Tanzania 2011

5 weeks - solo travel - Toyota Hiace 4x4 van

From very very close

November 4, 2011  —  Tanzania
Tarangire National Park - Tanzania

This is a short story to show you how close animals can be seen in parks. If you think this elephant was taken with a super zoom, you are dead wrong. Here, I am using a 24 mm lens; a wide-angle lens. This elephant walked at about 1.5 metres in front of the car. It is close, very close.

I must admit I was a little nervous, but generally, if the elephant choose to come close, there is no problem. One must stay calm and not do any abrupt movements or noises that might upset it. It is not so obvious when the beast is 2 times heavier than the vehicle, and also higher. A big male elephant can reach 4 metres high and weigh up to 6000 kg (the vehicle only weigh 3000 kg). This elephant was about 3 metres tall.

In any case, I could not go back since other elephants were passing behind the car. If one proceeds towards an elephant, it may very well feel threatened and charge. For this reason, it is better not to annoy an elephant, or block its path with the vehicle. It may easily turn the vehicle over due to its size.

A wonderful encounter!!!

Tarangire National Park - Tanzania
It may seem far, since the photo was taken with a wide angle. But, believe me, it was close.
Tarangire National Park - Tanzania
There was a whole herd.