LION CAMP : SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK, ZAMBIA
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Elephants in camp

Published : 25/08/2007
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Elephants in camp

Lion Campís most popular guests this year have been three teenage male elephants. Drawn by the abundance of winterthorn pods falling from the trees around the camp, these elephants have become a regular sight - though the experience of watching them as they move through camp can only be described as extraordinary.

Each elephant, always one at a time, enters the camp much the same as all other guests, by the entrance. From here he steps over the low fence and makes his way behind the library to the first winterthorn tree, beside the curio shop. Here the elephants have been known to startle a few curio shopping guests who spot one through the window as they browse the books and CDs! The elephant usually stands munching for awhile giving guests plenty of time to photograph and watch him from the main area.

And when the pods have all been eaten our large guest makes his way towards the next tree, this time getting down onto his knees and squeezing himself under the boardwalk which runs between the chalets. After eating and squeezing back under the boardwalk he follows the path down to the laundry to get to the last winterthorn tree, often breaking a few clotheslines as he walks past. After munching once more he will make his way down to the wafwa to drink and to go off in search of more food. He will eat for another 16 hours and consume up to 300kg of plants, fruits and seeds before the day is over and often he will return to Lion Campís winterthorn trees in search of more pods.

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