Zambia: Elephants Swimming

Alec Cole, a long time guide in Zambia (and perhaps the best guide I’ve ever met), said that the elephants swimming across the widest part of Kafue River that we witnessed was the second best he’d ever seen. Not just walking across the shallow part, but literally swimming over the deep middle, slowly and gracefully in line, the megaton creatures looked incredible. In fact, elephants snorkel – the bodies are almost entirely submerged with trunks above water just like a snorkel. Elephants are excellent swimmers and can actually cover relatively substantial distances (unlike hippos, who despite being aquatic animals and spending most of their life in water, can’t swim well but rather walk on the shallow bottom). A second crossing happened in a more shallow place where the elephants gracefully walked across the river.