The morning drive was increasingly manic as we strove to find those damned elephants. Once again, no luck; however, we continued to see rhinos, zebra, etc. It's funny how after just a few days you become somewhat indifferent to such sightings but to some degree once you have been up close and personal with a Cape buffalo or white rhino, seeing another one is just another sighting. Right!!
We returned to the lodge to say our goodbyes to the Fishers and Kizers.
The afternoon drive, the last for the remaining six of our group, was truly obsessive. We simply had to find the elephants and more importantly a dung beetle for Jeff. Ken picked up Sharon and me at the lodge and drove us to the Nyati Lodge where the Brants and Stroup/Brown were staying. As we drove up, they waved us over to point out the elephants below us. We found them (or better yet, they found us) and jumped in the jeep. After about five minutes we found them. We got some great views of the two female adults and one female "baby" elephant. We watched them for a good twenty minutes.
Flush with success (tinged with a bit of regret for our missing compatriots) we giddily headed off in search of the elusive dung beetle. Dung beetles are these interesting bugs that use elephant dung, of which there is an ample supply, to lay their eggs. The female rolls the dung into a tight ball and lays her eggs inside. The male then pushes the ball by backing up, pushing using its backend. The male buries the dung ball in a hole for safety. When the larvae hatch they feed off the nutrient rich host dung. Interesting how life cycles work. Finally, after literally kicking through a lot of elephant shit, Ken found some dung beetles. Thus, the day ended in complete and total success.
We joined the Brants and Stroup/Brown at Nyati Lodge for a farewell dinner.