New Zealand property developer Brett Larsen, 50, and his artist wife Lulu Shi, 39, had their “once in a lifetime experience” on April 9, the last day of their seven-day honeymoon safari at The Outpost Lodge in Kruger National Park.
“We’d been very lucky on our first walking safari soon after we arrived when we saw lion, leopard and hyena and found it so exhilarating that we wanted to do it again on our last day,” said Larsen.
“After about an hour and a half we came out of forest and looked up and about 100m away saw an elephant at the top of a hill. We stopped and admired it and then suddenly it charged us.
“Dean, our lead guide, said, “Don’t move”, so we stood there frozen in terror as the elephant charged down the hill at us.
“Straight away Dean had moved forward and become the target. He put his arm up and yelled “Whoooa” and about 10m away the elephant stopped dead in its tracks.
“With his right arm raised Dean was loudly commanding the elephant and it backed off. It was surreal. And what impressed me is that Dean didn’t raise his rifle once. This bloke stepped up to the mark and without hesitation and no fear put his body on the line.
“The elephant charged twice more and again Dean stopped it in its tracks.
“After the first charge Lulu and I backed up slowly with the other guide to a nearby tree. And as soon as we got to it the elephant charged again. You could see it was angry.
“After the third time the elephant moved off and all I could think of was get us out of here. I watched it, relieved, and thought it looked like a child stomping off because Dean hadn’t let it get its own way. It was flapping its ears and throwing sand over its back. I think it was really cheesed off.”
Larsen said he was sharing the amazing footage to give Dean all the credit he deserved. “Dean showed nerves of steel.”