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Little over a year ago I was on a photo assignment in Zambia and stayed at an amazing bush camp. It was located right on the banks of the Zambezi river, unfenced and in the middle of the wilderness. Contrary to the more well-known safari destinations like Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and South Africa, Zambia is still truly wild - a rough diamond.

During the dry season, this area is full of wildlife as all animals visit the river several times a day. As a result, all kinds of wildlife were constantly walking through our camp, particularly elephants. They were not only interested in the water, but also in the nutritious pods that fell down from the trees - they just loved them.

One afternoon my wife Daniëlla and the lodge manager had a relaxed chat on the verandah, watching an elephant feeding from a tree in the distance. It moved from tree to tree and slowly got closer and closer to the camp. Then it just walked to the verandah where they were sitting, and briefly stopped to check them both out. They sat there motionless without making a sound to not to disturb the animal in any way, and after a few seconds it moved away again. It was a once in a lifetime experience that we will never forget. To get this close to a wild elephant - on it's own initiative - is truly amazing.

In a couple of months we will be staying at this camp again on our annual Zambia photo tour, and I'm looking forward to the many elephant encounters we will have there.

©2011 Marsel van Oosten, All Rights Reserved. This image is not available for use on websites, blogs or other media without the explicit written permission of the photographer.

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