The mighty African elephant is one of the continent’s most fascinating and intriguing creatures. It’s certainly exciting to see them from your vehicle as they forage together, interact with one another and splash about in water. Some camps and lodges in Africa have dedicated elephant experiences that allow you get even closer to these special creatures. Below are three of our favourite camps that offer excellent elephant activities:
Baines Camp, Botswana
Baines Camp, situated in the Okavango Delta, is close to the Living With Elephants project, run by expert Doug Groves. For over 20 years Doug and his team have raised and rehabilitated three orphaned elephants: Jabulani, Thembi and Morula. The trio are now habituated to the presence of humans and so on a Botswana safari to Baines Camp, guests can spend some time with them. Doug will guide you as you as you take a walk with the three elephants. You’ll be able to touch and stroke them, getting closer than ever to these creatures. You’ll spend time watching as they tear branches for a quick snack and listen to their unique communication sounds. The experience ends with a delicious bush lunch with your new found elephant friends.
Camp Jabulani, South Africa
One of South Africa’s most luxurious lodges, Camp Jabulani, offers a superb elephant back safari experience. The lodge is home to twelve elephants ranging from 11 to 26 years old. Each was orphaned as a baby and, over the years, has eventually become accustomed to human contact. The carers know all the elephants very well and will be able to explain their characters and temperaments to you when you arrive. This is one of the only places where you can enjoy not only day time elephant back safaris, but also night time ones too. When you’re not watching wildlife from the backs of these extraordinary creatures, you’ll be able to participate in their feeding time and watch them as they swim and frolic in the lodge’s lake.
Abu Camp, Botswana
Abu Camp, again in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, has its own resident herd of elephants. During your stay at Abu Camp you’ll be able to completely immerse yourself in the lives of the herd. Shortly after arrival guests are introduced to the members of the herd and by the time you leave you’ll feel a strong emotional connection to the elephants. There’s a variety of activities on offer, meaning you can be as involved with the herd as you wish. You’ll be able to explore the delta on elephant back, go for walks with them, physically interact with them and join in with their daily activities and veterinary care. Local researchers are on hand to discuss conservation and care with you too, leaving you with both an unforgettable experience and a brand new insight into elephant life.