Best Places To See Elephants In Africa

Best Places To See Elephants In Africa

Their elaborate social structure, uncanny intelligence, uniquely dextrous trunk, and the fact that they are the world’s largest land mammal puts seeing elephants at the top of any safari-goers tick list. While Africa’s elephant population is a fraction of what it once was, there are still many locations where elephants are plentiful and are the best places to see elephants in Africa.

Seeing elephants in Amboseli, Kenya

France has the Eifel Tower, and the USA has The Statue of Liberty, but in Africa, we like to keep things natural, so we have Mount Kilimanjaro. The mountain is on Tanzania’s northern border, and Amboseli National Park straddles its northern foothills in Kenya.

The streams that flow from its northern flanks feed the swamps and marshes that are home to arguably, because of the mountain backdrop, one of the most photographed groups of elephants in Africa. Seeing an elephant in the shadow of Kilimanjaro makes Amboseli undoubtedly one of the best places to see elephants in Africa.

Seeing elephants in Hwange, Zimbabwe

Hwange National Park is home to one of the largest populations of elephants in Africa. As the summer rains falter (around April each year), the approaching dry season limits the water supply through the Southern African savannah woodlands, and the elephant herds of Hwange become increasingly dependent on a limited number of waterholes spread throughout the park.

Throughout the drier months, elephants gather in dozens, and as the water supply diminishes, eventually in their hundreds to slake their thirst. Competiton for water at these waterholes creates intense interactions between the herds, which offers the opportunity to observe elephant behaviour at it’s most exciting, making this unquestionably one of the best places to see elephants in Africa.

Seeing elephants in Chobe, Botswana

The Chobe River’s perennial flow provides an uninterrupted supply of water for the elephants of the Chobe National Park. Most Africa safaris take place in vehicles, but the river offers the extraordinary opportunity to observe Chobe’s wildlife and particularly its elephants from the water rather than from the land.

When exploring the Chobe floodplains on safari, a boat cruise lets you get closer to elephants than you would typically by vehicle, often with the bonus of a gin & tonic in hand. This, combined with the playful display that elephants perform when submerging themselves to cool and bathe, inevitably makes Chobe one of the best places to see elephants in Africa.

Seeing elephants in Samburu, Kenya

The elephants of Samburu are synonymous with the Douglas-Hamilton family. They’re well known for their elephant research, the establishment of the Save The Elephants foundation, and many inspiring books about elephants. The family has focused much of their time on the elephants of this region, which makes the elephants of Samburu some of the most well studied and deeply habituated elephant populations in Africa, and getting ‘up close and personal’ with elephants is a Samburu safari trademark.


Samburu is an arid region, but it is transected by the Ewaso Nyiro River, which in the parched surroundings, provides the most dependable water supply, an obvious drawcard to the elephants of the region. The numerous herds gather there for a most remarkable daily water ritual, making this not only the best place to see elephants in Kenya, but also one of the best places to see elephants in Africa.

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