Safari Guides’ VERY Close Call with Charging Elephant in Kruger National
November 17, 2022
This is the heart-stopping moment when two safari guides held their nerve
in front of a charging elephant – and bravely gave it the chance of life.
Many in their position would have taken the option of a panicked shot to
save their own skins but this pair gave the tusker the benefit of the doubt.
At just 7 metres away with both Sean and Devon’s fingers having taken up
all the slack in the trigger the female elephant reacts to their loud
shouting and refusing to run and suddenly breaks off the charge with a
fraction of a second to spare.
The enraged THREE-TON elephant was bearing down on Devon Myers, 38, and
Sean Carter, 37, at speed and ready to trample them both to death.
Having made its point the enraged elephant stares hard at the armed guides
as it raises a cloud of dust and trumpets its anger as it backs off its
But the highly experienced off-trail guides shouted at the top of their
voices and stood fast to try and convince the elephant to put on the brakes.
Their courage paid off as the rampaging elephant in the wilds of the Pafuri
region of the Kruger National Park in South Africa broke off the attack.
Devon, of African-Born Safaris which takes clients on private adventures
off-the-beaten track in eight countries, said: ”It was a very close call
“If it had come a fraction of a second closer we would have had no choice.
“There was a herd of female elephants and their young moving quickly as
they were being followed by five bull elephants keen to try their luck on
“We had picked a place to take a break from the sun in the shade of
mahogany trees and it gave us a good view of what was happening all around
“The elephant herd was down wind of us and would have smelt us and knew we
were there so it was important to stay in cover and not get into the open.
“A few decided to come and check us out but could not see us in the shade
which is why we stood up and shouted so they knew where we were.
“But the final female decided to charge and some say you can tell if it is
a mock charge or a full charge depending on whether their ears are back or
“I am not so sure myself and I am sure some have paid the price for
believing that to be the case and at the end of the day you just can’t take
“Our fingers had taken up the slack on the triggers and we were shouting to
try and divert her and standing still but she just kept on coming and
“When she was 20-feet away which would have been our firing position for a
brain shot she finally swerved in a swirl of dust just in the very nick of
“We dedicate our lives to the conservation of animals and the wild but if
we need to save our lives and those of others we’re not prepared to be
“Both of our fingers were on the triggers and ready to fire, and if it had
come half a metre further then we would have had to have taken the shot.
“We shouted and shouted and held our ground to show we were not running to
try and break its charge and fortunately for us it worked out,” he said.
The female fully grown elephant cow was part of a large herd of females and
calves moving quickly in the bush to avoid the attention of young bulls.
Devon of Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province, said: ”Some people do question why
we are out in the wilderness and “intruding” in the territory of wild
“But that is not the view of the informed as homo-sapiens have been in the
African wilderness for thousands of years before the safari industry
“Elephants, buffalo, lions and zebra in fact all animals are all used to
human beings living around them and they know exactly what we are all about.
“What we are doing out on these primitive trail walks is giving people a
chance to reconnect with the wilderness in a natural but non-threatening
“It is not a thrill-seeking activity although spotting an elephant or lion
while on foot will certainly raise the pulse but by and large we all get on
“By going off the roads used by safari vehicles we are also coming across
vital intelligence of poacher activity which we can feed back to game
“I have been charged a number of times by elephants but fortunately have
never had to pull the trigger but this was for sure a very close call
“The elephant was about 30 years old and she went back to her herd and they
carried on quickly moving through the bush ahead of 5 bulls in hot
The walking safaris are tailor-made for guests but when on Primitive Trails
there are no tents and you sleep under the stars and drink out of rivers.
Devon said: “Your water comes from the streams the animals drink from and
your food you carry and when you sleep you lay down and you sleep”.
A female fully grown elephant can weigh up to 3.3 tons and stand 8 foot 6
inches at the shoulder and run at up to 25mph so would quickly catch a
The male elephants can weigh up to twice as much and grown to 10 foot 6
inches at the shoulder and between them the herbivores kill up to 500
people a year in the wild.
There are an estimated 415,000 left and are listed as endangered mainly due
to poaching and live up to 70 years and are the largest living land animal