This August, we have celebrated not only World Elephant Day, Women’s Month, Limpopo and Kumbura, but also Mr Mischief himself, Mambo as he turns 14 on 29 August 2023.

Mambo is an exciting mix of mayhem, enthusiasm and sweetness. One minute he’s abandoning Khanyisa in her moment of need and the next, he’s happily foraging beside her, just him and his little sister. One minute he’s happily splashing with his herd in the dam or sparring with the other elephants, and the next he’s run off and made us call in the helicopters to find him. He has certainly created a lot of trouble over the last year, from chasing Bubi to bashing down the poles in the homestead as he challenged Tokwe. But in between the excitement (read: trouble), Mambo manages to calm down and let his herd and carers worry a little less. He has good role models helping to keep him in line, such as mother Lundi, female Setombe, and bulls Somopane and Sebakwe. Although he’s not afraid to try and challenge them from time to time.

So what do we love about him?

5 Things We Love About Mambo

  1. Mambo reminds us of the fun in breaking the rules sometimes. We shouldn’t encourage this, but colouring outside the lines can be freeing. Mambo likes to push boundaries and sometimes that leads to great and daring adventures.
  2. Mambo’s independent streak means that he’s happy to amble about by himself, and to follow his own beat. There’s something very special in discovering who you are as an individual, apart from the herd, and letting yourself explore and see to your own wants and needs. When we’re strong in ourselves, we can be strong for others. Of course, Mambo isn’t Mr Philanthropic of the Year, and certainly no community leader, but he is who he is. And that’s ok.
  3. Mambo is all about the action! He is a physical elephant, and loves throwing his body into things, like the mud, the water, other elephants… We love his prowess as he tests others in sparring matches and manoeuvres himself in the thick muddy wallows. You could say he’s less cerebral, and more body. A Stallone, more than a Sherlock. He encourages us to boot up and get out, and not always overthink things.
  4. He’s one good-looking elephant. Is it the curvature of his head and profile, or the distinctive triangle tear in his ear? Is it his stocky build or those incredibly wide-set tusks? There’s certainly something about Mambo’s physique that makes him easy on the eye.
  5. He keeps us on our toes. There is never a boring moment when Mambo is around. He’s the elephant you’d want at your party, as long as the party was held in someone else’s house. Secretly, we enjoy looking back at the headaches Mambo has caused us and having a giggle. It can be extremely expensive and labour-intensive to clean up Mambo’s messes and he often makes us stay up at night with worry, but he reminds us of the wildness inherent in even our semi-habituated rescued herd, and of the intensity of a young bull becoming an adult.

Tell us what you love about Mambo!

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