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Bespoke Sustainable Eco-African Safari's

About Elephants

The African elephant is not just the largest living land animal, but it has an enormous brain size to match. Their brains can weigh up to a whopping 5.4kg and are, without doubt, the largest brain of all animals living on land.

The African elephant is larger than the Asian elephant and an easy way to tell the difference is by looking at their ears.  Not only is the Asian elephants ears smaller, but the African elephants’ ears are also shaped like the African continent.

African elephants play a critical role in their ecosystem and are also known as “ecosystem engineers”.  During the dry season, they use their tusks to dig up dry riverbeds and create watering holes many animals can drink from. Their dung is full of seeds, helping plants spread across the environment and it makes pretty good habitat for dung beetles too. In the forest, their feasting on trees and shrubs creates pathways for smaller animals to move through, and in the savanna, they uproot trees and eat saplings, which helps keep the landscape open for zebras and other plains animals to thrive.

Elephants eat roots, grasses, fruit, and bark. An adult elephant can consume up to 300 pounds of food in a single day. These hungry animals do not sleep much, roaming great distances while foraging for the large quantities of food that they require to sustain their massive bodies.

Elephants are very smart and can learn and feel emotions. They are among the most exuberantly expressive of creatures. Joy, anger, grief, compassion, love; the finest emotions reside within these hulking masses. Through years of research, scientists have found that elephants are capable of complex thought and deep feeling.

If a member of the family group is injured, they will come together to help and when a family member is no longer with them, they show immense grief.  Elephants are known to communally recognize a deceased relative similar to how they greet a new-born, by collectively touching it’s corpse or old bones and possibly wailing.

The elephant’s trunk is not only used for smelling, breathing, trumpeting, drinking, and grabbing things; is also used as a snorkel when crossing rivers or used for caressing the younger relatives to reassure them.  In the way of greeting, they entwine their trunks together.

Elephants are matriarchal, meaning they live in female-led groups. The matriarch is usually the biggest and oldest and she presides over a multi-generational herd that includes other females, called cows, and their young. Adult males, called bulls, tend to roam on their own, sometimes forming smaller, more loosely associated all-male groups.

Female elephants have the longest pregnancy of any mammal. It’s a lengthy 22 months before baby elephants are ready to be born and the baby will stay with it’s Mum for up to 10 years.  They learn to eat by putting their trunks inside their mothers’ mouths to take food.

And interesting fact is that elephants can get sunburned and that’s why these giants bathe in mud to help protect their skin from the sun.

Elephants make sounds that we can’t even hear. Some of their calls are so low, they are below the range of human hearing. And these amazing animals can recognise over 100 different friends from their calls alone.

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