These national parks and game reserves in Africa are the best for spotting elephants on safari
The African Elephant is the largest land animal on earth and as such being able to watch herds of these wise, majestic creatures is truly a privilege. The elephant has become an iconic symbol of the wilds of Africa. Distinguished by their large flapping ears, long trunks and wrinkled grey skin, these enormous but soulful creatures are the definition of the term “gentle giant” when not harassed. Enjoy watching them roll around playfully in the mud at a watering hole, spraying each other with water from their trunks, or simply watch as they make their way slowly and gracefully across the African plains. There are so many traits in wild elephant behavior that are almost humanlike and makes a good sighting of elephants a highlight on any safari! Here are some of the best places to view elephants in the wild in protected areas.
Chobe is a safari-lover’s paradise. Besides being one of the best places in the world to see elephants, the population of which numbers more than 80 000, the park is also home to lion, buffalo, zebra and hippo. The grand Chobe River in the park is the perfect spot for fishing for the famous tigerfish, while the park’s proximity to the Victoria Falls is an added bonus.
Famous the world over, the Kruger is a must for any wildlife or safari enthusiast. Home to most of Africa’s most iconic wildlife species, most notably the Big 5, the Kruger’s combination of luxury lodges and rustic bushcamps means that it is suitable for all tastes and budget ranges. One is almost certain to spot elephants on a trip to the Kruger.
Hwange National Park in Botswana is almost 100 years old and as such has preserved the African wilderness in all its glory. Here, large herds of elephant, zebra and buffalo roam the plains, and guests are likely to witness predatory behaviour from big cats such as lion and cheetah.
One of Africa’s premier safari destinations, the Okavango Delta is a large inland delta in Botswana that is home to a spectacular array of bird and wildlife species. The area can be explored in traditional mekoro canoes for a unique experience. See the big 5, including elephants, wild dogs and giraffes, fish for the famous tigerfish, and enjoy the incredible diversity of birdlife in the region.
Located in Namibia, Etosha is a unique ecosystem, the main feature being a large salt pan that is visible from space. This pan, and the surrounding smaller ones, attract a variety of game and bird species. Guests can expect to see the big 5, including elephants, as well as smaller predators.
This conveniently located park is found in Zambia, in close proximity to the Victoria Falls. It is Africa’s second largest park and is home to a variety of large game species, including elephant, lion and cheetah, as well as smaller species, including zebra and giraffe. The birdlife in the park is equally impressive.
The Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania is a unique and fascinating destination. Made up of the caldera of an extinct volcano, the crater drops 600m and visitors will see large herds of various wildlife species roaming its floors, including elephants and the rest of the Big 5. Various lodges perched on the edge of the crater make for spectacular accommodation.