Have you ever seen an African Elephant playing football? No, well meet the Elephants of the 800 hectare game reserve, Indalu.
Indalu sits nestled magnificently in the foothills of the Outeniqua mountain range and is home to many different wild animals. The elephants are the kings of the reserve and get treated as such by the rangers who are there to ensure their safety as the roam wherever they wish over the massive tract of African land. When I took Finn ( who is my 5 year old son ) to Indalu I could tell that the owner, Mr Gerhard van Rooyen and his wife Arina are passionate about the small family of six elephants and I could also see that they were very excited to show Finn how strong and straight the football kicking legs of these elephants are.
The elephants roam the reserve all day, every day, but part of keeping them stimulated is playing ball kicking games with them, easily translated by a young child into a wonderful game of footie- or as Finn tactfully put it when he spoke to his opponent-
“you try and get that ball past me!”
Finn also got a chance to say thanks to the elephants and to give them a few watermelon treats as he spent a bit of time chilling with them after a hot game.
We were lucky enough to be invited back for another enrichment session with the elephants and the owners teenagers, Hanro and Rohan, who had decided to invite Finn for a game of football. Here are some of my fave photos from the new experience. Some may feel elephants should not be interacting with humans- I feel that close interactions with animals and humans- especially children – are paving blocks for something special to come…