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Photographer's Note

Since we started organising the African tour, an elephant back safari was one of the activities always present in our minds. Going to Zimbabwe was not part of our plans due to the current country political conditions but, when we were told that it was the only chance for the elephant safari, we looked at each other and decided to go.

After leaving behind the Zambian border cross we passed through the beautiful centenary Victoria Falls Bridge, seen here and here, and after picking up a few more people in the town of Victoria Falls we went straight to the Woodlands Elephant Camp for the safari.

An elephant back safari is not just a ride on the largest animal in Africa; it is also an unforgettable experience. The trips are lead by a professional guide, who is armed and carries a first aid kit and handheld radio. Each elephant has its own trainer called Nduna or Induna. These Ndunas have a great affinity and affection for the individual elephants in their care, as well as for the environment that supports these incredible creatures.

The elephants used in this camp have been brought in when they became orphans in early age because they would not survive the wild on their own. These gentle creatures are extremely intelligent and at the camp all training is implemented by using a reward system. At present, the camp has 7 adult elephants of different ages and two babies, one of them still being fed with milk formula.

The main post is a picture of four of the seven elephants and Ndunas before the trip started.

In WS1 you can see the baby elephant being fed by his trainer. Note the elephant trunk around the trainer’s head.

The WS2 is a close up view of the elephant little eye and skin around.

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Additional Photos by Antonio Ribeiro (ribeiroantonio) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4685 W: 455 N: 6473] (22730)
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