I have just spent a few days in the Pafuri Concession of
the Kruger National Park in the Trails camp operated by
I spent a few years with Wilderness
Safaris developing the spectacular camp that was washed away
by the floods in January this year.
The concession is
thriving with animals and in the flood plain in view of the
camp there are hundreds of head of wildlife to be seen
throughout the day.
The surprising increase is in the
herds of Zebra which are plentiful and seen to be feeding
amongst Nyala, Baboon, Vervet Monkey, Impala, Kudu and
Driving through the fever tree forest en
route to Crooks corner we encountered this young elephant
He was limping badly and on closer inspection it
was apparent that he had detonated an anti personnel mine on
his left rear foot.
Taking a closer look it seems that
this injury is at least a year or two old which shows that the
bull has adapted to living with this terrible
It is surprising how it has avoided becoming
infected straight after the incident and judging from the scar
tissue has healed without any remaining open wound.
spoke with Willem, a guide who has spent 6 years in the
concession, and he has not seen this bull before.
have been a few elephant that have entered from Zimbabwe &
Mozambique with land mine injuries from this incredibly
cowardly warfare of man.
Unfortunately these land mines
lie there for years after the conflict has ended.
just makes one realise what a remarkable adaptive nature these
pachyderms have & how badly our species impacts on these
Dr Michelle Henley of Elephants Alive has been monitoring
some collared elephant in the Pafuri region for some time with
the support of Wilderness Safaris. This is a study on the
transboundary movement between the Parks in the Greater
Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area.
Michelle sent me an image taken in September 2011 by one of the Wilderness
guides, Enos Mngomezulu, of what we believe
to be the same elephant.
Images: Peter Anderson & Enos Mngomezulu