Each year at Mfuwe Lodge we have some very special guests that come to visit – “Wonky Tusk”, as she has become affectionately known, and her family have been regular guests at the lodge for a number of years, visiting every October and November to feast on the fallen fruits from the large “Wild Mango” (Cordyla africana) tree in the lodge grounds. The fact that a large safari lodge is built around this delicious food store is of no concern to her…after all, why walk the extra few meters to go around, when there are some nice steps and a tiled reception lobby to saunter through each day? In October 2009 a new arrival to the herd – Lord Wellington – was born on the Lodge grounds and at 2 days old was introduced to the reception and the steps – now he is an expert at clambering up and through reception area. Wonky Tusk’s family’s annual dining habits have been the focus of many a photograph, video, newsworthy article, and even a children’s book.
“In November the resident elephant families near Mfuwe Lodge are on the search for succulent wild mango fruits. One particular family, led by a wily old matriarch, (Wonky Tusk), takes the most direct route to the mango trees, solemnly walking through reception at Mfuwe to the delight of the guests. What an amazing sight this is. Watching this elephant spectacle each day certainly lived up to all the hype.” BBC Big Cat Diary’s Jonathan Scott, Wanderlust Magazine, 2009.