Incredible Encounter: Curious Elephant Visits Vacationers’ Veranda for a Friendly Hello

Two lucky women experienced a remarkable close encounter with nature when a wild bull elephant unexpectedly approached their veranda as they were enjoying the sunny weather.

Seizing the opportunity, photographer Marsel van Oosten captured an unforgettable holiday snapshot.

ย Photographer Marsel van Oosten waits for the African bull elephant to look up before snapping the photograph, only three feet from his veranda

The extraordinary encounter occurred at Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia, where Marsel and his wife, Daniella Sibbing, were staying.


As the massive African elephant cautiously approached, Daniella and lodge manager Lana De Villiers remained motionless, wary of the potential danger.

The herd come marching though the Elephant Hotel reception – as they do every year, on the hunt for food

Speaking about the thrilling moment, Dutchman Marsel said, “The camp is situated on the banks of the Zambezi River, surrounded by Acacia trees that these magnificent bull elephants adore feeding on.

They especially enjoy the fallen pods from these trees and are known to shake the branches to release more pods.


In this instance, the elephant was picking up pods scattered around the camp and slowly made its way towards the veranda.”

An African elephant wanders through the Elephant Hotel in Zambia, as a herd do every October, as it’s a traditional route

What made this experience exceptional was that the elephant itself decided to approach the people, showing their curiosity and, at the same time, making it a slightly nerve-wracking encounter.

Marsel emphasized the importance of remembering that wild animal, including elephants, can be potentially dangerous, and never attempting to get too close to them is crucial.


Marsel recounted how the exciting photo opportunity unfolded, “I was rearranging my camera bag and cleaning my gear, as it can get quite dusty at times.

The inside of the venue forms part of a traditional trail used by an elephant family for several years

When I saw the elephants approaching, I initially didn’t think much of a photo opportunity due to the harsh lighting.

However, as this particular elephant got closer and closer, I quickly grabbed my camera and positioned myself behind the women, hoping to capture the elephant within the frame.


When the elephant was merely a meter away, it looked up to assess the situation, and that’s when I captured this incredible shot.”

Interestingly, another lodge, the Mfuwe Lodge in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, also witnesses regular visits from elephants. The lodge was inadvertently constructed along a traditional trail used by an elephant family for several years.

During the ripe mango season in October, up to ten colossal African elephants stroll through the lodge’s reception area on their way to their beloved mango trees within the hotel compound. Despite the human presence, the elephants treat the building like any other part of their natural path.


These awe-inspiring encounters highlight the magnificence of wildlife in their natural habitats and remind us of the importance of respecting and observing their space with caution and admiration.

Read more Elephant News.