squeeze past is not an option. Elsa, from your description I have to say,that sounds like him :lol:


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 Post subject: Elephants
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:25 am 
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The only time elephants get upset is when you 1) suprise them or 2) block their transit. They probably don't like you getting too close but can usually walk away and being smart creatures do.

We did a hairpin turn along the river south of Letaba into a riverside turnout and met head on with a 15-20 yr old male. We stopped, he trumpeted, we hit it quickly into reverse and were outta there pronto.

Another time we were tailing a SANParks vehicle near Skukuza. A tall tourist bus had stopped to observe a herd of elephants and in so doing blocked their transit across the road. The SANParks truck went on, we hung back. The tourist bus left yet the elephants still appeared consternated, we threw it into reverse for a few ten meters until they felt comfortable enough to cross. After they crossed, one bodacious lactating female came back and excoriated us with a shake of the head for our causing her inconvenience in crossing and exercising undue familiarity with her offspring.

Several times we encountered lone late teen, twenty something males strolling down the road alone, happy as a clam, shaking ears and trunks, stopping before us to dump a few bowling balls of dung washed down with a fire hose full of urine all the while tumescing into five legged beasts, the fifth leg of which is as articulate as the trunk!


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:31 am 
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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?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:11 am 
There's a lot of information here


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:19 am 
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Im sure its musth .

The males are in musth for about 1 month out of the year , at random times .
There musth period can be from as little as a week , to 3 months or more , although this is regarded as abnormal and is a discussion on its own .

Musth bulls will chase any other mature non-musth bull out of his area , even bigger & stronger bulls will give way and move out of a musth bulls area .
If all the males went on musth at the same time , it would be a blood bath as the only time bulls will fight to the death , or really hurt each other would be when 2 musth bulls meet up .

As I mentioned previously , stay away , I have seen 3 cars that have been attacked by ellies that where all apparently in musth .
1 Poor couple was watching a pair of musth bulls battling , when 1 suddenly turned and attacked the car , luckily none of the people where hurt .
If you just give them there space , nothing will happen to you , my friends and family who are all regulars have never had an issue , but we all show the due respect .


Last edited by bucky on Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:55 am 
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I don't agree that elephants are always on the defensive when chasing cars. Some of them actually seem to do this for a bit of rest and relaxation. I have come across them standing in the road WAITING for traffic. It is common, especially up north to find elephants walking down a tar road for kilometres chasing everything that comes their way. Usually bulls in musth, and they are actually venting pent up aggression. The best approach here is to find an alternative route. I sense that these days with the increased day and night traffice and the huge population increase of elephants in the park, that these aggressive outbursts have also increased. Cetainly I am getting chased more than ever before. Sorry Jazil I am not been very comforting I know. (If you are really worried stick to the busier roads.)


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:52 pm 
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@ laserblazer - thank you for that site, its very interesting and I have bookmarked it for future reference too.

@ nunu - :cry: no your not very comforting, but realistic and thank you for that....... at least going alone again, I am in control of the vehicle :D - will certainly keep a wary eye open and will not turn off........ thank you.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:36 pm 
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Hi Jazil

I can't recall your camps for your upcoming trip but seem to remember them being in the bottom half of the KNP. I generally find the elephants here more placid - so go and enjoy your trip!!! 8)


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 6:13 pm 
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:lol:
Thanks nunu

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:20 am 
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I would recommend not to get too close to an elephant if you can help it in the first place. The first thing to do is to recognise the obvious signs of danger. If a bull elephant has a dark wetness on the sides of it's temples and dripping urine, then it is in musth and it is not safe to get too close to the animal.

Same goes for cows with small calves. Stay clear unless you want a sunroof in your golf or even a cabrolet combi.

When an elephant starts shaking it's head and gives a trumpet or 2, it means, that you have over stayed your visit and that things could turn out well afterall for your financial troubled doctor and estate lawyer.

Rhino's don't have good sight, anything over 15m is a guess for them. And if that guess is an intruding bull into their territory then you are about to give someone the chance of having this week's 50-50 veldfocus prize coming their way.

Banging your hand on your roof or side of door when mr rhino looks confused will convince him that the metal sound is not his jealous neighbour looking to get back his once used-to-be bride.

Never switch your car off when it's not safe to do so, and being up close and personal with these heavies means that it is not safe. Don't agitate these animals, don't tempt them. They do wonderfull work to enhance the uniqueness of your vehicle without trying too hard. Many people found it out the hard way that insurance companies don't have a sense of humour when you explain to them that their untimely swim in the Kanniedood dam was in fact the result of a ele bull with a bad sense of humour and an equally bad personal interest in nosey homo sapiens.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:40 am 
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Also, when an ellie is walking down the road towards you and you can't get past him .. Don't use your hooter .. if anything it will only irretate him more ...

Just reverse all the way or if there is time and space, turn around. At some point he will get bored with his game and go off into the bush ...

Do not try to pass an ellie if he shows signs of irretation ... They are remarkable quick.

Signs of warnings and mock charges are when ears are flapping.

Definite charge: Ears are tucked back against the shoulders and trunk is rolled up underneath head .. Maak Spore (get going) ...

Also look for signs that he knows you are there .. some of them are very playfull (don't go out and play tagg with him) .. We've had some good experiences this last trip.
Several times an elephant would casually make like it's eating or drinking next to the road .. watch them carefully ... The one that charged a vehicle (who thought she could pass it) ... was not looking in our direction .. but the trunk was constantly pointing to us underneath it's head .. smelling ...

Give them their space ... then you will be fine.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:45 am 
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All these tips are great, there is no ways that I would like a reconditioned vehicle so 5km is about the distance I will try and keep from any ellies.

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