WATCH: Mozambique elephant takes a long charge at 4X4 car

2018-06-05 13:30 - Gabi Zietsman
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Tourists had a close encounter with this elephant

There's not much that can stop a stampeding elephant, so the best you can do is just to try and get out of its way.

A guide from Bhejane 4x4 Adventures got a first-hand lesson in this after encountering an agitated female elephant while driving through Mozambique's Maputo Special Reserve, and the driver's insane reversing skill was caught on camera.

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At first they thought the elephant and its herd wanted to go to the water by crossing the road, but the matriarch was instead determined to walk on the road in the opposite direction that the car was trying to go.

After the driver gave the elephant all the space in the world, a big herd of mothers with their babies appeared out of the bush and followed the road behind the dominating matriarch, which cleared the road of the pesky car.

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Watch the encounter below:

A herd of elephants walking in a row in the distan
The herd that followed the charging matriarch after clearing the road of cars. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)

The elephants of Maputo Special Reserve

The Maputo Special Reserve is half an hour's drive from South Africa's Kosi Bay border post and shares a fence line with Tembe Elephant Park. Peace Parks is currently repopulating the park with game to live alongside the resident elephant population.

The elephants in the park are less friendly with cars and humans than those in South Africa, as they are still haunted by gun violence during the country's civil war and being mercilessly poached for decades. Half of the population fled to South Africa, and now call Tembe their home. There are talks in place to one day open up the corridor so that the Tembe elephants can be reunited with their birthplace.

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"The elephants in the park are not Kruger elephants, they are still a little bit agitated after having gone through some difficult times with people, so they don't like cars and they don't like people to get too close," says the reserve's tourism manager Tanya Alexander. 

"As tourists start spending more time in the reserve, they will start relaxing if they continue to have positive experiences with people again."

It is generally advised that visitors to the park keep their distance and give plenty of space when encountering elephants on the road, especially if there are elephant calves that make the herd extra alert.

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