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Elephant Back Safaris

Elephant back safaris allow participants to view the majesty of a diversity of environments from the advantageous height of an elephant. Seated comfortably on the back of your elephant, you can quietly reflect on the creature’s majesty as well as take in your beautiful surrounds whilst these gentle giants wander through the African bushveld. Game viewing in this manner gives you fantastic photographic opportunities, as well as the chance to experience close-up encounters with the African wilderness.

Elephant back riding gives you the opportunity to connect with these magnificent creatures as they carry you through grasslands and lush forests, depending on which reserve you are visiting. Choosing to game view in this manner gives you the chance to learn about the enormous mammal and to gain some insight into the relationship between African elephants and humans. You will also get a better understanding of the issue that elephant conservationists battle with each day in Africa.

If you happen to be visiting Victoria Falls and Livingstone, it is highly recommended that you visit The Wild Horizons Trust, which manages one orphaned elephant herd in Zimbabwe at Elephant Camp. The trails offered here lead you on spectacular journeys along the Zambezi gorges’ rims, following old game trails and exploring the exquisite grasslands of Victoria National Park. The Zambian elephant back safari trails start at Thorntree Lodge in the Mosi-o-Tunya National Park.

Elephants are the biggest land animals in the world, evoking a sense of awe and respect in most. The creatures can way up to six tons, and can reach speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour. These giants of the animal kingdom have an extremely impressive presence, and most people will never have the chance to touch or even come close to these animals. This is why elephant back safaris are so popular – it is an unforgettable experience and a privilege.

Picture yourself rested on the back of a massive six ton elephant, slowly ambling through open plains or lush forests. It is a unique safari, making it an activity that is high in demand. The scent of elephants overpowers that of humans, so that other wildlife such as rhino, giraffe or buck won’t be scared off by the smell of people close by. This allows close-up experiences with the reserves’ animals.

The elephants are prepared with a comfy saddle in which you will usually be accompanied by an expert elephant handler. A typical elephant back safari lasts about one and a half hours. The beginning can at times prove a little difficult, as some folks take a while to get into the swing of things. However, once settled into your ride, the safari truly begins and allows you to become comfortable with the rhythmic and peaceful movements of the creature.

Various game parks throughout South Africa also provide the unique chance to walk alongside the elephants as you traverse through the bushvelds and forests. Being surrounded by these massive creatures and travelling with them during the safari is an extremely memorable and eye-opening experience.

The Elephant Sanctuary nearby to the Magaliesberg Mountains offers the chance for guests to spend a whole day out with these animals, partaking in activities such as elephant walks, elephant back safaris, feeding and brushing the mammals and more. This is definitely an activity not to be missed!

Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

About Bronwyn Paxton

Article by: Bronwyn Paxton
on August 30, 2013
Filed under  Adventure Activities • Africa Blog 
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