Two recent videos taken by the Pondoro guides of elephants swimming and enjoying a mud bath. Elephants need to cool down from the sweltering heat of summer and mid day visits to watering holes usually means a swimming session is on the way. They love water and it is plain to see that they enjoy playing around in the water. The noise of water splashing would quickly fill the air along with the occasional trumpet and squeal of delight.
It is hard to believe that Xikulu dam now have this much water after being reduced to a dry pan during last year’s draught. Waterholes like these are a place where family groups of elephants would meet again after being separated for a period of time. Aunts, nieces and sisters would excitedly greet each other while calves would make new friends and play, forgetting about the hardships of every day life.
After swimming and cooling down elephants would often find some mud in the shallows to continue with a beauty salon treatment. Mud is good for the skin, treat and protect wounds from bitting flies and other insects and a layer of mud covering the skin keeps them cool for hours afterwards. Mud is also great for getting rid of that irritating itch while the mud soothes the skin as they try work it into every nook and cranny. Who says trying to look good cannot be fun?
Big elephant ticks also often get stuck in these layers of mud and by visiting a rubbing post which can be any suitable log, branch or tree these irritating bloodsuckers can be removed without too much hassle.
To see a herd of elephants swimming or having a mud bath is a highlight when going on safari and guides will go out of their way to try and share these kind of experiences with guests.