Everything you need to know about seeing African elephants on safari

The ground rumbles as you sit tentatively, cameras poised. You hear them before you see them, an almighty crunch as the lead female breaks through the foliage and onto the wide savannah plains, shortly followed by the rest of the herd. The first time you see an African elephant in the wild is a moment to behold; overwhelming in size and beauty, they move almost gracefully across the plains.


We can put you in the right place at the right time for lunch with rescued elephants in Botswana, witnessing shy forest elephants in the Congo, or even to see the rare desert adapted elephants of Namibia.


On a safari in Africa, most assume that you’ll just see an elephant anyway without giving it much thought, but they really are one of the most impressive animals to see in the wild.

Experts view: Will Bolsover

I was privileged enough to walk with the trio of orphaned elephants and enjoyed lunch with them on the grassy plains. This interaction will stay with me for a lifetime. 

Walking along aside these magnificent animals really does bring home their huge stature, as well as their individual personalities.

The African Elephant

There are two species of African elephant: the African bush elephant and the African forest elephant. The larger of the two, the bush elephant, is the largest and heaviest land mammal on the face of the planet, with males weighing in at up to 5.5 tonnes.


The trunk they are famed for is used for communicating as well as handling objects and food; the trunk alone contains about 100,000 muscles. The two finger-like features at the end of the trunk assist them with grasping objects and sticks. Their huge tusks continue to grow each year, and are used in fights with fellow elephants as well as for marking and digging. The iconic ears of an African elephant look almost like the African continent; they are used for radiating heat, and when it gets too hot, there’s nothing they enjoy more than splashing around in the water, shooting cooling sprays from their trunks.


Elephants can be found across Africa - they charge across the savannah plains of Kenya and Tanzania, bathe in the cooling waters of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, and even walk through a certain lodge reception in Zambia.

Why book with us

We are destination specialists

Our team of specialists have extensive on-the-ground knowledge and have all lived, guided or explored in great detail the destinations that they sell. They will design your journey around you, at the right place at the right time.

We are wildlife specialists

As a leading specialist operator we have excellent partnerships with naturalists and conservationists. We know our wildlife and do what we can to preserve its natural habitat.

We really care about our destinations

At Natural World Safaris we frequently monitor the social, economic and environmental impact of our travel operations to ensure we are at the forefront of a sustainable and ethical tourism industry. 

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT SEEING THE BIG FIVE IN THE WILD?

Our African safari experts know everything there is to know about seeing the big five in the wild. Get in touch to find out more and start designing your journey.

Get in touch