The Marula tree in front of Shinde is a real focal point of camp, it sets the stage for the melodious Shinde choir as they sing their welcoming to guests who have just arrived. It is also an attraction for wildlife of all shapes and sizes, from little honey bees to busy tree squirrels. There is however one visitor who happens to be the biggest of them all, Shinde’s resident bull elephant, he cannot resist the sweet and sour marula fruit the tree bears between the months of February and April.
This bull elephant has been living around Shinde for a long time now and he can be seen stretching his trunk between the decking to mop up Jackalberries or during the hot summer months, he is often submerged in the water below the dining room area.
‘’He is our resident elephant, he comes and goes but he can’t keep away from the marula fruits. I have known him for some time now and it is easy to distinguish him from others by his broken left tusk’’ says Omphile “Opie” Kaluluka (specialist guide).
He provides the guests with endless amusement; as everyone sits down for lunch the elephant moves in and he too begins to feast on the fresh greenery growing around camp. The lunch table is often deserted, the hunger pains disappear and the elephant becomes the star of the show.
“I’m not sure if it is a coincidence or if it’s Shinde magic, the elephant normally comes around lunch time to share the meal with us. Ladies and gentlemen lunch is served’’ Tebza, Shinde Camp Manager, jokes as he invites guests to have lunch on this particular day.
Blog and images by Bujos, Camp Manager at Shinde