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Elephant bull in the South African wilds of Madikwe Game Reserve.

A few months ago +Gizmodo wrote a post about the Makanyane Safari Resort ( There was one photo of their lobby view with a large elephant smack in the middle of the frame. I was sold. This was my very first safari.

Makanyane is located in the Madikwe Game Reserve in North-East of South Africa, a few 100m from Botswana. "Welcome to the bush," says the good-looking South African game driver revving up the engine of the Toyota land cruiser as we head out our first safari adventure. "From now on you are considered the bottom of the food chain," he says grinning ear to ear.

Dylan, a strapping late 20s lad with sparkling green eyes, darkly tanned skin from 9 years of game driving in the hot sun, laughs when I ask him if he'd ever consider doing a reality show. "I've been asked," he sheepishly replies, "but just want to drive for myself."

Dylan puts down his binoculars, narrows his eyes, and flips on the sputtering engine -- we are off in search of the big 5: Lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, rhino.

The big 5 refers to the most dangerous animals who will charge, maim, or kill you, so naturally those are the ones we all want see.

After an uneventful few minutes, the jeep turns the corner, and we are meters away from a very large elephant. The blood drains from my face and replaced by sincere amazement with a heavy dosing of straight up fear.

"He's a big boy," exclaims Dylan. The bull starts to move towards us with his ears extended. He does not look impressed. With one damaged tusk this guy looks like he might have some anger management issues. He raises his truck and continues to push forward. Having no sense of impending danger, I am furiously snapping shots.

The bull opens his mouth and widens his ears. Dylan senses danger and slams on the gas, throwing us into reverse as we veer off the path into the bush. "Duck," he yells. Vicious bushes with needle-like spires come within inches of my face, slightly grazing my arm. A close call indeed!
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Looks like he stopped off at the Marula binge and broke a tooth in a brawl with idiotic republicans, again...
josh h
You are so exciting
Very nice photo - (will have to get use to the depth of field on an iphone...)
me gustan mucho estos animales
Beautiful animal. I spend drawing elephants in my notebook
I love the almost diorama feel of this as if I am witnessing a moment of evolution in an ancient species. It has a timeless feel. Great tension here!
Seen one very upclose going into the Kruger Reserve...
oh...que hermosooo...amo a este elefante.....que encanto!!!!:)
Sounds like an exhilarating experience! Looking forward to hearing about the next four!
Lovely!! I'm sure you had a lifetime experience there!! Enjoy it, Lisa!! xoxo
Excellent shot, Lisa! And with an iPhone you must have been close enough to this bull to feel the thrill of its amazing presence. I went on my first Safari to Africa in 2001 and have been back there two more times. Africa finds its way into your heart and I bet that you will go back there again with your big lenses and your DSLR.
I know it's not what you are there for, but learning a bit about these animals before you go would pay off allot. You probably know this but the best, all but live with them. The the animals they photo graph know the scent of the photographer and wont attack. Plus the photographer has done their home work and knows what to do to avoid being attacked. Likely it was that one of you has something with a strong strange scent on it, something was making strange noises, or the sudden appearance of the Jeep, to close for comfort was taken as a challenge.
The lovely thing about Madikwe is that visitors are limited to those who stay at a resort on the reserve. When we were last there we stayed at Mosetlha Eco Lodge, at the time the only lodge with more affordable prices. The trackers from the different resorts work together, letting each other know where the game is on the reserve. It was impressive watching our guide get out of the jeep and slowly walk up and down the dirt track deciphering the signs of where an animal went and how long ago it was there. Our guide was able to get us so close to many of the animals, what an incredible experience. I was pregnant at the time with out youngest and look forward to the day when he is old enough to experience what he missed that trip!
Nice Click, Very Well Balanced & Beautiful Back Ground.....
It's like you like touring may be you come to UGANDA so that i can make you see mob stuff
Joe nm
nice snap
esta foto e bem legal gosto muito.
Elephant with Alzheimer looks to have forgotten where the burial grounds might be
First I want to tell you may not be the first to tell you so Bank woman beautiful and distinctive, and I admire a lot I've seen your photos on Facebook I hope you accept me as a friend and a permanent special because I also love the hobby of photography and my address is
I am so glad you are experiencing a good-old South African safari! :)
You are in South Africa! Any chance we could meet up and interview you for +PhotoComment Magazine?
good morning Lisa how r u i see u r very cute i like chat with u r u ready
i am a student from china i want have a friend from other country who add me?
Veer En
Welcome back, I was missing you and your photos.
nice pic but the burr is post processing right?
This is a very cool pic!!! My wife is a elephant lover, so she will really like this pic...thanks for sharing.
Te estoy siguiendo por tus hermosas fotos, son extraordinarias. ¿Eres tu la autora de la mayoría de ellas?
Envy you. I dream to go such places.
as fi tras o sperietura in momentul acesta
Hathi Mere Sathi(Elephant is my friend)
Nice .kerala elephants are more beautiful...
verry nice pict...he so look good in my painting bettany...?
What the other tusk? Mating season?
que foto mas hermosa  de la naturaleza muy bien  
this is the handiwork of allah who has created everything with perfect wisdom
all of them was nice ,technical n wonderfull i saved some of them
Hi Lisa,i love your photo's, would love to hear from u,show me more please, thankyou.

Vya, vaya. No solo esre una hermosa mujer, también eres una viajera que esta atenta a todos los contextos, momentos que te da la vida. Espero ver más fotos de vos.
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