Fun facts about the iconic African Elephant

Africa takes great pride in their rich wildlife heritage - and for a good reason. Avoca Bush Camp is proudly home to a variety of African wildlife, which includes the African Elephant. As a result, game viewing and sightings within the Avoca Bush Camp is certainly an occasion to cherish.

In a recent Facebook post, Avoca Bush Camp had the following to say, "One of the most iconic and certainly the largest bushveld inhabitant is the African Elephant and many people travel from all over the world to see these magnificent creatures here in the wild. The Timbavati offers incredible game viewing and we regularly see these gentle giants out on our safari drives."

Here we share a few facts about the African Elephant and why they are such a unique animal.

The African Elephant

  • There are three different species of elephants of which two are from Africa - the African Savannah Elephant and the African Forest Elephant. The third one being the Asian Elephant.
  • The African Elephant is the largest of the species. Their distinct features include large ears, which are shaped like the African continent, tusks made from ivory and a trunk that has two fingers or lips at the end.
  • Elephant tusks never stop growing, as a result tusks can give a slight indication of how old an elephant is. The larger the tusks, the older the elephant. Both African male and female elephants grow tusks. However, you may find a few elephants with half broken tusks. This is due to sparring or fighting one another.
  • The male African Elephant can grow up to 3m tall and weigh between 4,000 - 7,500kgs.
  • Elephants have the longest gestation period out of all land animals in the world - a period as long as 22 months.
  • Their average lifespan ranges from 50-70 years old - the oldest known elephant lived to the age of 86.
  • All baby calf elephants are born blind, however they can just about stand up immediately.
  • Elephants can eat between 90 - 270kgs of food a day and drink up to 190 litres of water a day.
  • The elephant is part of the Big Five along with the rhino, lion, buffalo and leopard.

An incredible sighting

Watching elephants go about their business is truly a special experience. Seeing them travel in massive herds as a family, crossing dams or rivers, mud-bathing and wallowing are just a few examples why they are such remarkable animals.