The African elephant is the largest land mammal in the world, with mature elephants weighing between two and seven tons. In height, the shoulder-length ranges between three and four meters. Elephants feed on grass, roots, wild fruits, and tree bark. Within a day, elephants can consume up to about 130 kilograms of food, which helps sustain the massive animals. During your safari in Africa, you would catch sight of these amazing mammals in the forests of most countries. Africa’s elephant population is now at around 415,000. Below are the best places where you would not miss meeting several elephants in Africa.
Botswana, a country in southern Africa, is home to a whopping 130, 000 elephants. They are mainly concentrated in the Okavango Delta and the Chobe national park.
The Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta, situated in the north-western part of Botswana, houses approximately 18,000 savanna elephants. The elephants are mainly found in the roughly one-thousand-square-mile tract, in the north-eastern part of the delta and are seen as the stronghold of these amazing mammals. The area has permanent swamps covering about 600,000 hectares and over one million hectares of seasonally-flooded grassland. This provides the large elephant population with enough food. The area is also home to about 16,000 people.
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park is one of the most famous ecosystems due to its large elephant population. More than 60,000 elephants are estimated to live there, making it considered the currently highest elephant concentration on the planet. Sighting a herd of elephants here is inevitable. The park sits on about 11,000 square kilometers of conserved forests. Usually, international visitors catch the scene of hundreds of elephants either bathing in the Chobe River or playing around on the nearby plains. Chobe is seen as the capital of Africa’s savanna elephants.
Kenya’s large population of wild animals has remained a wonder and a tourist attraction factor for decades. Among other parks in Kenya, large elephant populations can best be viewed in the Amboseli National Park and the Tsavo National Parks.
Amboseli National Park
Located next to Mount Kilimanjaro, Amboseli is a habitat for about 1,600 elephants, out of Kenya’s nearly 36, 280 elephants currently alive. Elephants in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park have been living peacefully in the ecosystem’s natural conditions for years, making them join the list of the few elephant populations to enjoy such a privilege. They are grouped into 58 families by conservationists. With other animals like gazelles, lions, and zebras, the park is a must-visit in the East African region. It is a renowned tourist attraction site in Kenya and a visit there is a guarantee to catch sight of the elephants and other amazing animals.
Tsavo National Park
Located in Kenya’s southwestern regions, Tsavo National Park is the largest in Kenya and is on the list of the largest game sanctuaries globally. It covers an expansive area of 22,000 square kilometers and houses nearly 12,000 elephants, which is one-third of the elephant population in Kenya. The expansive wilderness is divided into Tsavo West and Tsavo East National Parks.
Mana Pools National Park
The Mana Pools National sanctuary is home to over 12000 heads of elephants. It also houses over 16000 buffalos, making it one of the best parks to catch sights of massively amazing populations of wild animals. This great concentration ranks second in size in Zimbabwe, after Hwange National Park. Amazingly, most female elephants there lack tusks yet prove more aggressive, even than the tusked ones. Located in Zimbabwe’s far north region, along the southern bank and the islands of the Zambezi river, it is famed for amazing wildlife visibility beside the Zambezi river, together with hippos and Nile crocodiles.
Hwange National Park
Termed Zimbabwe’s stronghold of elephant populations, Hwange National Park holds nearly 50,000 elephants, more than Kenya’s population. Located in northwestern Zimbabwe, it is the largest protected area in Zimbabwe. Were it a country of elephants, it would feature fourth, with Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania topping the list. It also has a large population of lions.
In Zambia, Southern Africa, the South Luangwa National Park carries the fame of being the best animal reservation area for spotting massive elephant populations.
South Luangwa National Park
In this park, elephants are the most visible animals of all the wildlife present housed therein. The current population of savanna elephants in South Luangwa stands at a whopping 21,000, according to the last census conducted on the elephants. The natural boundaries of the park are home to three-quarters of the total elephant population in the South Luangwa National Park, with the numbers getting more concentrated in the Luangwa Valley. The same park is also home to more than 450 bird species, making it one of the best areas to view both the birds and the elephants.
- South Africa
South Africa, apart from its fame as the home of lions, is also the home of elephants. Large populations of these amazing mammals can be seen at the Kruger National Park.
Kruger National Park
It stands as the largest protected area in South Africa. It is home to slightly below 20.000 heads of elephants, according to a census conducted in 2019. The numbers keep on swelling and the total population of elephants in Kruger National Park is projected to get to 23000 by 2025, especially if the ecosystem’s natural conditions will continue favoring the numbers. It is among the largest game reserves on the African continent, covering a vast area of 19,623 square kilometers.
Two national parks, Mikumi and Serengeti, are the best elephant-spotting parks in Tanzania.
Mikumi National Park
It is located near Morogoro in Tanzania. It covers 3,230 square kilometers of protected land and nearly 15, 500 elephants roam and survive within the park stably, according to the 2018 census. In Tanzania, Mikumi National Park is the fourth largest. The ecosystem is also beautified by the presence of other wild animals such as hyenas, antelopes, and gazelles.
Serengeti National Park
As of 2020, the elephant populations in Serengeti National Park were over 7,000, according to Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI). Serengeti is among the largest wilderness areas on the planet. It is home to different wild animals of diverse species. Other animals present in the park include leopards, kongoni, eland, impala, buffalo, and black rhino, among others. Elephants, however, are the marker of the famous national park and have been sighted there for many decades.
Etosha National park provides the best sight of elephant populations in Namibia.
Etosha National Park
Over 2500 elephants have their habitat in the Etosha National Park in Namibia. They are said to be the tallest of all other elephant populations and are widely researched. To protect themselves from the searing sun in Namibia, they spread clay from the Etosha Pan, which is a 120-kilometer lakebed of salt. During the dry season, spotting an elephant is very easy. Spotting an elephant is easiest at Okaukuejo, the largest and main camp within the park, which sits 17 kilometers from the park’s southern gate.