Extraordinary Elephant Encounter

TRAVEL JOURNAL November 23, 2019 - The Hide Safari Camp, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

We were fortunate enough to participate in a Fam (short for "familiarization") trip to South Africa and Zimbabwe. In this post, we're sharing just one of the many amazing moments we experienced on the trip. Stay tuned for more travel journal entries.

On our last afternoon at The Hide Safari Camp, we were happily exhausted.


Knowing we had a long two days of travel ahead of us, we decided to stay in camp and shower and pack, rather than go on one final game drive.


It was a tough decision. Staying in camp meant we might miss an incredible animal encounter, but since we had already seen all the animals at the top of our wish list, including the ever-elusive leopard, we decided to risk it.


Spoiler alert! We made the right decision.


One of the coolest features of The Hide Safari Camp is "The Hide." It's an underground viewing area strategically placed right next to the camp's watering hole. When animals come to drink, you can quickly (and quietly) go down into The Hide and observe them up close, from a unique vantage point, without scaring them away.

Entrance to The Hide

During our two days in camp, we hadn't had an opportunity to use The Hide ... until the last afternoon.


Seemingly out of the blue, a huge herd of elephants quickly—and surprisingly quietly—approached the watering hole. At first we were just in awe. Then, once the surprise wore off, we rushed underground.


After the fact, we estimated the entire herd (about 50 elephants?) came and went in about 20 minutes. Interesting note: Hwange National Park is home to one of the largest elephant populations in Africa.


Below is a five-minute snippet of our moment with them. At about the 45-second mark, look to the right of the screen to see the tiniest, cutest baby elephant you've ever seen ... and then keep watching as one of the matriarchs helps him get out of the watering hole.

For all of us there, this encounter was one of the most impactful travel experiences we've ever had. It's hard to put into words why it touched us so deeply. There's just something so magical and humbling about observing these giant creatures in the wild from such a unique and close perspective.


If you'd like to know how you, too, can have an experience like this, please reach out to us.

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