On their first Southern African Safari, Ralph and Mandy Marshall discovered a whole new world during their stay in the private camps of Camp Jabulani, Elephant Camp, Londolozi and Singita Reserves.
“It’s difficult to express what I am seeing in this beautiful animal world. It’s incredible and enlightening. Yesterday we encountered a leopard, the Mashable Female, up a tree to enable her to scan for prey to fee her two young cubs, which she has in hiding.
Our ranger Simon and tracker Foster knew she hadn’t eaten for 5 days, so she would be desperate to make a kill.
So we sit and wait. You won’t believe what happens next…..
Suddenly she dismounts the tree, passing by our open vehicle, nearly touching the side of the vehicle, so close to me, I could have stroked her back… I almost fainted with the disbelief of what I had just witnessed. Unbelievable”
The Safari aspect of the Marshall’s journey commenced with unique and personal interaction with elephants at Camp Jabulani in the Kapama Game Reserve. Their experience, daily elephant backed safaris into the bush and the Endangered Species Centre in Hoedspruit.
As Mandy recounts:
“I rode Jabulani on my elephant back encounters. On one occasion, I had taken my mobile phone with me with the idea of taking some quick shots as we moved the through the bush. Unbeknown to me, of course, the phone slipped out of my pocket and ended up on the ground”
At four metres high, Jabulani leant over and with his trunk slowly manoeuvred as if to grab the phone from the ground. Remarkably, and somewhat clumsily he used his trunk moving the mobile phone around on the ground as he attempted to make the phone stand up to catch it like a hand. Indeed, eventually he took hold of the phone and by raising his trunk back over his back, he gave it to me. I was astounded!
I have the phone now it’s a little worn but I am using it and it is working. This is an experience I will always remember!
After the safari was over, I was amazed to hear that an elephant is able to remove a thorn from a foot. The story of Jabulani is really an inspiring one. Read it here.