by Matthew Sterne on July 6, 2017
2 min read

Our video team have a passion for strong coffee, a penchant for black t-shirts, and are prone to losing drones. Well, they used to be. 2017 has been incident free thus far. Keep it up boys!

They’re always after the next best shot. Whether that’s embracing new technology like 360 cameras, approaching old subjects from new angles, or implanting a GoPro in a waterhole, they’ll do it. And they did exactly that with a GoPro on a recent shoot in Botswana.

They were in the Linyanti region of Botswana, on a game drive between Duma Tau Camp and Kings Pool Camp, when they stopped at a waterhole to capture some footage. Simon Watson, our in-house photographer our readers might remember from this blog post, takes up the story.
An elephant at waterhole with the GoPro“It was a chilly and dry morning in the height of the dry season. We parked next to the hide at about 7:30 in the morning. The hide was this interesting, large circular enclosure built out of dead trees to keep the elephants from getting in. So we were sitting in this in incredible bird’s nest of dead trees watching the waterhole, which was the only permanent water source in the area, so we knew we were guaranteed a sighting thanks to our expert guides” Simon recalls.An aerial shot of a heard around the waterhole“The elephants come in herds at different times, and we wanted to get close-up shots right in there of the elephants coming in and drinking with the GoPro. So we set it up in the middle of the waterhole on a flexible tripod. We were worried the elephants would barge in and trample on the camera so we used some fishing line the guide had and made a knot on the tripod. We then rolled out the fishing line, using a twig as a spool, back to the hide and waited for the elephants to come.A footage shot from the GoPro of an elephant (and a bug) “The elephants came through the bushes and ran in at speed. The hide was just ten metres from the waterhole so it was incredible to see them so close. As the elephants started to come in they took no notice of the camera and we were on tenterhooks sitting on edge of our seats hoping the GoPro wouldn’t get trampled. But the inevitable happened and it did. We knew it was a risky thing to do but we thought you gotta risk it to get the biscuit. The underbelly of elephants taken by the GoPro“We tried to pull the wire back and it snapped. We had to wait for the elephants to leave and then we ran in under the supervision of the guides and waded into the water feeling for the GoPro with our feet. We eventually found it stuck in the mud and found the footage you see in the video on it. We were so excited to see what the GoPro captured. The footage is amazing and really unique. I’ve never seen anything like it!”

A member of our Media Team found the GoProA baby elephant takes shelter Two elephants walking by with a calf between them