A Tide of Sound

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Last night elephants came into camp.

I was sleeping with a pillow over my head (the bush is a noisy place in the dark) so I was slow to become aware. ?I woke up to a pervasive level of noise and when I removed the pillow it was really incredible.

We're not sure how many there were, sounded like about a half dozen. ?The noise was them chewing, walking, breathing, and the cracking and popping of trees and shrubs that were in their way. ?Feet from our beds. ?It was heart-poundingly frightening and so wonderful at the same time.

Our sleeping quarters are in an elaborate tent cabin built on a platform and we (I'm rooming with Lila and Ute) are in the one farthest from the camp buildings.

The elephants came up from the river on one side of camp and flowed like a noisy tide around our cabin. ?One of them broke a branch off of a tree not ten feet from my head.

They continued farther into camp at a slow rate, I think we all laid in our beds listening with pounding hearts for about 20 minutes. ?Every once in a while one of them would make this eerie noise, something between a growl and a purr at a very low, guttural register.

Then something spooked them, one trumpeted and they all left in a crazy, loud moment.

Oh my.