Beach bum ellie

A lone elephant has been spotted surfing the beach breaks in Nuarro bay, just off the coast of northern Mozambique.

We received news of this incredibly rare sighting from Nuarro eco-lodge manager Trienke Lodewijk. The bay of Nuarro is situated on the Baixo do Pinda Peninsula in the Memba District of Nampula Province. According to our source the elephant is a male, in good condition and very playful, having spent a long time wallowing in the warm waters.

Photos©Monica Da Silva & David Henry

It’s very special to see an elephant swimming in the Indian Ocean  (and drinking salty sea water), we had no idea there were elephants around here…we don’t really know how this elephant came to our lodge, it looks like it swam from Memba, and probably came from the north of our district close by the Lurio waterfalls, but that would be impossible’ commented Trienkie.

I chatted to Africa Geographic’s Science Editor Tim Jackson who confirmed that this is indeed an highly unusual natural wonder.

‘Wow! There are legends of elephants bathing off Mozambique’s beaches, but to see one is a rare sighting indeed. The only place I know where elephants sometimes  venture onto the beaches is in Gabon’s Loango National Park in west-central Africa, and that’s a long way away from here.’

Photos©Monica Da Silva & David Henry

Today Trienke confirmed that the elephant has now wandered back into the bush, and that he allegedly comes from a family of three who she’s discovered are living in the Nuarro peninsula.

‘Local people are not allowed to burn land or farm anymore so the bush is coming back. And that’s good news also for this elephant’ said Trienke about the Nuarro Eco Lodge 700 hectare concession.

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Africa Geographic Editorial

We're the Africa Geographic editorial team – a diverse set of editors, designers and social media natives, all united by our passion for this addictive continent.

  • Callum

    This is truly remarkable! Great photos!

  • Martin Raubenheimer

    I just started surfing myself – wow this is incredible!

  • tracey

    wow! what an amazing sight!

  • laurie van Bruggen

    Stunning Pic, and amazing capture.

  • Patricia McLoughlin

    What an unusual and amazing picture

  • Duncan Pritchard

    Great moment to capture, but these photos were in fact taken by Monica Da Silva and David Henry …always important to credit the photographers properly. (I understand that’s not your fault Holly) but thought Id clarify anyway

    • Holly Meadows

      Apologies Duncan – photo credits noted and ammended as you’ll see above.

  • Melodie

    That is amazing – what a beautiful specimen as well!

  • Sherri Morningstar

    I don’t think elephants swim or hang around alone. How do you know a handler wasn’t there?

  • Jasmine James

    I use a REALLY close-up picture of this elephant in the ocean for my Twitter background, and I never knew until now where it came from, or if it was real. What a trip! I don’t see a sole with a bull hook near him.

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