Oltome

in photography •  last month  (edited)

Oltome (Ol-toe-may) is one of the first words that I really learned in Maa. Elephant. What a beautiful creature.


The baby oltome. So cute.

On our first game drive (safari) we did not see any oltome (elephants). We later learned that they were on the different side of the park (The Maasai Mara National Reserve).... away from the very noisy wildebeest that had come in for the annual migration.

According to Wikipedia

Elephants are the largest living terrestrial animals. African bush elephants are the largest species, with males being 3.04–3.36 m (10–11 ft) tall at the shoulder with a body mass of 5,173–6,914 kg (11,405–15,243 lb) and females standing 2.47–2.73 m (8 ft 1 in–8 ft 11 in) tall at the shoulder with a body mass of 2,589–3,456 kg (5,708–7,619 lb). 1

Elephants are herbivorous and will eat leaves, twigs, fruit, bark, grass and roots. They can consume as much as 150 kg (330 lb) of food and 40 L (11 US gal) of water in a day. 1

Elephants are very social animals.
The females and young calves live together in matriarchal groups. The males leave the group when he become an adult and lives alone or with other adult males. They rejoin the matriarchal group for reproduction purposes. 1


You also get to hear a little Maa as the drivers talk to each other on the radio.


Gestation in elephants typically lasts around two years with interbirth intervals usually lasting four to five years.

Calves are born 85 cm (33 in) tall and weigh around 120 kg (260 lb).] Newborn elephants are precocial and quickly stand and walk to follow their mother and family herd.

A new calf is usually the center of attention for herd members. Adults and most of the other young will gather around the newborn, touching and caressing it with their trunks. 1



Video of a herd of elephants walking past our land rover. They are so quiet and graceful.

As I mentioned in a previous post "Some people have asked if it is scary being in the jeep with the animals so close. NOT AT ALL. They do not pay attention or care about the vehicles."

It was really amazing to see the elephants so close and just walk by and go off together as a family group.

My favorite experience with the elephants was the reaction of those with me to seeing the elephants.

The emotion that Amy (pictured) and Bree felt in seeing and being close to the elephants really moved me. I didn't have that deep sense of emotion at seeing any of the animals. I can appreciate it in them and think it is wonderful that they can feel so connected to these beautiful creatures!


I would like to really spend some time observing and learning more about the elephant, like I did the lion. I am so blessed to be able to got to Kenya and the Maasai Mara to be A photographer for Global Resolve.

See the Kenya Series post below for more highlights of the animals, people, landscapes and events of the trip.

Sources: 1 Wikipedia: Elephant

Kenya series
Birds of Kenya
Share My World: Being a photographer for Global Resolve
Share My World: 3 days in Nairobi
Olmeut- Giraffe
Colors of Kenya
Share My World: Drive from Nairobi to the Maasai Mara
Olkinya Lasho -Cheetah
Share My World: Camp life on the Maasai Mara
Olngatuny -Lion
Cats of Kenya
Olowuru Keri -Leopard
People of Kenya: My Kenyan Family
Share My World: Water Walk
Black-headed Heron
Sunsets of Kenya

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Awesome creatures!!

Agreed, they are amazing.

Very nice photos of them, too! It's amazing how huge those elephants get... I would love to be able to see them, some day.

The videos remind me of driving through the bison herd here. I usually refer to it as the "Minnesota Safari."

Thanks and that is cool about the Minnesota Safari. Bison are very cool too!

Hiya, @lizanomadsoul here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made into our Top 3 in Daily Travel Digest #596.

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