POSTED 02 NOVEMBER 2015 / BY SHEARWATER VICTORIA FALLS / IN VICTORIA FALLS / TOURS & TRANSFERS
Shearwater is very proud of the 13 elephants it rescued from a grim fate. We are equally delighted when an up close and personal interaction with these iconic animals leaves a lasting impression upon visitors, who subsequently become even more impassioned about the general prospects for Elephants. Contacting clients once a year on ‘’their’’ elephants birthday, with a message giving an update on how things are faring for them and their wild brethren, keeps the bond ongoing and personal.
People get excited by many of the things to do in Victoria Falls, but one activity seems to stir raw emotions more than any other – there are often tears and gushing trip advisors reviews. The one option of what to do in victoria falls that causes this is Elephant Back Safaris.
Everyone who does this thoroughly enjoys the experience, but for many it goes beyond the realms of instant gratification felt with many activities. Having an opportunity to be with these animals for a ride in the bush is a great privilege for anyone to have the opportunity of, but the personal interaction at the end is utterly priceless.
Sitting on a knee of these gigantic animals being able to stare into those big blinking eyes, feel the velvety softness of the ears and the rough hue of their skin, and to have them feed right for your hand with their incredible trunks – is deep bonding an visceral feeling for many.
The elephant is THE iconic animal of Africa and many use their general state of well being as the best barometer of how wildlife is faring in Africa. If the Elephant Back Safari in some small way can enhance people’s appreciation of these noble mammoths, meaning they look out for the general welfare of Elephants in the wild, and support were they can – not necessarily financially, but possibly as an ambassador promoting protection of their environment: that is a fabulous bonus.
The Shearwater Elephants have all had names since the operation started – not least as it assists with training and recognition. We are now indulging in a little more anthropomorphism giving them all official birthdays. It will allow us to send annual birthday messages from our 13 wonderful animals with some general information as to their wellbeing over the year and that of their wild brethren, thereby hoping to maintain a lifelong association – even better if members of the same family come to visit and ride the same animals as their parents or relatives.
Tusker:- male 42yrs August 12 Tatu:- female 38yrs. Sept 6
Doma:– male 42yrs February 18 Moka:- male 43yrs June 22
Kariba:- female 14yrs. August 1 Laduma:- male 15yrs May 14
Detema:-male 15yrs April 26 Minos:- male 17yrs Dec 21
Deka:- male 12yrs August 25 Hwange:- female 16yrs uly 14
Masuwe:- female 15yrs Sept 19
Choosing an Elephant Back Safari as one of your things to do in Victoria Falls can have a benign and lasting impact in more ways than one, and when considering what to do in Victoria Falls – your decisions some time go beyond the obvious.
Ask anyone what picture immediately comes into their head when you say Africa – and the vast majority will reply with – Elephant. It is the essence of the continent – huge, mysterious, exotic, powerful and fascinating. It is the icon of the continent – football teams, mascots, badges, posters, logos – you name it, the Elephant is the manifestation of Africa in so many ways. And it is the emotion of the continent – concern, affection, adoration, fear and very often at breaking point.
Anyone coming to Africa and visiting Victoria Falls and seeking things to do in Victoria Falls, should not miss the opportunity to partake in one of the classic activities in Victoria Falls which embodies so much of the paradigm associated with the enigmatic African Elephant. Shearwater Elephant Back Safaris has been operating in Victoria Falls for over 15 years.
Our elephants are all rescue elephants from drought and being orphaned and have been accustomed to human interaction. They spend up to 8 hours a day roaming the bush as nature intended, feeding endlessly on their favourite bush fodder, as their indunas follow them throughout the day until they are led willingly back to the stables.
In between foraging at will, they will gather at the Shearwater boma, to provide a thrilling experience to all those participating in this fantastic Victoria Falls activity. Following welcoming drinks and an insightful talk from the Shearwater indunas, each elephant will mounted their favourite induna and up to 2 passengers.
An Elephant Back Safari is a then a 45 minute slow and magical ride through the bush of the Stanley and Livingstone private game reserve (home to the big 5), which provides an entirely unique elephant eye perspective on the African bush. Kudu, impala, buffalo, zebra giraffe are all regularly spotted along the ride, as your induna gives an essential education on all things elephant as you lumber along.
The ride is joyous enough. What marks out this out though, as one of the most sublime activities in Victoria Falls – one of the very best things to do in Victoria Falls, is the personal interaction one gets with the elephant at the end of the ride. Feed your elephant by hand and feel his trunk delicately pick his favourite nuts from the palm of you hand, stare straight into those huge gleaming globes of eyes and caress those silky soft Africa shaped ears – it’s an intimacy few ever get chance of and no one ever forgets.
It is challenging trying to complete the perfect itinerary of what to do when in Victoria Falls, there are so many world class activities in Victoria Falls – but an Elephant Back Safari can only be equalled at best and never beaten.