Elephants get stuck into Savuti mud bath

It is widely known that elephants adore the water, whether it is a brimming dam of refreshment or a shallow mud wallow, elephants get stuck in and their characterful personalities shine through as they splash and bathe and roll their enormous bodies over in delight. It is endlessly entertaining to witness the joy of their experience in the water, and how they engage with one another in mock fights and play wrestling. Babies nose dive into the shallows in order to drink the liquid of life, as they do not yet know how to use their trunks.

An elephant pile-on in the waterhole

From teenagers to the biggest matriarchs, every elephant indulges in some dunking, splashing, stomping, and spraying displays that make for some fun photography. Here at Camp Savuti, elephants gather right in front of the lodge where the Savuti Channel courses its way through this region of Chobe National Park. The Savute Marsh is renowned for epic wildlife sightings, and it seems that in the dead heat of the day, the waterholes are favoured by not only the elephants, but wild dogs and lion prides as well.

This is an account of a herd of elephants arriving at Harvey’s Pan near Camp Savuti, where they toyed and played for hours on end. It is well known that elephants are the favoured source of food for the mega pride of lions known in the Savuti, but it seems that with the presence of water in the Savuti Channel, a more abundant population of wildlife offers lions a choice of food, but the notorious relationship between elephants and lions remains the same.

Lion leaping over a stream with an elephant in the background

Big tusker takes a drink away from the chaos

The evidence of dead elephants litters the land, becoming part of this epic landscape, yet the population of these mud-loving mammals is huge and Chobe National Park is bursting with their majestic presence.

Birdlife better get out the way!

Elephants get carried away in the excitement of a mud bath

Making a splash!

Thrashing around in the waterhole

Throwing water all over the place


Young elephant charges out of the water

A family affair in the mud wallow

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