Karana does not build her house near the sea elephants because they are extremely noisy.
The thing that made me decide on the place to build my house was the sea elephants. (p. 69)
The cows are “screaming and barking through the whole day and sometimes at night” and she comments that even the babies are noisy. Karana stays near the wide shelf while the sea elephants are out, and as soon as they return she leaves.
Karana also does not want to build her house near the old village, because it brings back bad memories. It’s also windy. Karana ends up building her house on the headlands.