An afternoon at the Okaukuejo water hole

z
We spent a great couple of hours at the Okaukuejo water hole one afternoon, elephants everywhere.  The water hole is placed on the edge of the NWR camp and gets plenty of visitors, human and animal during the day.  We had a particularly enjoyable afternoon there before we returned to the Eagle Tented Lodge for the evening.
It started with a single elephant and hundreds of impala and smaller animals at the waterhole just taking it easy and enjoying a relaxing drink or bath at the waterhole.  The old bull who was there was pretty relaxed as you can see by the photo on the left, he has his trunk casually draped over his tusk surveying the land around him.  Then along comes a young interloper, the good news is that all he was interested in was a quick bath and drink, not intent on causing any trouble.  The big fella saw him coming and spent some time sniffing the air and went out to meet him, the smaller guy did the right thing and stepped aside, no sense in having a dust up when all you want is a drink and a cooling bath.

Their peace didn't last long as about 15  minutes later a whole herd of elephants, from calves to large matriarchs came down and stirred things up a little.  The two males showed some interest as males normally do but the herd coming in was intent only on getting to the water and enjoying themselves.  The babies in particular had a ball as the following shots show.  
 
The dust that you can see isn't crap photography, that's the dust that they were making and also some dust kicked up by the departing animals.  They saw this herd of elephants heading in and decided that they would make some room for the new guys.  
 
Just as well too as they really did take over the place, water baths, playing submarines and plenty of dust baths, all the while looking after the calves they had in the herd.

One of the younger bulls played submarine while the others around him were hosing themselves and others in the waterhole.  He ended up laying right down and just snorkelling away having a great time.
 
The highlight though was the antics of the young calves that formed part of the herd, they were just having a blast.  The little fella on the left had spent some time getting dusted off and was having some problems getting back to his feet.

Mum sorted things out and gave them both a good dust bath as you can see in the shot to the right.










You can see that after a quick cooling, dip a dust bath was high on the agenda for many of the elephants.









The youngsters continued to have fun, charging out of the water chasing down the smaller animals.










Boundless energy and a mischievous streak in the younger elephants, chasing the smaller mammals away from the water, just for the fun of it.









And that's how we spent an extremely pleasant couple of hours, photographing the elephants at the Okaukuejo water hole.  What started with some nice shots of an old bull just hanging around the waterhole ended up being a great afternoon, photographing the whole herd just having fun.
(My apologies to my wife, in transferring shots from her camera to the laptop, I deleted around 100 files, much to my embarrassment and her annoyance)
 
Cheers
DADFAP