Now, I've seen elephants plenty of times before. I've fed them, hugged them, and ridden on them. So I was expecting that I would have to artificially put on an expression of wonder.
But that wasn't necessary. Having an African elephant right next to me, towering above me, was such an awe-inspiring experience that I burst into the berachah spontaneously, with immense emotion. Pictures absolutely do not do this justice, but here are some anyway:
(Additional note to those emailing me - please be aware that while I am traveling, it is very hard for me to keep up with emails.)