The Elephant’s Eye

Two days of safari had resulted in no good images of elephants. There were plenty of elephants around, it is simply that I had experienced no close encounters, those I had seen had remained distant, across the fields or on distant hillsides.

An elephant visits the Kazinga Wilderness Safari Camp at Katunguru, Uganda

Well? There was one moment with elephants right on the road in front of us… But photos of an elephant’s bum disappearing into the brush? Not what I was hoping for.

Thus as safari day two ended I returned to the lodge with good lion photos, lots of hippo and antelopes, some nice birds… But no good elephant shots.

As I walked to dinner I noted one of the other guests on the dirt road in front of the lodge. Curious as to what had their attention I wandered out as well camera and telephoto lens in hand. I had taken the telephoto rig to dinner because you just did.

Sure enough there was an elephant a couple hundred yards away. Better yet, it was coming towards us.

An elephant visits the Kazinga Safari Lodge at Katunguru, Uganda

Things were good. The elephant wandered from thicket to thicket, grazing a bit as it came. I shot a few photos or would hold the camera aside, simply appreciating the magnificent animal. While I was watching a lady beside me suddenly called to out, “Behind you!” Oh, another elephant! A bit too close.

We backed across the road as the elephants moved forward, two, then four, eventually more than ten elephants appeared around the thickets of brush. Adult males, several females, and at least two youngsters. I counted ten, but could not see all of them at once, there may have been a couple more.

A herd of elephants visit the Kazinga Safari Lodge at Katunguru, Uganda

I shot more photos, then a few more, eventually deciding to attend to my now slightly late dinner. Not really a problem, the lodge staff were out watching elephants with us. The elephants hung around for a while, all through dinner I could watch as they grazed across the road. An excellent dinner, elephants, and sunset… A very memorable evening.

Dinner, Sunset, and Elephants
Dinner, Sunset, Elephants at the Kazinga Wilderness Safari Camp, Katunguru

There were plenty more elephants to be seen. It was the road to Ishasha that would provide the closest encounter of the trip. A lone elephant grazing on a bush directly beside the road.

This elephant took little notice when we stopped right there in front of him a few meters away. As I photographed from the vehicle window the elephant continued the more important mission of satisfying his hunger, slowly ripping the bush apart.

I shot a few photos, a short bit of video, and then more photos at a range where the reach of my 400mm telephoto lens was simply not needed. Unless you wanted a photo of the elephant’s eye…

The Elephant's Eye
A close-up of an elephant’s eye

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

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