Chris spends the night with an Elephant.... TWICE

I always wanted to see an elephant up close and personal. I can't say it was a life long dream, but come one, who wouldn't want the opportunity to see one!?!? Well my time came, and I will never forget it.

Let me just start this by saying, this is really a story you need to hear in person. So you can see the fear of GOD on my face as I tell it! But I will give it my best shot here.

Our safari was awesome! Each night we had an elegant meal at 8pm under the stars on a long table that was set for a king! The stars were beautiful, the food was great and it was an overall wonderful experience. Except for one thing. You need to be escorted from the Bungalo to the dry river bottom with an escort with a torch because of the elephant. But hey, they wouldn't actually have elephants in the camp would they? YEP!

The first night walking back from supper broght excitment I didn't know was possible. our guide stopped us in the middle of the DARK BUSH, and told us to turn around and walk fast. So we did. We tried 3 different times to make it back to our bungalo but where turned around because of an elephant that decided it also wanted to walk the trails. Finally after 3 tries and climbing over the half wall into our bungalo, we were safe inside our tent. Oh did I forget to mention our sleeping quarters were made of CANVAS?

Our hearts were racing, and we were laughing... Our friend the elephant was standing RIGHT outside our tent! Elephants are large animals with large white tusks for any of you who missed that day of science class. elephants eat bushes and trees (we had seen the devistation they had caused throughout the national park earlier in the day). It was fun to watch from the safety of a 1.5 ton safari vehicle. The emotions are different we watching from a TENT.

Long story shorter... The elephant decided to spend the entire night right next to me. No lie, he was less than 10 feet way for much of the night. Lets just say, I DIDN'T SLEEP. Carolyn and Sandy slept better, but you must remember, they are old, and old people forget details, LIKE AN ELEPHANT OUTSIDE THE TENT!

Day two:
We saw the damage our friend had done to the bushes just outside our banda and laughed. We spent the day watching girafe, lion, elephant (not next to our tent) zebra, water buffalo, and many other animals in their natural environment. It is a humbling experience to be in a vehicle surrounded by 9 lions! What a great trip, what a great day!

Fast forward to supper. "Are their elephant tonight" Carolyn asked our guide. "No Elephant tonight" our guide explained. We walked peacefully (and in only one try I might add) down to the dry river bed for yet another specatular dinner under the African Sky.

Returning to our bungalo, we were again stopped because of an elephant. When we asked where it was, they said, number seven. That just happened to be the number of our bungalo! Aparently my friend decided that he would return for another night of companionship. We took the round about way, once again climbed over the half wall, and again shared many laughs about our friend that was standing in the same spot as last night.

No more than 5 minutes later, we heard someone walking around our bungalo from the other side. We figured that the guide was bringing another group around so we thought we would help by giving them some light. Carolyn scanned the brush, but didn't see anyone. The main reason she didn't see anyone was because there was an ELEPHANT right outside the tent! He had walked around the other side now. Again, we laughed and tried to decide what to do now. I was a bit freaked out. I had just seen a special on tv where an elephant went nuts and picked up a car!

Anyway.... Carolyn, being the bright grandma she is, decides we need to turn on some of our lights. First light on... nothing. second light on... ELEPHANT gives a LOUD HUFF and we see white husks right outside our screen tent. At this point I excuse myself to change my shorts (not litterally, but I wouldn't have been suprised). The elephant begins to walk around a VERY narrow path around our bungalo.

Carolyn, again being the wise grandma she is, decided that she should go and talk to the elephant. So she went back out into the sleeping area and starts yelling and claping at the elephant. "I paid good money for this bungalo and I am not sharing it with an elephant. Get out of here! Come on, shew, get going, we don't want you here!" Apparently Carolyn is an elephant whisperer because the elephant did make its way around the bungalo, but then stopped in the same spot just outside my screen window, Remember that spot, yeah, about 10 feet from my HEAD! Anyway the elephant ate the bushes the rest of the night and I actually got alittle sleep as well! In the morning we saw that the elephant ate about half of the bushes between our bungalo and the dinning hall. It was amazing!

Needless to say, if I never see an elephant again, it will be too soon! I did however get a great shot of one as we were leaving the park this morning! I hope you enjoy it! There are 250 more safari pictures to share with you when I return. But for now you will have to settle for the elephant one, and this one... It is my favorite... (if it shows up that is)

For what it's worth,
Chris and the ladies


Anonymous said...

Hi Chris
Only to you, Chris. Thanks for sharing that great story, I needed a real good laugh. What do you suppose God was trying to tell you with that experience? I will keep praying for you and include keeping you all safe for all wild animals. Can't wait to hear more stories, you'll have to have a whole afternoon or night to share all these experiences with us. In Christ Janet

Ashlee Maninga said...

What an awesome story! I've always wanted to see an elephant (in the wild, that is...I've seen plenty in zoos)...but I can tell you I would be terrified to have one outside my tent. I too watched a Discovery channel special about elephants doing scary things, including demolishing people's houses in the middle of the night. But what an awesome wonder that God shared with you and kept you safe! Can't wait to see those safari pics!

Jody S. said...

Hey Chris, Carolyn, and Sandy AKA Judy, soory about that. Anyway we read your story at bible study tonight I closed my eyes as Janet read and could ALMOST picture it in my head, wow what a couple of nights you guys had, Chris it is a VERY blessed thing you have those 2 wise woman with you, they knew just how to handle the BIG GUY!!! But really very glad that you were all safe, scared I am sure, I know when I go next year, I will bring along DEPENDS just for occations like this, if you know what I mean.
Anyway think of you all daily and the awsom ministrie you are able to provide!!! Remember the Jabez, I don't know if widening your territory was to include wild animals, but hey HE IS IN CHARGE so watch out when you use THAT prayer!!!!
Thanks for keeping us all in touch.
Miss ya Chris, Carolyn glad you are better, and Judy you are now Sandy to me!!!
Jody S.

Deb & Darryl said...

Hey Chris,
Just read your story about the elephant and laughed!!!! And we're worrried about bears when we camp!? You've been in our thoughts & prayers LOTS! Kaisa says she wants to go to Africa and take pictures when she's done with her schooling next year. Maybe she could go with you the next time you go.

Gabriel said...

HOLY CRAP! What a great story. you are in my prayers my friend. I have full confidence that God is using you in a mighty and amazing way.

By the way the Vikings lost to the packers... AAHH!

chris arthur said...