My first encounter with a charging elephant. The first time I saw an elephant was on my way to Mweya Safari Lodge, where I had gone for a job interview .

I woke up early that morning, boarded the LINK bus from Fort Portal town, travelled to a place called Katunguru (found in the western region), got a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) from this point, and continued to Mweya Safari Lodge.

As we rode inside the park, we met a big herd of elephants. I ask the boda guy, “do you think we can get through this herd?” He proudly says, “Definitely! I have been doing this for a long time!”. I didn’t believe him so I told him to stop immediately and wait for the herd to finish and make way for us.

He then suggests making noise for them so that they can give way, which I agreed to do. While we where at it (making noise as we rode), we didn’t realize that in the process the mother elephant had left her calf on the opposite side of the road! As we were riding through I saw a calf playing. It was so cute that I asked the boda guy to stop so I can watch the calf. Next thing, I hear a trumpet-like sound behind us. I turned behind and saw a giant elephant running towards us, flapping its ears! I tell the boda guy to start the boda quick, but the elephant was already close, like 6 feet! I was very scared so I started shouting at the boda guy, “We are dead!!! We are dead !!!” He did his best and we finally got away and continued to Mweya.

This was the first time I had seen elephants live in their natural habitat. I was so excited, even after what had happened. I will live to remember this for the rest of my life from that day on.

Respect wild animals and love them!

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