African Elephant Facts, info & pawprints

Facts, information, pawprints and pictures of the African Bush Elephant Loxodonta africana

The African Elephant is the world’s largest land mammal - weighing in at up to 6300kg and reaching a shoulder height of 3.2 to 4 metres.

elephant herd at etosha water hole

There are two separate species of the African Elephant, the common African Bush Elephant ( Loxodonta Africana ) and the smaller African Forest Elephant ( Loxodonta cyclotis ) of the rainforest of Central Africa

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Southern Africa | Sub-Sahara Africa | Africa


Elephant Ride - Victoria Falls

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Images of African Elephant & Facts

African Bush Elephants habitat and facts

Description and Facts - African Elephants

Both male and female African elephants have large tusks which are actually upper incisor teeth that can reach 2 metres

The massive tusks of older bulls can weigh up to 50 or 60 kilograms, but tusks weighing up to 90 kilograms have been recorded.

Of its specialized features, the muscular trunk - serves as a nose, a hand, an extra foot, a signaling device and a tool for gathering food, siphoning water, dusting, digging and a variety of other functions.

The Elephant’s trunk is 2 meters long and can weigh up to 130 kg. It is extremely sensitive allowing him to detect underground water. The sensitive finger-like appendages at the tip of the trunk enables them to pick the smallest twig or flower.
It comprises 40 000 to 100 00 muscles capable of holding 6 liters of water which it can squirt into its mouth for drinking or bathing.

An elephants hearing and smell are excellent but eyesight is moderate and best in dim light. Its large ears serve as a display function and also in cooling the body.

using mathematics it's possible to measure the height of an elephant from it's paw print and we aren't going to tell you witch one and how - for that you will just have to go on a Safari in Southern Africa



The flapping action of their ears when charging is thought to be merely a cooling action as the stress of the moment causes them to become overheated.

The advantage of this is that it helps them to look even more larger and fearsome to their enemies.

the only mammal with a life span comparable to humans

active by day and night, and will rest up in the shade during the heat of the day.

Tusks erupt at 16 months but do not show externally until 30 months. Once weaned, usually at age 4 or 5, the calf still remains in the maternal group

Elephants are also known as "gentle giants" and in the main they are peaceful animals, but when wounded, sick or in defense of their young - elephants are very very dangerous

Apart from drinking large quantities of water elephants love wading or swimming in it and really enjoy a good mud bath.


Social Behaviour

African Elephants are generally gregarious and form family groups consisting of an older matriarch and female offspring, along with their young

The female family groups are often visited by mature males checking for females in estrous. Several interrelated family groups may inhabit an area and know each other well. When they meet at watering holes and feeding places, they greet each other affectionately

Bulls leave the family unit at puberty when they are about 16 years old and join bachelor groups or move about alone and only briefly join female herds again for mating purposes

The sexes are difficult to recognize but males have a rounded head and females a squarer head.

At birth, an elephant calf weighs 118kg and is able to walk under its mothers belly for the first year

If viewing herds with youngsters, then these are female herds and they should be treated with caution and the utmost respect.



African Elephants generally produce one calf every three to four years after a gestation period of about 22 months

An orphaned calf will usually be adopted by one of the family's lactating females or suckled by various females.

Females are very attentive mothers, and because most elephant behavior has to be learned, they keep their offspring with them for many years



Smell is the most highly developed sense, but their main means of communication is through sound

They use deep growling or rumbling noises and it is now thought that each individual has it's own "signature" growl by which it can be distinguished

When danger threatens or when alarmed, elephants emit an ear-splitting blast.

They also make low frequency calls of distances up to 7 km's. Loud as they might be, they are too low for humans to detect


Feeding - Diet

African Elephants are voracious feeders and can spend up to 16 - 18 hours a day consuming grass, tender shoots and bark from trees.

An adult elephant can drink up to 200 liters of water in a single session.

All this eating and drinking means that a single elephant deposits upwards of 150kg of dung every day - about one dollop every 15 minutes! - Fertilizing and spreading tree species

African elephants habitat

Once ranging across most of Africa the Elephant population has declined dramatically across the continent and the highest concentrations are now in Botswana and Zimbabwe

African elephant Pawprints
Elephant pawprints

Elephant with powder room effect

double tub elephants bathing

Family group of Elephants Chobe river

maother & child elephant on Sunday afternoon stroll

Elephant feeding on tree

Photo Montage
Africa Botswana
Namibia Zambia
Zimbabwe Vic falls
South Africa


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