We saw so many incredible things and had more up-close wildlife encounters than we’d ever imagined, but there were definitely a few encounters that truly stood out on our nearly two-week SkySafari. Tarangire National Park was our favorite for seeing African elephants, and on our last day in the park the elephants definitely sent us off with an entertaining show.
We came across a herd of around 30 elephants, a small herd really considering it’s not uncommon to see herds of up to 300 in Tarangire National Park. We’d seen other large herds over our three days in the park, but this was truly a treat. A large watering hole was relatively close to the road and the elephants loved snorkeling in the water and then coating themselves in the mud. The mud actually keeps them cool and works like a sunscreen to protect them from the intense African sun. It also helps to keep the pesky biting insects away.
Elephants herds like this one are families and consist of females and their young. Male elephants leave the herd between the age of 12 to 15 years of age and form their own groups. The female aunts all work together with the moms to protect the babies in the group.
When it’s time to move on from the watering hole, the matriarch of the group moves away from the herd, turns her back, and gives the “let’s-go rumble” while flapping her ears. This spurs a series of back and forth vocalizations within the group before the entire family finally departs. And when you have a couple of teenagers that are allergic to listening, the leaders of the herd will come pull you out of the watering hole and tell you to get your butts moving along.
Our trip to Tanzania was hosted by SkySafari by Elewana in order to bring you this story. As always, all opinions are entirely our own. However, Luxe Adventure Traveler maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and enthusiasm for travel are entirely our own.