Elephant Bath - Kruger National Park, South Africa

Lake Panic Bird Hide

Going on my first safari, I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew it was going to be hot (probably averaged 100 degrees for the duration of the safari) but I wasn't expecting to experience the effects of a two-year long drought. The last two years, rainfall has been 65% and 52% of the long term average year respectively. Wildlife can be found in early mornings and late evenings, but the rest of the day, it can be hit or miss. I think we were reasonably lucky during these off hours. 

The day I shot this photo, we had been driving without many wildlife sitings, Our guide Gregg decided to take us to the Lake Panic Bird Blind to see if we could shoot some of the exotic birds that are found in Kruger NP. Once we got there, birds were quickly forgotten as an elephant herd decided to visit the lake to escape the late morning heat. It was quite the sight, as these magnificent animals started to use their long trunks as water hoses, splashing lake water on all sides of their bodies. I happened to catch this elephant in the process of spraying his back.