Most people are fascinated by elephants. They are the largest land animal in the world and can be identified as being of either the African or Indian variety by the size of their ears. The African elephants, of course, having much larger ears. Whilst a human has no more than 600 muscles in total, an elephant has up to 40,000 in just its trunk. How can that not be fascinating?
So, to satisfy our curiosities about elephants we will now go on a journey to the places in the world where we can see an elephant in its natural habitat.
Chobe National Park, Botswana
Chobe National Park boasts the largest population in Africa in terms of the elephants there. The population here is estimated to be between 120,000 and 130,000 elephants.
If you are wondering what the best times to see the elephant are then it is in the dry season, which is between June and November. This is when the elephants will line the riverbanks and can be seen crossing to graze. A wonderful viewpoint can be established by going on a boating safari, when you can cruise up close to the elephants, and take some photographs all those back at home will wonder how you managed to capture.
Elephant Nature Park, Thailand
Situated in the Chiang Mai Province in northern Thailand is an elephant experience to behold. This sanctuary and rescue centre for elephants, where they are rehabilitated, is just 60 km from the city. It is a wonderful sight to see the elephants interacting with each other and roaming free in natural surroundings that are as close to the wild as you can get. They are the small-eared Indian variety as opposed to the African elephant mentioned above which has much larger ears.
It is something of a mission of the park to sustain elephant tourism. Visiting here is not only contributing to the rescue work but also offers the opportunity to become part of one of their volunteer programmes. So, if you are on a back-packing holiday to Thailand this may be the place to head to extend the elephant experience and help preserve this magnificent creature for future generations to also admire and be in awe of.
Periyar National Park, India
Now you would expect these animals to have the smaller ears, which they have, of course.
The Periyar National Park is in south India, and apart from being the home to lots of elephants, also has barking deer, mouse deer, bison, wild dogs, sambar, and the hard-to-find Bengal tiger. So, this is the perfect place for any would-be zoologist. Barking deer are also known as muntjac deer. Their bark identifies their location and acts as a warning signal and a challenge to intruders.
For the environmentalist, you will find much biodiversity here, with its charming lakes, forests, and mountains.
A good way to view the wildlife is via a scenic boat trip along Periyar lake.
Katavi National Park, Tanzania
The African variety of elephants can be found here if you prefer to look at elephants with larger ears.
The opportunity to see elephants here exists from the fact that the Katuma River is one of the only drinking sources for the elephants for miles around. This is true for lots of wildlife, who can be seen around the river too. So, if you like seeing elephants alongside other kinds of wildlife then this is the perfect place to go looking for elephants. Other wildlife here includes giraffes, buffalo, impala, and zebras.
With this park’s remote setting, visitors can explore the surroundings at animal level or go on a guided river trip to see the hippos, crocs, and all the colorful birds. This location has everything the tourist interested in nature and wildlife would want to see.
So, four great locations to see elephants. You have a choice of Botswana or Tanzania to see the African elephants with the larger ears, and Thailand or India for the smaller-eared variety. Both are a majestic sight and you cannot beat seeing them in their natural environment, whilst knowing that they are being protected.