Safaris & stories
Africa Geographic
Wildlife . People . Travel
Africa Geographic Travel

This breeding herd of elephants came to drink at a waterhole in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. However, when the herd came to leave after quenching their thirst, a little calf was unable to get out of the waterhole due to the steep and slippery bank around the edges.

The young mother was not sure how to help him out, but it was fascinating to watch her attempts to help the calf. At first she got down on her knees and hung her trunk down, but she couldn’t figure out how to help the calf up the embankment. Then she appeared to offer the help of her hind legs, but the little one’s trunk was too short and weak to pull himself up by mommy’s hind legs.

Next, she got down into the waterhole herself, seemingly to demonstrate how to climb out. The calf tried to follow her example and desperately pawed at the mud with his front legs, but it was just too slippery.

He stumbled through the mud to try at a different spot, but it was still too steep and slippery. The inexperienced mother tried to help with her trunk but was not sure what to do.


Eventually an older, more experienced female arrived to assist and lend a helping trunk. Without any hassle she managed to pull the calf up onto level ground, causing a little cry of relief from the baby.

They moved off at a pace to try and catch up with the rest of the herd, the little calf running to keep up, causing the poor little guy to stumble through a ditch. A very special sighting on one of many Kruger National Park safaris!


Africa Geographic Travel
Wild Wings Safaris

Wild Wings Safaris is a specialist African safari operator and Kruger Park ground operator, with offices in the UK and South Africa. We offer tailor-made safaris and custom wildlife tours throughout Southern and East Africa. Member of ABTA and SATSA.