For many, elephants are a must-see animal during safari. These social giants are fascinating to observe, whether enjoying the playful calves in a matriarchal herd or the charismatic bachelors as they practice their sparring technique. They are protective, sensitive, intelligent creatures that never cease to entertain. Fortunately, elephants are common in most major safari areas so typically seeing elephants is not a difficult task. However, concentrations vary greatly seasonally and throughout their range. If one is seeking to observe large numbers of elephants — in the hundreds or thousands — it is best to plan accordingly with season and location.

Elephant Itineraries

Big Five of Southern Africa

From $7,995 per person Southern Africa is an incredibly diverse region with varying weather, landscapes, cultures, and wildlife. This itinerary covers three major highlights of Southern Africa: The Greater Kruger National Park, Victoria Falls and the Okavango Delta.

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Essential Diversity: River and Desert

From $14,750 per person This safari is designed for the safari connoisseur seeking rarity, exclusivity and luxury along with the full diversity of wildlife. The itinerary includes private guiding and vehicle at both safari camps, offering the ultimate in flexibility and maximizing the opportunities to see wildlife you want to see, while maintaining supreme comfort and luxury.

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Essential Tanzania: Best of Wildlife and Ancient Culture (Origins Collection)

From $3,595 per person Our Essential Tanzania Adventure brings you the best when it comes to safari - outstanding wildlife viewing in the Serengeti; the awe of exploring a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ngorongoro Crater; an authentic deep-dive into local culture and ancient history with visits to a Maasai village and the Olduvai Gorge; and top-notch guiding with your elite, naturalist guide from The Wild Source.

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Botswana Elephant Safari

From $8,125 per person This elephant-focused safari takes you to some of the best locations in all of Africa for seeing and interacting with elephants.

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Ultimate Uganda

From $9,775 per person This safari has been custom designed to provide an in-depth adventure in Uganda featuring some of the most intimate and immersive experiences on the continent – primate trekking.

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Zambia Walking and Waterways Safari

From $8,395 per person Zambian safaris are distinguished by the vintage expedition-style adventure delivered under the care of exceptional guides in remote wilderness areas teeming with wildlife.

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Kenya Luxury For Less

From $9,995 per person This safari includes some of our favorite unique Kenyan accommodations and a huge variety of activities, all for an incredible discount- over 40% off of the high season rate.

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Kenya Family “Lion King” Safari

From $9,950 per person Kenya is the original safari country and still delivers the classic game viewing experience. This family safari is inspired by Disney's 2019 remake of its classic animated film, "The Lion King."

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Wild Kenya: Big Cats and Biodiversity in the Mara

From $3,995 per person Kenya is the original safari country and still delivers the classic game viewing experience. Featuring the Masai Mara Reserve, which is quite likely the most productive wildlife viewing area in all of Africa, this is a superb location for serious game viewing and photography.

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Ultimate Predators of Botswana

From $7,650 per person This safari includes our favorite private concession areas which have proven to provide exceptional opportunities to view Botswana's iconic predator species including lion, leopard, cheetah, and wild dog.

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Elephant Videos

Best Places to See Elephants on Safari

Elephant relaxing in a water hole in the Okavango Delta
Elephant enjoying a splash in the Okavango Delta.

Northern Botswana is currently home to an estimated 150,000 elephants, about 30% of the total population. Chobe National Park and private areas in the Linyanti/Selinda concessions are particularly good in the dry season, while the Okavango is good year round. Viewing by boat on the Chobe Riverfront is a fantastic way to observe elephants at the water’s edge and snorkeling in the river.

Kenya has some of the biggest “tuskers” in the Amboseli region and in the Chyulu Hills. At Ol Donyo Lodge they have an outstanding log pile hide for intimate photography of enormous tusked bulls—a genetic trait that is being bred out of the species as the lust for ivory eliminates tuskers from the breeding population.

A completely different best place for elephants is to visit desert-adapted elephants in Damaraland, Namibia. Here the elephants allow a very close approach of game drive vehicles, allowing you to see how delicately they live off of their fragile environment.

Something Extra

The Elephant Experience with Grey Matters in Botswana is available to guests at Baines and Stanley’s Camps. Here you will spend hours in the company of two orphaned elephants, learning about their behaviors and walking with their trunk over your shoulder as you move as a herd might. You will also touch their ears, the bottom of their feet, learn their vocalizations and a host of other things during your intimate time with these soulful animals.

While not all elephant interactions are as intimate or as ethically-operated, there are a few other opportunities that contribute to good quality conservation programs and allow visitors to unobtrusively observe the elephants while contributing to the conservation efforts. These include the Wild Horizons Elephant Sanctuary & Orphanage, Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, and the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.


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