In an extraordinary encounter with nature, two lucky women experienced a surprising visit from a wild bull elephant while enjoying the sunny weather on their porch.
Photographer Marsel van Oosten captured an unforgettable holiday snapshot as the majestic creature stood three feet away.
This remarkable event occurred at Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia, where Marcel and his wife, Daniella Sibbing, stayed temporarily.
As part of a yearly ritual, the bull elephants marched through the Elephant Hotel reception for food.
Situated on the banks of the Zambezi River, the camp is surrounded by Acacia trees that these magnificent creatures adore.
Marsel shared, “They particularly enjoy the fallen pods from these trees. In this instance, the elephant picked up pods scattered around the camp and slowly approached the veranda.”
What set this experience apart was the elephant’s decision to approach the people, displaying curiosity and creating a slightly nerve-wracking encounter.
Marcel emphasized the importance of recognizing the potential danger of wild animals, including elephants, and stressed the importance of never attempting to get too close to them.
Initially hesitating due to harsh lighting, Marcel quickly changed his mind as one particular elephant drew near.
Grabbing his camera, he positioned himself behind the women and captured the incredible shot when the elephant, just a meter away, looked up to assess the situation.
Interestingly, the Mfuwe Lodge in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, also witnesses regular visits from elephants.
The lodge unintentionally stands along a traditional trail used by an elephant family for years.
During the ripe mango season in October, up to ten colossal African elephants stroll through the lodge’s reception area to mango trees within the hotel compound. Despite 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.
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