African Elephant » Loxodonta Africana » – The African elephant is the largest living land animal, renowned for its intelligence, memory, unique communication methods and amazing social behaviour. The heaviest elephant ever recorded weighed an astonishing 12,000 kg but the average elephant weighs about 5,400 kg.

Initially there was thought to be the only two species of the Elephantidae family – the African elephant along with the Asian elephant.

Recently a distinction was made between the African Bush Elephant »Loxodonta Africana and the African Forest Elephant »Loxodonta Cyclotis as two separate species (still collectively known as the African Elephant)

– which means there are actually three living species of Elephantidae.

In addition to being bigger than the Asian elephant, the African elephant has proportionately larger ears and tusks and a sloping forehead. Remarkably, the African elephant has ears shaped like the African continent, while the Indian elephant’s are shaped like India. The African elephant also has two “fingers” at the end of its trunk, whereas the Asian elephant has only one. An elephant’s trunk is almost as capable as the human hand yet is remarkably strong – it can delicately pick up a seed pod or tear down a tree branch. They also use it to smell, for communicating with each other and sucking up water for drinking.

Elephant tusks are actually just extremely elongated incisor teeth that keep growing throughout the elephant’s life. Tusks function as multipurpose tools to dig for water, chisel bark off trees and as weapons to defend themselves against aggressors and predators.

Elephants are nocturnal and diurnal, needing to forage for more than 14 hours a day to find a considerable quantity of food – an adult can consume as much as 300 kg in a day! It sleeps for just a few minutes whilst standing. They like to visit waterholes at least once a day to drink, bathe and wallow in mud. Typically, they drink between 70 to 150 litres a day. The elephant that roam the desert areas of the Kaokoveld and Damaraland in Namibia drink once every few days.

Small family groups are led by a matriarch, an older female who has decades of knowledge accumulated from experiencing varying climatic conditions. She usually has other female relatives joining with their collective offspring.

Trophy: Elephant hunting requires a lot of walking. It is important to be physically prepared for this if your elephant hunt is to be successful. Shots on elephants are never long – it is necessary to get to within twenty to forty meters to make that all-important first shot. It is very important that the hunter be comfortable with his rifle when hunting any of the Big Five, especially so with elephant because of the close proximity to the animal when making the first shot.

Elephant can be hunted in both South Africa and Zimbabwe.  In South Africa we utilize the Limpopo Province with vast areas bordering either Botswana or Zimbabwe area in South Africa’s Limpopo province we have access to over 160 000 acres of land densely populated with elephant. Africa Expectation Safaris can also arrange dangrenous game hunts in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia.