Renowned for its large elephant population, one can expect that traffic might take on a bit of a different form when visiting Botswana’s Chobe National Park – and sometimes it happens to be in the form of an elephant roadblock.
Whether it’s your first or fiftieth time in the bush, one of the most exciting things to look forward to, is the unknown. Nature always manages to find an opportunity to leave us in awe, and this was certainly the case for former Peace Parks Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area Manager, Gordon Homer and his family, who were on holiday in Chobe and stumbled across what would be a very memorable roadblock. Luckily Gordon has a steady hand and managed to capture the whole scenario on video.
Nothing gets the adrenaline coursing through one’s veins quite like the sight of a large elephant bull making his way down a narrow road towards you, but thanks to years spent in the bush and a wealth of experience, Gordon gives us a masterclass in how to calmly deal with what can sometimes be a rather hair-raising experience.
When working in areas with dangerous animals, it is important to understand animal behaviour to keep oneself, and the animal, safe. With the elephant not displaying any signs of aggression towards Gordon, he slowly pulls to the side of the road, turns off the engine and gives the animal space to either move into the nearby bushes, or continue towards the vehicle, letting the animal decide which route he is most comfortable with taking.
This makes for an incredible, heart-stopping moment as Gordon and his family soon finds themselves eye-to-eye with one of Africa’s Big 5.
The number of African elephant have significantly dropped in the last decade due to habitat loss and poaching, and as the human population continues to grow at a rapid rate, large areas of land are being converted for human use. This results in a massive decrease in the size of protected wilderness areas and ancient migratory corridors that are so engrained in an elephant’s memory closed off.
Having protected conservation areas and working towards mitigating human-wildlife conflict through education and income programmes, is critical to ensuring that humans and wildlife can live in harmony with each other. Peace Parks Foundation is committed to the protection of natural habitats and the animals that depend on them, so that being able to have incredible experiences like Gordon, remains possible for generations to come!