Outline Circulating set of photographs depict elephants strolling through the reception area of the Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park.
The photographs are genuine and the claims in the accompanying message are true. From October to November each year a family of elephants do regularly make their way through the reception area of the Mfuwe Lodge on their way to feast on fallen mangoes from a tree in the Lodge grounds. The elephants have been taking this short cut to their food for a number of years.
Before looking at the pictures, read the story below!
A regular occurrence at the Mfuwe Lodge in the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia where the lodge was unwittingly built on the Elephant's traditional path through to some wild mango trees on the property. The herd of a dozen or so elephants walk through the lodge's reception area at least twice a day for about 4 weeks and then sporadically for about another 3 weeks to feed on the trees. No incidents reported to date!
This message, which features a series of photographs depicting a group of elephants strolling through the reception area of the Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park, circulates via email and has also been posted to many blogs and online forums. The message claims that the elephants walk through the lodge because it lies on their path to the mangoes they feed on.
The claims in the message are true and the photographs are genuine. An October 2008 Telegraph.co.uk article notes:
It's not everyday that you see a wild elephant standing next to you at the reception of a hotel.
But in the Mfuwe Lodge in the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, the sight of one or even ten elephants strolling around the lobby is a regular occurrence.
Unwittingly built on the elephant's traditional path in 1998, the Mfuwe Lodge stands directly en-route to this elephant herd's favourite food - wild mangoes.
And the Mfuwe Lodge's website also discusses the visits, noting:
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 metres to go around, when there are some nice steps and a tiled reception lobby to saunter through each day?
The Lodge website features further photographs of the elephants along with the following video: