The Olifants River is a tributary of the “Great, grey, green, greasy Limpopo river.” *
The river runs through the center of Kruger National Park, dividing the northern and southern regions.
Olifants rest camp has arguably the best view in Kruger, lying hundreds of feet about the river and offering panoramic views of the African veld from the comfort of your rondavel porch. All of these photos were taken from our porch, with the exception of a few of the following ones, taken in the bush near the river.
If you look you can see blurring near the elephants feet. This is when my camera started to break down after three harsh weeks in the bush.
A huge variety of animals come to the river to drink, including of course the elephants that often walk single file to the water. In South Africa winter is the dry season, and the river provides scare water to a variety of animals. Olifants is the Afrikaans word for elephant, and many elephant herds spend the South African winter near the river.
There is a long walk from the shelter of the veld to the river and animals make the trip in a very cautious manner, always on the lookout for predators. Zebras have a guard who scans the bush while the herd drinks. You can see the guard on duty on the far right.
Giraffes are the most cautious of all. They scan the veld closely before drinking. They must essentially disable themselves to drink, buckling or splaying their legs in order for their heads to reach the water and this makes them vulnerable to attack.
When they drink, they do so briefly, immediately resuming the scan, before they drink again. Giraffes only sleep for minutes at a time, remaining continuously vigilant.
Great herds of Cape Buffalo come to the river to drink.
Hundreds block the road enroute to the river and when you encounter a herd, you sit in your car, surrounded by a sea of huge buffalo and wait.
It is unnerving, especially when you are the only one on the road. You can see this buffalo warning us not to proceed. We listened to him!
I am home at The Holler now, but send you cheers, and a South African river sunset!
* Source:The Elephant’s Child, Rudyard Kilpling
210 thoughts on “Olifants~”
Stunning pics that make me want to race back to Olifants.I have been there once, but your pics have put it back on my radar. What time of year were you there?
We arrived in late May. The last time we went we were there at the same time. We like it because winter has started, the water holes are receding and the bush is drying, but the tourists haven’t really arrived yet, and the many of the dirt and paved roads we have to ourselves. This time I booked prime units precisely the moment they became available online. It made a big difference due to the views. I can understand you wanting to go back to Olifants. They have remodeled. Quite nice. Book prime river view units, there are only about 14, about a year ahead.
Thanks so much. Appreciate the info. There is nothing like seeing animals in the wild!
Wonderful pics, thanks for sharing Cindy 🙂
So pleased you enjoyed and Happy Monday!
Gorgeous photo’s. Cheers from SA!
Lucky you to live there!!!!
I especially like the shots of the giraffe and the explanatory notes. The pic of the obstreperous water buffalo is also dramatic.
Thank you, they are all magnificent creatures!
Any lions? Obviously the giraffe was looking for them… Water buffalo!
Yes, the lion and leopard will be coming soon! <3
Not an easy life to be a giraffe is it? rightfully paranoid but so cautious :O
It is especially hard for the lone ones. The ones in herds seemed far less afraid.
More Ellies — I LOVE them! And this time, you’ve included zebras and giraffes, too — what fun! Cindy, I thank you for posting all these, and I hope your camera is back to working!
I got a new one when we hit London. Just in time to photograph a fox family in central London. Wildlife follows me! Laughing. My other camera is now in the shop.
Well captured, Cindy. The river is such a vital source and your pictures tell the story. Thanks for the title and translation. Your camera needs a break. 🐘🐘🐘
Yes, my camera would like a different adoptive mother who doesn’t work it so hard! 😉
Superb views, thanks for sharing !
Thank you more for the kind appreciation!
I love the photos of the different animals.Cindy thanks for posting them. 🙂
So pleased you enjoyed them Ranu & Happy Monday~ <3
This must have been an awesome adventure and amazing to witness.
Yes, second trip to Kruger and it is never enough! 🙂
Welcome home and nice close out photos of your trip.
Thanks Wally…..I am afraid to tell you there are still more critters for me to post though, including the leopard! We saw one of the 200 left in Kruger!
Post away! All of your followers seem to enjoy each and every one of your photos.
Así es África: espectacular, grandiosa, con paisajes infinitos. <3 Maravillosa puesta de sol.
Tu y yo gustan las mismas cosas! Gracias mi amiga. Eres muy amable! <3 <3
These photos brought tears to my eyes….something almost biblical about watching a procession of the beasts to the waters….
Yes, it is a very moving, very spiritual place, which of course you can sense even in the photos, because you are are a sensitive soul Cynthia. Abrazos mi amiga! <3
Thank you and I am worried about you leaving WP. I will follow you but this often doesn’t seem to stick with other friends who have left. I wish all good things for you Timothy~
It looks you had wonderful journey, Cindy!
It is a magical place!
Yay! You made my Monday! 🙂 Poor prey animals…although life is not easy for a predator either but they generally can sleep better, I assume.
Yes I think they do, after they have eaten a nice chubby zebra. Eeek!
““Great, grey, green, greasy Limpopo river.” I can still hear Sterling Holloway’s voice drawing those words out on the old record I used to have. Love this! Beautiful pics, as always. 😀
….all set about with fever trees! I know much of The Elephant’s Child by heart since I was a child, dreaming of going to live in Africa. Everything in life returns to the beginning~
What a wonderful experience, Cindy.
Wonderful, magical, special place…..
These are stunning photos, Cindy. I remember the Limpopo river from Rudyard Kipling. My mother used to read those stories to me.
Yes! “What does the crocodile have for breakfast?”
“Today, I will have an elephant’s child…..”
What an amazing landscape to vacation in. So much wildlife and after 3 weeks you probably became a little ‘wild’ yourself, I imagine! So much to process, you’re probably still half in Africa and half home. Welcome back!
It is so strange, I was ready to come home. Now part of me is already missing it. I can’t even imagine what a permanent joy it would be to have Kruger on your border, able to visit when you choose. Imagine the photos you would get over the course of a few years!
That would be awesome, indeed. But it seems The Holler is pretty wild in its own way, too. 🙂
It is, albeit far less dramatic! 😉
wild beauty… 🙂 Thanks for sharing…
Thank you more for appreciating!
So amazing Cindy. So wonderfully spectacular!
Yes, that IS Africa! So glad you see it Gary!
What a wonderful and amazing trip you had in South Africa Cindy 😀
Thank you for sharing also these beautiful post.
Thank you for coming along with me. Sharing the experience made it so much richer! <3
Amazing images as always 🙂
Awwww, so kind!
I grew up with the Kipling phrase ringing in my head: The great, grey, green, greasy Limpopo river! It’s wonderful to see such stunning photographs associated with it.
Yes, I grew up with Kipling as a kid too. My father gave me a compendium oh his work including The Elephants Child which I basically can recite much of to this day from memory. Sounds like Kipling instilled a love of Africa and it’s creatures in us both, and yes, seeing the Limpoco, “all set about with fever trees,” brought all the wonderful words rushing back. Glad to know you share this!
Fabulous. Truly fabulous.
That is what Africa is in a nutshell! Thank you my friend~
Such beauty 🙂 🙂 🙂
What an amazing journey Cindy. It must be exhausting to be a giraffe!
Yes, but they are so happy when they are in a herd. The lone males have a harder time. In a group, they are more carefree and very curious. They tend to approach you for a closer look. Much less skittish then many other grazers.
I would so not want to be a giraffe in the wild. I need my sleep. 😉
Laughing, the five minutes of sleep at a time would render me catatonic in about five days! <3
An explosion of wild life, it has to be so exciting to be here. Thanks Cindy for share it!
Yes, it is this total rush of constant discovery and thrill. For me probably the greatest thrill in life is observing wildlife. Africa and Antarctica are the two places where doing this is just off the charts. Antarctica has to be in place number 1, because there are literally NO people and the most populated wildlife area in the world. The animals have no fear and look you in the eye. But Africa is magical in a different way. Both are incredible, spiritual places.
Welcome back, Cindy! What a magnificent trip you had. Can’t imagine sitting in a car, surrounded by a sea of huge buffalo… Winter must be rough for those animals due to the water. So your camera over worked. Thank your for the tour 🙂
Yes, the camera had me really frustrated because at the end it was taking suboptimal shots. I had my old backup but is was tired too. The Sony HX 300/400’s are wonderful cameras but they are so high tech that they are not that hardy for the amount of photos I take and the harsh use I subject them too, especially in the African bush.
What a strange and unsettled life giraffes must lead, Cindy! I didn’t know that about their sleep pattern. And that zebra guard is very cute there, on duty in his pj’s. 🙂
Yes, you know who I thought had a tough time was the alpha males with the harems. They live a stressful life, always on guard protecting the flocks, getting attacked by males who practice relentlessly to topple the leader. They spar with trees and sand practising their attacks on the alpha, and I have photos of this. The leader is the last to eat and responsible for keeping the entire flock safe from predators. The only thing the alpha gets for all this stress is lots of sex and lots of children. Let’s face it Jo, we could have had both of those things without any of the aggravation, whenever we wanted it! 😉 The giraffes that have a hard time are the lone males. The females in the herds seem a lot more relaxed. It might be hard to be a male grazer. The lonely male elephants are awfully grumpy too come to think of it…..
Your picture of life on the plains is fabulous, Cindy. A good use of anybody’s time. Thanks for the smiles 🙂
Wonderful photos, Cindy! Happy traveling and taking us along… 🙂
You are an awesome travel companion Bette!
I stood on the very same hillside twenty two years ago, timeless photographs; I have their brothers and sisters although mine are creased, faded and not so good. Thank you for refreshing my memories of The Kruger.
Oh, I want to hear more about your experience! That view down onto Olifants has to be one of them most memorable in the world. My husband immediately said on seeing it, oh this is as amazing as Iguazu Falls. It is one of the world’ s most memorable and I am so happy you were there! If you have time, please tell me more!
Hi Cindy, The Kruger is a memorable place and the view down upon the river particularly special. I recognised it at once from your fantastic photographs. My wife and I visited South Africa many years ago before the ending of apartheid; we also travelled to Botswana and Swaziland. The trip was special to both of us for many reasons and would prefer not to elaborate any more if that is okay. For me, the greatest gift Southern Africa gave me was my memories, particularly of the people I met, and especially the few I tried to help in my own small fashion. Thank you for asking about my trip and I’m sorry I cannot be more forthcoming, I’m still far too private, not exactly the credentials of a blogger. However, today you have taken me down a memory path I have neglected to walk latterly and brought special faces, places and events back to me. What more could you want form your post. For now, Paul
I couldn’t respect and appreciate your desire for privacy more. Your trip sounds like an incredible experience and you are right, having you recognize that you stood on the same spot where I took the photos twenty five plus years ago is a synchronistic moment if ever there was one. Having it bring that recognition, and positive memories to you of the elephants, makes me very happy I posted and you saw the post. Be well my friend & thank you for telling me~
I can feel the energy of your trip and the connection to mother earth. I am so happy for you for your journey and grateful to bask in its glow!
Awwww Lisa, you are a sweetheart and I am so glad I got to know you! <3
Beyond amazing, Cindy. The trip of a lifetime. Oh, wait, you’ve had several of those around the world! 😀 Thanks for sharing!
Laughing, I get around……errrrrrr, that sounds way wrong! 😉
Now I’m laughing!! 😆
Fabulous! I too have, somewhere in a scrap book, in a box in the back/bottom of our storage locker a photo of the great grey green greasy Limpopo River at sunset. I love all your photos of the herds drinking. Must have been a wonderful experience to be able to just sit and watch them come and go. Africa is in the list!
I know it is on your list. I sense the anticipation and the planning in you across the miles and I cannot wait till you start planning. Let me know when you do and I will share in the joy with you Alison. <3
Reblogged this on Art, animals, and the earth.
Awww, thank you my dear friend. Abrazos! <3
How I appreciate your pictures, Cindy! The river, the land and the animals. Just wow!
I am so pleased to share it with you Maiko and your appreciation increases my joy in the experience. Cheers to you and thank you~
Love love love this post
You are a soul sister! <3
What a wonderful trip to the water! I am glad to know you are safely home. I have enjoyed your safari and look forward to more. Thanks so much, Cindy, for sharing it.
Next time, we should meet up over there in a bird hide for a joint photo adventure! 😉
Great photos – especially love those zebras!
Oh good than please stay tuned because I have close ups of the striped ones coming! 😉
These are great pictures of these wild animals! I love that last sunset picture. It is so peaceful.
Africa is probably most amazing at sunset and dawn as the creatures put on the most remarkable symphonies!
Wonderful pictures, Cindy! I know how it feels to be surrounded by a huge buffalo herd as the only car on the trail. Quite tense 🙂 What a wonderful trip you had, thanks for sharing so much African beauty!
Thank you more for appreciating it my friend~
Loved the images, but just fell in love with the whole piece. What glorious views you had. Amazing.
Awwww, you are very kind!
Oooh!!! I’m SO glad you explained the origin of the word “Oliphants.” I just can’t get that part in Lord of the Rings out of my head where Sam exclaims, “Oliphants!” in reference to their giant version of elephants, hahaha! Now I know that somewhere in this world, this is an actual word for “elephants.” 😛
All these photos are exquisite Cindy! Worthy of being featured somewhere like National Geographic magazine. You’re such a natural at photography! <3 ~Lynn
You are such a good friend Lynn. Thank you my dear and cheers to you too! <3 <3
SO BEAUTIFUL! Added to the bucket list. 🙂
You will be so glad you did!
Oh…just love these wilderness and wildlife photos. ヅ
You are a kindred spirits as I love all thing wild too!
Thank you Cindy for your superb coverage, it makes me feel as if I’m there with you!
You are! In spirit and I love having you along!
what a beautiful place where wild mingle with idyllic landscapes . The sunset is spectacular !
Every sunset in the bush is just amazing. I suspect because we are talking about hundreds and hundres of miles of bush with harldy any civilization…..
beautiful as always!
schönen Dienstag, Klaus
Vielen danke! Liebe Cindy~
Rudyard would love your photographs, Cindy.
Oh, that would thrill me to no end! I grew up with him in my imagination~
What a fabulous trip you had – thanks for sharing all the photos and welcome home!
Thank you for coming along with me. You made the trip more fun~
Amazing pictures! You have a way of showing off the beauty of God’s precious creations.
Awwwww, so thoughtful! <3
Glad you listened to the buffalo because they have an attitude!
And they are as big as a tank!
What an amazing trip Cindy! Love the photos and panoramas 🙂 Welcome back!
Thank you my friend and cheers to you!
What a wonderful travel you made! I love all images you posted here 🙂
I am pleased that you do & thank you too!
Wunderbare Aufnahmen Cindy, danke für’s zeigen. Herzlich Ernst
Danke, dass Sie mehr fur die Art Wertschatzung Ernst!
How lovely to see the ‘great, grey, green, greasy Limpopo’. I think I know the Just So Stories off by heart, they are so much part of my childhood. Love the zebra on guard.
You are exactly like me. I know them from childhood by memory too! <3
Great stuff and what an amazing place. Where you on a ridge or wearing stilts. 🙂
We were staying in a prime view rondavel and those photos were taken from our porch/kitchen. Traveling this way in Kruger gets you an amazing bang for your buck as the units are very inexpensive, and the view? Well, it can’t be beat!
Definitely the way to live and I learned a new word “porch”. 😀 I’m glad you had such a good time. 🙂
Rondavel was a new word for me! 😉
What an exciting life you live☺👍Wow!Lovely pics
Well thank you & very pleased you enjoyed them!
I want a porch like yours. Did your camera survive the heat?
It did not, the heat, the dust and grit did it in. It is at Sony now, hopefully being repaired…..
I had issues with a camera because it was too cold. I can only imagine that combination taking its toll. I hope you have a back up while that one gets repaired. I feel like I’m missing a body part if I’m walking and I don’t have my camera.
The really frustrating part was having a second rate backup to use while I was still in Africa. Each camera had issues. It was sooooooo frustrating to have an amazing animal in front of me and cameras with issues. I used both and snapped shots with each. If I ever went to Africa again, I would go with two pristine cameras, expecting the first would poop out!
Yes, that is Kruger to a T!
I always learn something from your posts and travels. I had no idea that giraffes have such trouble drinking or only sleep a few minutes. I would be half mad if I had those issues.
Giraffes can go up to 30 days without drinking, but they certainly seemed to be drinking to me!
Must take a long time for the water to get from mouth to stomach. Maybe near the camp has fewer predators. Could be they traveled a long way to get close to the camp.
Actually they were denser populations further south where there were more herds. I think the lone giraffes are more concerned with predation than the ones in groups, but I am no expert on giraffes. Maybe someone who knows more might read this and tell us more!
Fantastic photos, Cindy. The African sunset is spectacular. So happy you had such a wonderful safari. Greetings from South Africa, where I am at the moment. 🙂
Lucky you! You get to spend so much time there! Have fun~
Wonderful photos! You must have had a fabulous time 🙂
Thank you and it was incredible!
What a fantastic time you have had Cindy so many memories and that gorgeous sunset, a lovely way to end your post.
So pleased you enjoyed and came along with me Pauline. You are awesome to travel with! <3
Thanks Cindy. Where are we going next? 🙂
Laughing…..staying closer to home, Yellowstone and Waterton National Parks, but not until early fall!
You have some wonderful memories of my country… it shows in the photos… brilliant…
Olifants camp is one we spend a lot of time at… love that look out over the river…
It is a phenomonal place, which I know you are aware of. So pleased you feel l did your beautiful country justice my friend & cheers to you~
It must be wonderful to see such a place! Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos with us.
Thank you more for coming along with me!
Wow! I’m mesmerized by these pictures. I wish I was there! 😀
I wish you were too! It is amazing~
Stunning place, it’s good to see how each behaves differently.
Wild animals are endlessly fascinating to observe. You learn something new every time you watch them!
What an amazing place and you are so blessed to see this through the eye of your camera lens. TY for sharing.
Thank you more for the kind appreciation!
Wow! This is breath-taking, thank you for dropping by my blog – as it led me here! What an amazing place.
I am very pleased to meet and glad you dropped by. Cheers to you and look forward to chatting with you in the future!
Wow! You take the most amazing trips – and photos too!!
Well, thank you! Great to hear from you and hope all is well with you~
beautiful photos – stopped on over from silkandthreades – you got a shout out! Have a great week and I love the photos of the animals from a land I have never visited.
Excellent compositions. Great shots of African Landscape & wildlife. 🙂
Especially enjoyed the meandering herd of Hardy Olifants. 😀
So happy you enjoyed & cheers to you too!
Beautiful fascinating post Cindy, excellent photography, interesting to read the habits of Zebra to have a look out when drinking, enjoyed my journey through your camera.
So happy you came along for the view and very pleased you enjoyed! Thank you~
I have nominated you for an award -http://aromasandflavours.com/2015/06/18/the-sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award/
Awwww, how thoughtful & how appreciated! Thank you~
Quite the view you had there with all that wildlife.
It was a pretty incredible experence!
Breathtaking! What a great trip you’ve had.
If you like wild animals and adventure, this is the trip for you!
Such an amazing place and travel experience.
It was incredible!
WOW x a million!!! I love the elephants…
So do I! They are amazing creatures!
Good evening Cindy or I suppose good morning where you are. These photos are just magnificent. I so enjoy lingering on your site and absorbing all the beauty of things I would otherwise never be able to experience… and I thank you so very much…
Thanks for sharing your wonderful artistry with us…
Hope your day is most beautiful
This thougtful and sensitive comment made my morning. People like you my friend, are why I so love to blog! Cheers to you & thank you!
Magnificent wildlife and fantastic scenery! 🙂
Awww thanks my friend and Happy Saturday evening to you and the wolf child~
You have super awesome feed.
Awwww, thanks so much & cheers to you!
Stunning. Thanks for the education on the zebras and giraffes. I like how you describe the behavior and then have a photo showing it.
Ahhhh, makes me feel good and thank you Nicci. Most thoughtful~
Wow! What a fab journey!
I must admit Africa is an epic ramble.
My reader showed the picture of the buffalo but your title for your post was Olifants which had me a bit confused until I actually went into your post and saw the photos of the elephants 🙂
I have no idea why the reader selects what it does. It would be nice if it would go with my first photo. I am glad you bothered to look after the confusion. Cheers to you and thanks too for telling me~
Absolutely stunning photos!
Awwww, so kind! It is the sort of place that is an unfair advantage for a photographer~
Lovely wildlife scenes! Nature is just so awesome!
Yes, Mother Nature rocks our socks off everyday!
Cindy, thank you for sharing these beautiful images. I just love elephants. Hugs! Veraiconica
Anyone who loves ellies is a friend of mine! Hugs to you Varaiconica~ <3
I love photos of giraffes and the beautiful sunset took.my breath away, Cindy. The water buffalo are interesting and I know less about them. Thanks for sharing, Cindy.
You are such a sweetheart Robin. Thank you for your kindness & friendship! <3
Love the photos and your comments. What a wonderful trip this must have been.
It is definitely one to look back on and think, ‘I am so glad I did that!’
I saw a wonderful world cindy….like a tale that read by my parent when i was a kid…
Yes, The Jungle Book & The Elephants Child. They made such huge impressions on me too when I was a child. Thank you~
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