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Fascinating Facts About Elephant

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Elephant sightings at Kariega Game Reserve are consistently rated as a safari highlight. Game viewing on an open-air vehicle in the African wilderness surrounded by a herd of elephant going about their elephant business is truly mesmerising. There are so many fascinating facts about elephants that our safari guides will share with you about these magnificent mammals.

The intelligence and social interaction of these gentle giants is astonishing and delightful. Elephant mothers are attentive and caring towards their calves, who shift between suckling, taking naps, playing and trying to mimic their mums. The female head of the herd is the matriarch. She is always around and in control, guiding the herd to a water hole or nutritious clusters of vegetation, depending on their needs.

Kariega Elephant by guest Laura Malpass

Importance of Eastern Cape Safari Reserves for Elephant Conservation

It is devastating that as of 2021, elephants are back on the endangered species list due to habitat loss and poaching for ivory.

Thankfully elephant poaching is not an issue at Kariega Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Conversely, our protected wilderness has become a stronghold for the species. In the early 1900’s there were only 16 elephant left in the area. Now, as a result of conservation efforts from both national and privately owned parks, the Eastern Cape celebrates elephant as a main attraction. Kariega is one of the top South African safari destinations and provides a home for this incredible species to roam freely. Kariega Game Reserve has played a major role in the conservation of elephant and other species.

The survival and prosperity of elephant in the Eastern Cape will now depend on habitat expansion and restoration, which is currently the most important and topical conservation conversation in the Eastern Cape and globally.

Kariega elephant herd by safari guide Brendon Jennings

Fascinating Facts About Elephant

Kariega Game Reserve field guide and videographer, Reece Dodd, compiled this wonderful video in celebration of World Elephant Day. The sounds of the bush and elephant movements are a great escape from reality and transport you back to the Kariega wilderness.

We hope you enjoy the fascinating facts about elephant highlighted in the video:

  • Elephant are revered by many cultures for their intelligence, size and power as well as their human like capacity for compassion.
  • Elephants can spend up to 16 hours a day feeding.
  • They are mixed feeders, meaning they eat grass, leaves and other plant matter.
  • They eat 300kg per 24 hours, feeding in the day and at night. Only half of that is used by the body, the rest is excreted as dung.
  • Elephants can go for several days without drinking. They drink by sucking water into their trunks and then spraying it into their mouth.
  • Calves suckle with their mouths as they only gain control of their trunks when they are a little older. They can drink their mother’s milk for up to four years, but are usually weaned by two years old.
  • Male elephants often play fight to practice for the time when they will have to fight over mating rights. The play fights do not usually cause any injuries, unlike real fights which can be vicious and cause serious injuries.

Share Your Elephant Experiences

Do you have any interesting elephant facts to add? Post them in the comments section below.

Did you enjoy a magical elephant sighting while on safari at Kariega Game Reserve? Share it with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Are you inspired to come on safari with us at Kariega Game Reserve? Enquire or make a reservation today. We can't wait to welcome you.

Photo credits: Kariega guest, Laura Malpass and Kariega field guide, Brendon Jennings. Video credit: Kariega field guide Reece Dodd.