A. rush to the screen of your tented cabin and exclaim how you wish you could post this on Facebook.
B. repeatedly shoosh your well-meaning friend while cowering in your bed.
C. turn on the lights to your tented cabin so you can get a better view of this rare event.
D. probably none of the above.
Yeah - probably D.
My "seizing the excitement of the moment" friend chose option A.
I chose option B as it was clearly the only logical choice. I didn't share the same confidence that the mesh tent walls or the genuine wood branches holding up our tented cabin were really a mighty force field.
Our chalet neighbors, the
According to the ancient African wisdom (a.k.a. common sense) of our guide, the most appropriate response is to be quiet, stay inside, and keep the lights out. Luckily, our friends who were sleeping in an actual tent followed these simple rules. Since elephants have a big schnauz, they know you are there, but you probably don't want to scare a mama and her calf so mumm's the word.
However, if an elephant(s) had decided to knock down our mighty tented cabin we could have used our special, in suite, elephant whistle (it was really just a plain old whistle). Well, other people had a whistle in their luxury accommodation; we would have had to utilize our vocal stylings. After having listened to shrieking junior high girls for years, I know the perfect pitch to stop anything in its tracks.
Having experienced elephants running around outside our chalet and living to tell the tale, I would have to say that it was pretty amazing. The elephants were so close we could hear them breathing. One of them smacked a tree a couple of times and knocked down a coconut. Both managed to shimmy their way through a narrow-ish opening, for an elephant, to even get their all access pass to the campers. Impressive!
The only creatures that didn't make their way through that opening were the hippos. Didn't see a one near our chalet. Would have been pretty amazing if we had and probably would have involved a lot less shushing.
So next time you're in Africa and encounter an elephant while sleeping, you know what to do.