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Africa Geographic
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Shenton Safaris

It all started around midnight; a herd of elephants came into the camp at Nkasa Lapula Lodge and it was clear from the beginning that something was not normal…

They where moving between the guest rooms and the parking area and for the next few hours the atmosphere was wrought with tension. The amount of communication and stress grew, until finally at around 4am the camp went totally silent!

The next morning as the staff arrived they all looked around curiously. Although they are used to having elephants in the camp, they knew that last night something was different…

©Laura Micheletti

The herd of elephants had started moving towards the marshes just south of the lodge, but one young female stayed behind and looking closely we saw something moving between her legs, it was a tiny little creature. A newborn!

That’s what was going on last night!

This means that the elephant herd that regularly visits our camp trusted the area enough that they decided that it was safe for the young female to give birth here and left her at the lodge to regain her strength. This is amazing and all the staff and guests were very excited as it is not every day that you get to see such a young elephant.

©Laura Micheletti

Amongst all the excitement time was ticking and it was time for the day’s activities to start. There was only one problem, the mother and her newborn calf were blocking the way out.

Our guide drove slowly and carefully towards the pair, stopping so that some guests could witness this miracle of life. After a few blissful moments the calf made a sudden movement towards the vehicle! The mother was understandably distressed by this and tried to put him back towards her, but there was no stopping the little newborn!

In these moments anything can happen…  Our wonderful guests stayed very calm and the little one (a boy as we discovered later) walked along the side of the vehicle for a while, completely unaware of his mistake. The mother elephant was not impressed at being mistaken for a Land Rover, but it did not take long for the confusion to die down and the little one went back to the safety of his mother’s legs.

©Laura Micheletti
Watch the whole experience on video here:


Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge

Situated in the Kwando-Linyanti rivers system, Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge is an intimate bush experience, in that it’s limited to 10 luxury tents, with no fences between guests and the wild world and water beyond. The Lodge is a superb example of how conservation, community and sustainable travel can work together.