27th April 2013
As the rains come to an end, and the grass dies off in the back-country, elephant herds which have been living in the grasslands begin to move towards the riverine strip. The increased access to water and fresher vegetation draws them from the protein-rich dambos to the riverbanks where they will spend the majority of the coming months.

It's a great time to photograph them as they file slowly across the open plains, adult females leading with calves and juveniles following behind. Small groups of bulls are sometimes seen following these herds, perhaps sensing an early oestrus female or taking advantage of the matriarch's lead.

I spent Saturday focusing on elephants, not something that I often do and was rewarded with some great sightings.

This large bull was left behind after a few of the breeding herds had moved past me.

I moved round to meet them in an open area of Leadwood forest as the sun was dropping low in the sky.

After sunset, the glow of the green trees created a beautiful effect.

As they fed on the short shrubs under the ancient Leadwoods, one of the youngsters noticed my presence and fell in line behind the female, with a couple of bulls behind.

In another area, I found a family that had spread out to feed across open grassland. As I approached this young calf, who's only been alive a couple of months, realised that he was separated from Mum, and scuttled across in front of me to catch up!

And as the light fell, I switched to black and white to enjoy the unmistakable shape and texture of these giants of the bush.

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