Elephants are not only magnificent to behold in the wilds; they are also remarkable beasts, living in complex social structures and displaying instincts and deep intelligence that often bears resemblance to our own human nature.

Elephants develop sturdy maternal bonds. Female elephants live in tightly-knit social groups that are led by the oldest and most experienced female, the matriarch. She guides the group and imparts know-how to younger elephants.

Elephants have a sophisticated communication system entailing a range of vocalizations, visual cues, and body language. They can communicate over long distances, using low-frequency vocalizations called infrasounds, which can travel several kilometers.

Elephants are revered for their excellent memory. They can remember individuals and places for many years, recognizing familiar faces and establishing long-term relationships within their social groups.

Elephants have a multi-generational family structure, living in cohesive family units consisting of related females and their offspring. In this way the herd becomes strongly bonded.

Humans are easily moved by the emotional intelligence of elephants. Joy, grief and empathy have been observed in elephants. They console one another during times of loss and distress, and are able to discern and respond to emotion in their kin in much the same way as humans do.

Parenting is a co-operative undertaking among elephants, so that a biological mother does not have to bear the full responsibility of mothering alone. Aunts, grandmothers and sisters share the parenting role to ensure best possible survival and wellbeing outcomes for the young calves.

Youngsters are taught a sensible protocol for living and surviving, including such skills as finding water sources, identifying edible plants, and recognizing threats.

Elephants have an impressive aptitude for problem-solving. They employ tools such as sticks or branches to reach food or to scratch hard-to-reach places. Their problem-solving abilities are said to illustrate their cognitive flexibility.

Jabulani Safari sundowner stop

A very memorable and informative elephant experience can be enjoyed at Jabulani Safari , a luxury lodge in the Kapama Game Reserve, close to South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Not only does this lodge provide outstanding accommodation, cuisine, facilities and a memorable Big 5 safari; the camp is also a safe sanctuary for a herd of orphaned elephants, that are lovingly homed here. Guests can enjoy a unique and immersive experience with these giants, in addition to regular safari activities in the Kapama / Greater Kruger wilderness. 

Mail us to book your safari in South Africa where you are very likely to see elephants and other wildlife.