Elephant are probably the easiest to spot of the Big Five, but that in no way diminishes the excitement every time you see a lone bull in the bush, a calf learning to swim, or an entire family group crossing a river trunk to tail. Clearly these are huge, powerful animals, but the gentleness with which they treat one another is quite endearing. Their relationships and emotions are just as complex as those of humans, which is one of the reasons we can sit for hours watching them interacting with one another.
With a very large and well protected elephant population, Zambia is a superb destination to see elephant and get very close to them indeed. Chiawa Camp and Old Mondoro in the Lower Zambezi National Park are particular favourites for our guests. The photographic hides near the camp are superb for getting shots of the elephant behaving naturally, completely unaware that they are being watched. It is also exhilarating to paddle down the river in a canoe, drifting past the herds grazing on the riverbank.
Af Mfuwe Lodge in South Luangwa, the elephant have a tendency to wander right through reception! It is a convenient shortcut for them, especially during wild mango season from October to December. This award-winning lodge is in the most prolific game area of the South Luangwa Valley, and as it is unfenced the animals come and go as they please. The lodge’s experienced team of guides leads daily game drives and bush walks, particularly at sunrise and sunset when the elephant and other animals are most active.