You guys, there is nothing cuter than a baby elephant that doesn’t know how to use its trunk yet.
Elephants usually master their trunks at about 1 month of age, which means this little guy is probably about 3 weeks old (according to our guide). While his mother elegantly sucks water into her trunk, then tips her head back to pour it into her mouth, her little guy does, well, this.
Yeah, he’s pretty much just jamming his face into the puddle and hoping for the best.
Also cute: a baby elephant (same one) scratching his nose.
And for our final cute: a baby elephant (same one) who is too afraid of crocodiles to cross the water with the rest of the herd, so his mother has to take him aaaaallll the way around to a land crossing.
After watching him for about 20 minutes, every single one of us (even the guide) wanted to take that baby elephant home.
Even though we saw a TON of elephants over the course of our safari, somehow they never got old. Unlike the antelope. Or even the giraffes and hippos. I think it’s because elephants seem to have so much personality. They react to the cars, they interact with each other. They shake their heads. They trumpet. When they open their mouths, they look like they’re smiling.
The only other adventure/wilderness trip that Andy and I have been on was in 2011 when we visited the Galapagos islands. Though the two places are like apples and oranges, we couldn’t help comparing them. Both are filled with beauty beyond imagining. The landscapes, the wildlife, the culture. The sky.
I think the biggest difference I noticed was that the Galapagos feels much more… nurturing. It’s always wet and lush, and the animals are of a “friendlier” variety. Sea lions, turtles, lizards, penguins, finches, and fish. (Okay, yes, and sharks.)
But Botswana, at least during dry season, is a harsh place. The grasses get so dry that wildfires start spontaneously. So many of the plants have thorns that elephants have evolved to just eat them. And then there are the lions, cheetahs, leopards, wild dogs, and crocodiles roaming to kill.
Life versus survival.
Of course, a balance of both exists no matter where you go. But one definitely seemed a more dominant theme in Galapagos, and whereas the other prevailed in Botswana. Just an interesting observation — one of many in our travels.