3 Times Elephants Tossed South African Motorists Aside and 5 Tips on How to Drive Safely in a Nature Reserve

3 Times Elephants Tossed South African Motorists Aside and 5 Tips on How to Drive Safely in a Nature Reserve

  • A recent incident of an elephant tossing a Ford Figo aside at the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park had us recalling two similar recent incidences
  • Elephants rarely become agitated around vehicles and prefer to wander away, but sometimes an incident can spark off a reaction
  • We look at five tips on how to drive safely in a national park when doing a self-drive safari and how to deal with driving around elephants

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An elephant made the news last week when it tossed a Ford Figo into a ditch at the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal. The largest land animal smashed its tusk into the passenger side window.

elephant, driving tips, south africa, wildlife, national park, kzn
Elephants have been involved in altercations with motorists in South Africa. Image: Twitter / Paballo Thekiso / AFP via Getty Images
Source: UGC

We take a look at two more incidents involving elephants damaging cars while motorists are on self-game drives and provide tips on how to navigate safely through a national park.

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1. Students flee safari vehicle as bull elephant rams vehicle in Limpopo

In November 2021, a group of young people had to abandon a game drive vehicle after a bull elephant charged at them, IOL reports.

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The group of eco-training instructors fled to another vehicle in the foreground from which a viral video was shot. The vehicle was badly damaged, but mercifully no one suffered injuries, according to Selati Game Reserve.

2. KZN family's SUV rolled over by an angry elephant

The second incident took place in KwaZulu-Natal when a bull elephant charged into a Ford Everest SUV and overturned the vehicle with the family inside, IOL reports. The elephant wouldn't stop until the car was on its roof.

Bystanders in the Simangaliso Wetland Park watched in horror how easily the largest land animal moved the car. According to the Daily Maverick, the husband, wife and two children are from the KZN region of Mtunzini.

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3. Ford Figo thrown into ditch by elephant in Hluhluwe park in KZN

The most recent incident occurred at the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal and is possibly the most dangerous, as the elephant proceeded to lay his trunk on the bonnet of a Ford hatchback, DispatchLive reports.

When the driver slotted the Figo into reverse and attempted to back out of the situation, the elephant became agitated and rammed his tusk into the passenger window. The elephant then proceeded to lift the car before tossing it like a rag doll into a ditch nearby. Thankfully, none of the occupants were injured.

Speaking exclusively to Briefly News, Arrive Alive's Johan Jonck says:

"It's vital to remember that as a driver you are entering the bush with wild animals, and that brings a certain decreee of danger with it, however nature reserve and national park safaris are overall exceptionally safe."

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Driving in the wild

One of the great things about living in South Africa is the easy accessibility to nature reserves. In fact, many reserves and national parks offer self-drive game tours where locals and international tourists can view the Big 5 or different types of animals.

One of the golden rules that must be adhered to at all times is to remain in the vehicle. This is to protect motorists from the animals and the other way round, according to Arrive Alive. However, sometimes danger strikes when all the rules are being followed, and it should be maintained that there is always a certain degree of danger when you are in the bush with wild animals.

We have five tips to stand you in good stead when venturing into the wild.

1. Make sure your car is in good condition

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The last thing a driver wants is to be stuck in a tricky situation because of a mechanical failure.

2. Do not venture off the designated path

The road has been designed for that purpose and anywhere else is deemed not fit to drive. There might be vegetation that could puncture a tyre or animals' territory that can't be disturbed.

3. Adhere to the speed limit

This is particularly important as you are driving in the animal's territory, and knocking or injuring an animal comes with serious consequences.

4. The only animal that can injure a vehicle badly is an elephant

In this scenario, Johan Jonck from Arrive Alive says:

"Dealing with the threat of an elephant could be dealt with mostly by just holding your ground with the engine of the vehicle turned off."

5. Remain calm

It's important to not hoot and shout at the elephant, but rather speak or talk in a whisper and let the animal pass. If you don't feel comfortable, don't approach but rather let the animal walk away.

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“Majestic sight”: SA reacts to elephants casually passing through a township

Only in Africa! A herd of elephants was captured passing through a township, said to be Malamulele in Limpopo - a sight that would have anyone stopping and staring in awe.

While elephants are Africa’s giants, they are one of the most beautiful members of the Big Five. Many foreigners think if you live in Africa that there are lions in your back garden and giraffes drinking from your swimming pool… and sometimes they are not wrong.

Social media user @_DJCappuccino shared a picture of elephants passing through what they labelled Malamulele township. They had a good chuckle at the situation, claiming it is a daily occurrence.

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Source: Briefly News

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