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Story by family du Plessis:
"During the eighties we used to do a Botswana Safari every second year and in July 1987, as the first leg of our safari from Amanzimtoti [ just South of Durban ] we visited Kruger Park for a week.
One afternoon we were at the picnic site at the Mlondozi Dam with nothing in sight. I started surveying the land beyond the dam and through my binocs I saw two elephant in the distance with one of them clearly having tusks reaching down to the ground.
I soon could see that they were feeding towards the S29 and marking some trees on the S29 where I expect them to reach the road, we drove round to the S29. We drove up and down the road a few times to check for fresh elephant spoor which would have been an indicator that they have already
crossed the road.
Finding no fresh spoor we went to the marked trees and waited. Lettie had quite a hard time keeping our two youngest still. Some other tourists came by inquiring what we see, but when we told them we are waiting for a BIG
TUSKER, they would just pull-off rather irritated. [ Probably thinking that I am mad sitting in the middle of a barren piece of bush hoping that a special elephant will show up ].
Any case, the two elephant showed up after about 45 minutes and we were rewarded with the most magnificent elephant Kruger has ever produced. We first spotted them at about 200 meter into the bush and I could take quite
a collection of photos of Mandleve and his solitary askari. [ Now-a-days the bush in that area is much thicker and you are unlikely to spot an elephant at more than 50 - 100 meter.
The attached photo is a digital image of the original 1987 35mm photo printed in postcard size from a photo album. [ After a lot of polishing and cleaning ]"
Photographed by: Ant Maddock in 1988
Photographed by:Debbie Lewarne
Location: Near Kruger Gate Entrance near the Sabie river
Date: early 1990
Photographed by: Tony Webb
Location: Near Mpono Dam (Crocodile Bridge area)
Date: september 1991
Tuskers of Yesterday
Legendary Tusker *** MANDLEVE ***
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -To the other Legends - - - - - - - - - - - -
This impressive, docile bull ranged in the Skukuza area and into the Sabi Sabi Game Reserve. He was often seen
near Paul Kruger gate, the Watergate Road and occasionally when drinking at De Laporte Windmill in the Naphe Road. In his old age
he remained around the Sabi River banks
Heaviest tusks ever recorded in
Tusk Right Tusk
69,0 KG 73,5
236,2 CM 233,3 CM
H I S T O R Y
MANDLEVE died in September 1993
(c. 1937 - 1993)
This tusker was named Mandleve,
meaning 'ears' in Tsonga,
because of the
prominent notch in his ear.
He died from old age in September 1993 at an estimated age of 56 years.
ivory is the heaviest ever recorded in the Kruger National Park
Photographed by: Tony Ferreira
Location: Between Lower Sabie and Skukuza
(Main road H4-1 a couple of kilometres from the Nkuhlu picnic site)
Date: April 1985