During a trip to South Africa, a group of frightened surviving TV crew members shivered with horror as an angry elephant continuously charged their safari truck.
When 10 British and Australian tourists saw a herd of 40 elephants, what was intended to be a peaceful trip turned into a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
After filming the Australian version of I’m the Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! in Kruger National Park, the TV series travelers booked into a safari lodge in South Africa for a holiday.
When adult elephants noticed a pride of hungry lions approaching their injured babies, the enormous herd panicked.
The lions were on the lookout for an easy kill, but as the bulls charged, the rest of the herd stampeded for cover, trapping the visitors in the center.
‘Our guide Gert Kruger heard trumpeting when we were out in the bush and stated the adjacent herd was moving quite rapidly,’ said Trent Holmes, 40, who recorded the remarkable experience.
‘He brought us down a dirt road to observe what was going on, and all of a sudden, this large herd of furious elephants raced from our right, trumpeting and smashing through the trees and shrubs.’
‘They were travelling pretty rapidly, so Gert shut off the motor to avoid scaring them away and let them pass, but it turned out we were right in the heart of the herd.’
‘One was in front of us with large tusks, which was terrible, but we assumed they’d all gone into the jungle after that.’
‘Then, from our left, a gigantic elephant, which I mistook for a female, dashed through the woods, trumpeting, and I’ve never been more terrified.’
‘Ranger Gert remained composed and just said to the elephant, “Relax, come on, move!”
‘It stopped charging, and you can see and hear us laughing and smiling on the video, but trust me, it was a frightened reaction because we were all terrified of the elephant.’
‘Then it turned around and came back through the woods, its trunk spread, and one of our group pleaded with Gert to drive away, but he answered, “Relax people, We can’t go now, we have to wait for it out.”
‘Then the same elephant rushed us for the third time, getting so near that its trunk was pointing directly at us, and I can’t tell you how afraid we were, but Gert just replied, “Hey, calm down.”
‘Then we noticed more elephants approaching from our right, and we understood we’d gotten stranded in the midst of the herd, which is why Gert stated the elephants on the left are furious with us.’
‘In the end, two older kids approached us, looking at us and placing their trunks up near to us, but Gert remained cool and encouraged us to simply relax and be quiet.’
‘After the herd had past, he decided it was safe to start the engine, and we slowly drove away, herded by three or four elephants.’
‘Believe me when I say that having this space between us was a huge comfort for everyone.
‘It was a great experience, and not many people can claim they were in the midst of a herd of trampling elephants, but Gert was incredible and calmly handled the situation.’
“It happens every day,” he remarked, but none of us believed him!
‘When I questioned him why he didn’t just start the truck and get out, he claimed they were anxious because there were lions nearby, and they might have attacked and overturned our car.’
‘The lions were a threat, but not to us,’ he added, telling us to relax since we had to rely on his knowledge and competence, but you’ll be terrified in such situation.
‘The sound of the trumpet and the ears flashing when they charge us stays with me forever,’ said Mr. Holmes of Sydney, Australia.
‘We had a lovely safari, but the following morning when Gert woke us up, we walked out and he asked what we wanted to see, and we responded ‘anything but elephants,’ and he laughed!’ recounted Mr. Holmes.