My big Tuskers

okie
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My big Tuskers

Post by okie » Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:38 pm

It was in September 1970 , when I saw my first BIG tusker , and that experience made a lasting impression on me that stayed with me until this day .
It was our first visit to Kruger , and as at that time it was still cheap to visit there , and as such also quite difficult to get reservations unless made a year in advance . But things were different too , and much has changed .

Our baby-daughter was just three months old , and , lying in the back of the old Volksie beetle , every time we came onto something interesting , or exciting , she cried or howled . Certainly not fun for my SO , Okie Dokie , who then had to tend to her , feed her or something .....

On our last day , and we were on a late , late afternoon " round-up " before returning to camp , when we encountered a Parks ranger , who , firstly reminded us to make sure te get back to camp in time , then , as an afterthought , told us about this huge old elephant , resting/grazing a mile or two up the road , under a tree . And I remember him saying " he is very old and very big , but he is old , and I do not think you will ever see one like that again . " .

Now , at that time , the legend about the Magnificent Seven had not yet started , but a few names were being mentioned , such as Mafunyane , Shingwedzi and Kambaku .
I had an old , mik and druk ( aim and press ) camera , and being late in the afternoon , were only ably to take a rather poor snapshot , half into the fading sun , of the old gentleman . And that old fotograph has also faded over time :O^
Was it perhaps Kambaku ? -- maybe .......

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Last edited by okie on Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Last KNP visit November 2017 KTP - August 2017.
Next KNP visit -- Hmmm....still thinking

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Toko
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Re: My big Tuskers

Post by Toko » Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:03 pm

O:V O:V O:V Absolutely exciting stuff, okie :shock:

okie
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Re: My big Tuskers

Post by okie » Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:16 pm

It was quite a few years that went by before we had our next encounter with a BIG one .
Our second child , a son , was born , and being quite difficult to get Kruger reservations , we mainly holiday'd by the sea-side . In 1979 we had another Kruger visit , and then moved to Cape Town . With the kids in school , it now became even more difficult to visit Kruger due to the long drive , etc etc . and it was not until 2003 that we could visit paradise again . The business was going well , and SO and I took off time , flew to Nelspruit , hired a car , and spent a few well-earned rest in KNP .
Again , on our last day before departure , we were sitting quietly at Nhlanganzwane dam ( off the S28 ) , enjoying the silence , when out of the bush came a group of elephants , and following shortly behind them , was a bull with the most magnicifent pair of tusks I have ever seen . They were almost touching the ground , and in fact , was actually scraping it every now and again :shock: .
Wow , what a beautiful and awesome sight - we just sat there , dumbstruck :O^ He had to walk , holding his head held high , otherwise his tusks would scrape on the ground in front of him , which of course must have been quite painful when it happened .

And then , like the rest of the group , he drank from the dam .
His trunk could not reach into the water , so he kneeled down , and those huge twin tusks dipped down into the water , so that he also could drink his fill .

And when they had all quenched their thirsts , including the big tusker , they all continued on their way .

Despite searching for him again , time and time again during subsequent visits , we never saw him again .
in the meantime , his fame spread , and we heard that he had lost his one tusk , and later on , lost the other one as well .

And we mourned his passing - to me he was not just a Duke , but a King amongst elephants .

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Duke -The king amongst elephants


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Last KNP visit November 2017 KTP - August 2017.
Next KNP visit -- Hmmm....still thinking

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Richprins
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Re: My big Tuskers

Post by Richprins » Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:22 pm

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Brilliant, okie! X#X X#X ^Q^ ^Q^ :ty:


The best thing is you can see he was large in stature too...some of the new ones are small! \O
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Toko
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Re: My big Tuskers

Post by Toko » Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:26 pm

Image

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nan
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Re: My big Tuskers

Post by nan » Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:02 pm

wow... Duke at his apogee O/\ ^Q^
:ty:
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Flutterby
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Re: My big Tuskers

Post by Flutterby » Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:59 am

Fantastic!! ^Q^ ^Q^ Wish I'd got to see Duke! :-(

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mposthumus
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Re: My big Tuskers

Post by mposthumus » Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:12 am

Exquisite ^Q^ :yes: ^Q^ :yes: ^Q^ :yes: ^Q^ :yes: ^Q^

:ty:

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Lisbeth
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Re: My big Tuskers

Post by Lisbeth » Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:12 am

Wow!! That's what I call an experience that you will never forget O/\ O/\ O/\ Unique too O/\ O/\ O/\
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okie
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Re: My big Tuskers

Post by okie » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:49 pm

Thank you everyone for sharing these memories with me \O
Now , over the next nine years since first seeing Duke , we visited Kruger regularly , almost twice every year , and we never saw him again :-(
We did however see many many elephants , and I took hundreds and hundreds of pictures of them from Croc bridge right up to Pafuri . And , during this time , we saw quite a few of the " named " big ones , but never another one that could even come close to the Duke .
I would like to share these with you , although , maybe I should have shown these "newer , smaller " ones first , and maybe I should have left the best for last :O^
In any event , please be patient while I browse and sort through all my files to pic and post those pics . :-)
Last KNP visit November 2017 KTP - August 2017.
Next KNP visit -- Hmmm....still thinking

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