Photographing elephants in Botswana is the best! I love elephants; I love how expressive they are; I especially love elephants in the water! To me, they seem happiest when they are in the water, and I think I see them walk with a different gait as the head for a dip. It’s almost like they are dancing on their way to play!

A couple of safaris ago in Botswana, we were photographing by boat on the Chobe River. As always, the day was excellent with tons of great looks at birds, hippos, crocs; you know the usual stuff. Then the magic happened; multiple herds of elephants came to the river at the same time. It was elephant chaos! They were running around trumpeting, splashing, and playing, all right there in front of me! WOOOHOOO! I don’t know how many shots I took, but it was a lot, and well, there were a lot of images to like.

Photography Tip
If your subject has eyes, you want to be looking into them. Your images will have a lot more impact, and your social likes and shares will go way up too!

Fun Facts About Elephants

  • Did you know that an elephant’s truck holds almost three gallons of water?
  • Elephants can swill ten gallons of water per minute!
  • Baby elephants can’t use their trunk for drinking until they are about one.
  • Elephants drink about fifty gallons of water a day?

Elephant Collective Nouns

The collective noun for elephants is a “parade.” That is fun, a bit nostalgic for the old circus days, but doesn’t work for me when the elephants are in the water. I propose that a group of elephants should be a “splash” when they are in the water.

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I love talking all things safari and of course photography. I welcome your comments, questions or your own stories in the comments box. I answer them all!