Few other animals have captured the hearts and imaginations more so than the majestic elephants. From children’s stories through to religion and worship, elephants are quick to steal center stage. Their giant size, intelligence, and unique features make them a must see for many nature and wildlife lovers.
Split into three different species, the largest are the African savanna elephants famous as their groups wander the African grasslands searching for lush food and water. The most recently discovered species is the forest elephant found in Africa’s tropical forests, such as the Virunga mountains. This is the smallest of the three elephant species and because these live in very dense forests, sighting these animals can be very challenging. The third species is the Asian elephant, which ranges from India through Southeast Asia until Borneo and is the only member in the genus Elephus.
We will provide a short list of some great safari lodges and camps for seeing elephants in South Africa, Kenya and India. These tours will also show you other exciting and interesting animals to provide you with an adventurous and fun holiday you will remember for a lifetime.
Kruger National Park is the most famous South African protected area, and for good reason, as Kruger protects nearly 2 million hectares of African habitat. This is one of the largest protected areas in Africa protecting an unprecedented number of animals. The park contains all Africa’s Big 5 game species and more large mammals than any other African reserve.
South Africa is one of the best places to see elephants as while other areas have a problem with elephant populations decreasing, Kruger actually has a problem of too many elephants. The park can only support so many without them negatively affecting other wildlife and currently the population is above the park’s capacity. The park has even tried using elephant contraception to help the problem. But while Kruger is struggling with their abundance of elephants, it is at least good news for tourists wanting to dedicate their vacation and holidays to seeing these wonderful creatures.
We have selected two excellent bases to experience Kruger National Park where some of the best safari guides can show you fantastic animals and teach you a little more about their elephants.
Choose from the Jock Safari Lodge & Spa for a fantastic safari base where you can gaze out over Kruger from your accommodation. Guests frequently sight rhino and elephant from the lodge for a truly memorable experience. Enjoy great views while enjoying delicious food, comfortable accommodation and spa treatments.
As another experience, you can choose a two day walking safari at the Jock Explorer Camp, built to copy the camps of traditional African explorers where you can enjoy walking safaris in Kruger with experienced safari guides. The camp provides a look at how trekking was done in the early days of African exploration. You will enjoy fantastic safaris, meals around the campfire and comfortable tents.
The grasslands of Kenya’s Masai Mara are best known for the great wildebeest migration which draw thousands of tourists each year. Outside of this famous time the grasslands have few tourists, but animals like elephants, hippo, and giraffes can still be found on these famous plains as they don’t migrate. The area also contains the highest concentration of big cats in Africa, which will add to the excitement of your elephant safari.
Some other animals have shown a decline in population on the Mara but the elephant population is going strong and hasn’t changed significantly in the last few decades. One of the main threats to elephants in the wild seems to be from poaching, which was shown quite dramatically in the 1980s when poaching in Tanzania’s connecting Serengeti saw a reduction in the population, as the elephants that weren’t hunted ran off to Kenya’s Masai Mara and added themselves to the Mara population.
We have selected a few responsible camps for the Masai Mara that provide a great experience. The Governors Camp is a large camp and a great choice for a first safari with a family, Little Governors Camp offers a more private experience and the Private Governors Camp offers true privacy, often being booked out completely by one family or group. These camps are in one of the best location for enjoying Mara Wildlife and were specifically placed to maximise your experience. Enjoy fantastic safaris on game drives, cultural tours, and optional hot air balloon safaris.
For more information on Kenya, you can visit the Governors Camp website.
The area in India we have selected is the Nagarhole ecosystem in the country’s south, which supports one of the highest levels of large mammals in all of Asia. The area is also home to one of the world’s highest concentrations of Asian elephants and makes a great destination for seeing elephants in the wild.
The Kabini Resort offers a very comfortable base for your wildlife tour. After fantastic safaris to see iconic Indian wildlife, enjoy comfortable suites, fantastic dining, romantic cruises, and the infinite pool. Tours from Kabini Resort include boat safaris, which offer you the best views of seeing wildlife Asian elephants peacefully feeding by the river.
You will also explore the region on jeep safaris scouting for elephants and other wildlife, such as chital, sambar, and gaur, and hopefully chance sightings of leopards and tigers. Although these animals are not seen as often, there is a high population of cats in Nagarhole which many tourists are fortunate to experience. In addition to these activities, enjoy nature walks, traditional boat trips, and cultural activities.