We are crouched over and walking very slowly. Miles and Tom are two steps behind us. Suddenly there is a gust of wind. A limb from a nearby acacia tree falls to the ground. A flock of birds in that tree are startled and take flight. The cow elephant twirls around reacting to the commotion. Her baby jumps and runs about three steps. We freeze in our tracks. We are all caught in the open without cover. The cow shakes her head violently and takes about five steps towards us. She stops, snorting loudly and stomps the ground. She doesn’t see us, but is very prepared to protect her calf. She senses some danger. Her sounds and movement have caused the other elephant to stop feeding and start moving nervously. The two bulls trumpet and trot about 10 yards toward the front of the herd. Suddenly the air is filled with the dust they are kicking up as they stomp. The bushes where we were heading is our closest cover. Taking advantage of the cloud of dust, I signal for everyone to follow. Keeping our eyes on the herd, we sidestep our way to the bushes about 5 yards away. We make it to the cover, but the two bulls and the cow are nervous and watching. We drop to our knees and watch. The cow and calf are about 25 yards from us, and the bulls are moving cautiously toward us and are about 30 yards. The wind continues to be gusty.
“Tom, Miles, you be ready,” I whispered. “This might get crazy,” I added.