A safari vacation offers an unrivaled chance to engage with some of the world’s most majestic creatures.
Yet, for two British tourists, an encounter with an elephant in South Africa’s Kruger National Park was much more intimate than they had ever anticipated.
Chris Hare and Helen Jennings, both 40 and recently engaged, experienced a hair-raising encounter when a bull elephant aggressively rammed and tossed their car. Remarkably, the couple escaped the terrifying incident with only minor injuries.
Hare recounted the chilling event, “As we turned the bend, this massive creature was before us. Initially, it seemed to pass by our vehicle.
Still, in an unexpected turn, the elephant thrust its tusk against it, flipping it upside down. It was surreal; I couldn’t believe this was happening.”
Vasti Fourie, a fellow traveler in the same safari convoy, witnessed the shocking scene unfold. She described how the elephant lifted the car with its tusk, dropped it on its roof, and then calmly walked away.
“The incident happened in the blink of an eye. The sight of the driver kneeling in shock beside the overturned car was deeply unsettling. It was a first for all of us,” she said.
Hare and Jennings, from Stockton-on-Tees, UK, spent three days in the park as part of their holiday before their planned trip to Durban.
Park officials found traces of blood on the couple’s vehicle, leading them to speculate that the elephant may have been suffering from a tooth abscess.
The animal is currently being monitored to determine if medical treatment is necessary.
Reynold Thakhuli, a South Africa National Parks spokesman, issued a cautionary reminder for tourists, emphasizing the importance of respect and caution around wild animals.
“If an animal approaches your vehicle, stay calm and move away slowly. Elephants, in particular, can be unpredictable and dangerous when they feel threatened,” he advised.
Read more Elephant News.