There are two kinds of African elephant, the bush elephant and the forest elephant. A keystone species in the habitats where they live, they live up to 70 years in the wild and form close social groups of females and calves. Whilst poaching is a problem in some parts of Africa, in Botswana the elephant population is thriving, and it is here that you will see them in the greatest numbers.
On a traditional safari experience, you will see the elephant herds from your 4x4, and often from a distance on bush walks as well. Two camps offer a much more intimate encounter, however, where you can safely walk with and get to know the local, semi-habituated groups.
At Abu Camp in the Okavango Delta, guests and guides have been interacting with the elephant for the past 20 years. That’s plenty of time to develop a strong bond. Acting as a member of the herd, you’ll meet matriarch Cathy, and learn about the personalities of the other females and youngsters in her group. At Stanley’s Camp, you’ll walk with the orphaned elephant raised by their guardians, Doug and Sandi Groves. Any guest over nine years old is invited to participate.