Safaris and the African elephant
The African elephant weighs up to eight tons and can measure around seven metres, making it the largest land mammal – bigger than Asian elephants and with much larger ears. Despite their huge size, they are herbivores, and herds of elephants can consume hundreds of pounds of food every day. They are famous for their long trunks which they use to pick objects up, communicate and to squirt water from for drinking or washing. Elephants also have great memories and are very intelligent, hence the familiar saying, “an elephant never forgets”.
Some populations of elephants are now growing, helped by conservation efforts, but they are still threatened due to issues such as the poaching of their tusks, war, and destruction of habitats. Some high profile people, including the British Royal Family, have made a point of destroying antique ornaments made of ivory to try and reduce the appeal of it and hopefully reduce the number of elephants killed for their tusks in the future.
Although elephants can sometimes be seen in zoos, the ideal place to see them is in their own habitat and an African wildlife safari is the perfect opportunity. It is difficult to truly appreciate the size and beauty of these majestic creatures without seeing them in the flesh.