Fun at the Watering Hole
Mud bathing is an important past time for many of Kruger’s animals and it can also be fun too! It provides protection against ticks, flies and the sun, as well as giving instant relief on a hot South African day.
This herd of elephants was filmed enjoying a wallow in a Pan, near Klopperfontein. We were fortunate enough to spend over 40 minutes with this herd. Watching them drink, bath and interact. Elephant social interactions are always a pleasure to film and this one was no different.
When we first arrived the herd were standing around the edge of the pan, drinking vast quantities of water. While elephants can go days without drinking, when they do find water they can drink up to 230 liters a day. The noise the herd made was absolutely incredible, as the water was sucked up by trunks and spilled out of mouths. The deep rumbles and the occasional trumpets that accompanied the sucking and slurping provided us with a beautiful natural symphony. The elephants then waded deeper in to the pan, churning the water with their feet in order to suck up mud with the water. This they then spray over their backs, between their legs and occasionally at each other, before leaving the pan to continue with their journey.
© This video belongs to the Southern African Natural History Unit.