The fact that elephants love water, (they drink 200 liters per day) we found out the hard way. When we arrived here at Ximuwu 3 years ago the camp was not used often but there were water pipes running from the pump station about 1,5 km (1 mile) away to our camp and that was also feeding a drinking hole where the elephants like to drink. While filling that pond the elephants could hear the water streaming through the pipes so they got curious and started digging. A big elephant splash party was the result and we lost well over 60.000 liters of water because the valve of the pont did no longer close the water pipe. Another problem with elephants is that they seem to have a pretty good memory because a month later they did the same thing despite the pipe was dug in much deeper. So we created an even deeper hole and putted cement on top and that was the end of it. Or not, this time the elephants turned onto the other pipe that ran to our house, they managed to pull that pipe out of the ground over a distance of 10 meters. Something that is even hard with a tractor to do. So we had no other option to renew the whole pipe and put it in much deeper.
When you see them playing here it might be hard to believe but elephants can be grumpy as well, often when they just strolling around you hear these disturbed trumpeting sounds warning each other that he does not like one another is doing or they run per example into a sleeping pride of lions which they will most certainly chase away. Most of times elephants are friendly, quiet and relaxed when we approach them by game viewer but sometimes a reckless youngster likes showing off by fast approaching the vehicle, flapping his ears and raising his trunk. If this happens then sometimes, the matriarch without any reason starts to interfere as well and then all of a sudden this quiet sightseeing can turn into an adrenaline rush especially for those who never have seen a mature elephant very close to a car, believe me they are huge!