safari on elephant back

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Aug 9th, 2005, 04:50 PM
  #1
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safari on elephant back

Hello, everyone:

In continuing to research our trip to Africa, we are now definitely narrowing our concentration down to South Africa, Zambia and Botswana. I have read about the elephant-back safaris at Vic Falls, but I am wondering if this type of opportunity is available elsewhere, and if so, where? As Tashak recently mentioned, riding on elephant back would be a marvelous way to hear the sounds in the bush, without the engine noise, not to mention the pure amazement of actually riding through the African bush on the back of an elephant!

Thanks to all of you for your continued help with my many, unending questions.

Lisa
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Aug 9th, 2005, 05:53 PM
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Abu camp in botswana has elephant safaris in the okavango, but it comes at a very expensive price. that said, its probably the best choice of any place.
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Aug 9th, 2005, 06:59 PM
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Lisa,
In addition to the elephant back safari at Vic Falls (I'm booked for my October trip) there is a tour called "Lion Encounter" where you take a 2-3 hour hike with lion cubs, the sounds might be interesting. If you end up going to Nairobi, if you stay at Giraffe Manor, you can hand feed giraffes. If you go to Capetown, there is a Cheetah Sanctuary where you can actually pet the cheetahs. The tactile sensations might be awesome.
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Aug 9th, 2005, 07:26 PM
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Lisa,

In India, on our tiger safari, we spent many days scouring the jungle on the backs of elephants. Without such transportation and vantage point, I never would have been able to make that tiger photo at http://www.pbase.com/pnd1/image/22388831

However before you decide on a prolonged spell on elephant back, take into account the following realities: it is a jolting ride. After a few hours of being pitched back and forth, you may wish you were elsewhere. Depending upon where you are and when you are there, concentrations of flies can be a comfort issue as well. As well as the heavy aroma.

However I found all of these negatives were outweighed by the thrill of moving through the jungle and high grasses on elephant back. For a photographer, it was much preferable to being confined to the road or track. It was a physically challenging yet unforgettable safari.
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Aug 9th, 2005, 08:06 PM
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Lisa, the elephant back safaris at Vic Falls are around 1 hour riding and 2 hours interacting and learning about elephants. Should be quite fun.
Dennis
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Aug 9th, 2005, 08:36 PM
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You can now have an elephant back safari in the Addo National Park in the Eastern Cape

The website is www.addoelephantbacksafaris.co.za
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Aug 9th, 2005, 08:43 PM
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I have very serious concerns (an understatement!!) about any operation that includes interaction with lions. Lions are true predators, and there are no circumstances where it can be good for them to be used as a tourist attraction this way. When lions get used to being around people, it is dangerous. Both for the people, but certainly so for the lion, because they will be killed for any transgression. Even if it is the fault of the people involved. I understand that this operation claims to be doing lion conservation. I think it is quite clear that no legitimate conservation organization or lion protection group would endorse activities like this. and of course they WOULD say this, wouldn't they. They are no more doing lion conservation than the circus. Please do not support activities like this.
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Aug 9th, 2005, 09:33 PM
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I agree with you tasha, that is why I passed on that activity on my upcoming trip, but thought that since Lisa (crystalsong) is blind, the sound, smell and tactile sensations might interest her
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Aug 9th, 2005, 09:46 PM
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Thanks for clarifying...and apologies if I came on strong! I'm really sensitive to this, because a lion that loses its fear of humans is a very dangerous lion indeed. We mostly hear about them when they are shot for lurking around villages.
But I don't want to hijack this thread...back to the elephants...
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Aug 10th, 2005, 06:52 AM
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Hello, everyone,

Great information! Thank you.

Phil, that tiger safari sounds incredible. I've always been fascinated by tigers, so I'm going to have to add that to my list of places to visit, and experiences to try. I am sorry I am not able to view your photo, but based upon what others have said about your beautiful photos, I'm certain it must be awesome!

Dennis, your ideas are great; can't wait to read a review on your trip. I'll probably only be in Vic Falls for one full day, so viewing the falls and experiencing that elephant safari ought to fill the day completely.

Lisa
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Aug 10th, 2005, 07:11 AM
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PND1

Where did you do your elephant back tiger safari, and did you use a tour company? This is something I've been wanting to do for a long time. Thanks!!
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Aug 10th, 2005, 10:24 AM
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Hi, CubaNancy,

Our tiger safari was a long time ago -- 1990 . It was set up by Tom Wilson of CWT, a one-man tour company working out of upstate New York. (6776 Warboys Road, Byron, NY 14422) I don't know if he ever repeated it, since we only saw one tiger. (I think CWT made its arrangements through SITA, a company in India. )

I was asked to accompany the group as a photographic leader.

On the 20 day trip, we visited the Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Ranthambore, and Corbett Tiger reserves, and spent some time in Bombay, Khajuraho, Agra, Jaipur and Delhi along the way. We were shooting from elephant-back in Bandhavgarh, Ranthambore and Corbett.

Phil
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Aug 10th, 2005, 12:24 PM
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Phil
Thanks for the info....I'll check it out and see if I can find anything similar...Nancy
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