There is nothing like the first time you see an elephant in the wild. Seeing them interact in their natural environment is an experience few people will quickly forget.

In parts of Africa, poaching and habitat loss have led to the disappearance of elephant populations at a rapid rate. Fortunately, many of the most popular safari destinations on the continent still have healthy herds of these beautiful animals. So today we will present you the best 5 places to fall in love with pachyderms.

Okavango Delta, Botswana

With a valuable source of water such as the Okavango River running through the center of the Kalahari Desert, the Delta gives life to a wide variety of birds and mammals, including large herds of elephants. Here you can choose between sightings of these giants from a boat or a traditional mokoro canoe, on foot during a walking safari and even meet inhabited elephants with which you can interact, smell and touch while you learn everything about them.

For this last option, we recommend you visit Camp Abu (located in a private concession) or one of the two Sanctuary camps (Baines or Stanley’s) for an incomparable experience.

 

Chobe National Park, Botswana

This park located in the northwestern region of Botswana, near the borders with Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, is widely recognized for its high density of elephants, with around 120,000 in total, most living in large herds.

Along its 11,700 square kilometers, in addition to finding entire herds of pachyderms, you will be able to enjoy the sighting of a rich fauna and flora that, for the most part, the Chobe River dates back to life. To discover large herds of elephants, your best option will be to walk along the banks of this river, where these large animals share water and territory with hippos, crocodiles and waterfowl.

In addition, the main predators of the continent – lions, leopards, hyenas, jackals and wild dogs – are also present in the park.

Many shelters and camps in this area have views of rivers, canals or wells and you will likely see elephants coming to drink or cool off directly from the camp.

Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

This reserve has the largest elephant population in northern Tanzania, with some herds numbering several hundred members.

Tarangire elephants have developed unique behavior to cope with drought. Using receivers on their trunks, they can locate water running below the surface and then dig there using their fangs. This is known as «drinking sand.» In fact, it is the dry season, when the Tarangire River (which flows through the park) acts as the only reliable source of water for miles around, the best time to visit the place.

 

Amboseli National Park, Kenya

The Amboseli National Park, located in southern Kenya, has as its star attraction its huge herds of elephants, sometimes numbering hundreds of individuals. Herds to stay in the park throughout the year due t do Elephant National Park, Sudáfrica

This park was created in 1931 to bring the local elephant population to the brink of extinction after large-scale slaughter. From just 11 individuals in 1931, the park now supports a population of more than 600 elephants. Their relatively small size makes them easy to spot, especially on hot days when they tend to congregate in large numbers around the park’s water holes. Best of all, Addo Elephant is probably the most accessible park on this list, you can get to it in 30 minutes from Port Elizabeth, and the self-drive safaris are surprisingly affordable.