So while I was waiting for our president’s speech last night about the COVID-19 situation in South Africa (hoping that the lock-down would not be extended again), I heard some wire strands breaking at the back fence. Now when we hear a sound like that, we know from experience exactly what is happening…. elephants! I immediately started to laugh. Throughout the country, all South Africans cannot wait to get out and here in Kruger we have elephants that want to break in!
I grabbed the spotlight and went out the back door. A whole herd of elephants was in our neighbour’s yard: cows and young calves. A young cow had pushed through the fence to where my office and the student’s safari tents are. She was feeding on the lush grass.
I started filming the elephants and as I walked towards them, I got a phone call from a number that I did not recognize. I usually do not answer unknown numbers, but something told me I better answer this one. ” Hello, hello, neighbour, is that you outside?” It was the senior gate official that lives in the first house in our little staff village. The house with a whole herd of elephants in her garden… ” “Yes, it is me”, I answered our very concerned sounding neighbour. “Yoh, Steve I saw the lights and then when I looked…. yoh, there are all these elephants in my yard! Oh eh eh!!
“Ja there is a whole breeding herd. They are by your front room now, but they are very relaxed. Don’t worry, they will move out again.” I said and I had to laugh. Here I am shining my spotlight on this herd of elephants and inside the house, the curtains open and there are our neighbour and her family looking at the elephants while the elephants were looking at them. It sounded like the electric fence around her yard was off. (That garden only has a waist-high fence around it which is electrified.) “I will get maintenance to come and have a look at the fence tomorrow morning, they will probably leave soon. Lekker slaap neighbour!”
I stood there a while and when the elephants slowly made their way out I was still laughing at the irony during such uncertain times we currently find ourselves in. We are living with severe restrictions at the moment. And while all South Africans cannot wait to break out, we have elephants that just want to break in!!
Stay safe South Africa!