On Foot - In Our Surrounding Landscape

Is it possible to see Elephants On A Walk ?

Most of our guests are interested in the question : ‘can we see elephants …’ ? The answer is not as simple as people may believe.

Well, possibly elephants could be around. But … we might be unable to see them. They are often really hard to spot and observe. Wild elephants in wild nature instinctively seek to avoid being seen by humans. Exactly like all other wild animals.

As a rule of thumb, there are hardly any sightings of elephants in the wet time, the farming season, from the end of October until mid March.

In drier periods of the year, which is roughly March to September, it occurs that elephants are seen. If there is enough daylight to see them. And when they move at visible places in the daytime. In fact elephants are quite nocturnal. It goes without saying; that’s a first obstacle – for seeing them.

A Wild Habitat Living-experience

At Tree Tops Jungle Lodge – First of all we have created a place that’s about the feeling of being in wild habitat. Where the animals move around. The prospect of actually seeing elephants is another matter. We have to say, – it is not easy. Though sightings do happen.

Even when elephants are around, they can’t necessarily be observed. The whole day from sunrise to evening elephants reside at private places in the forest. Only moving out in open areas in the evening. They are alert, wild animals. Moving on hidden tracks in forest and bush, their lifestyle is secretive and cautious.

Elephants are wild animals but also adapted to living closer to human dominated areas where they behave more nocturnal and eat more at night than in the daytime.

Spotting Elephants on Walks

Are there seasons where elephant sightings are more likely ?

Nothing certain can be stated, we can only give an idea of general, usual, patterns. From mid March to mid October the area is frequented by more elephants, usually culminating in the severe drought period from the end of June until around mid or end of September. Depending on annual, seasonal, periodical and day-to-day weather patterns and with differences from year to year.

The peak of the ‘elephant season’ where elephants are frequently observed in the lodge area is typically around three – four months from June October. But sometimes (in case of unusual drought) elephants can also show up even in March, April and May, January or February ….

On afternoon walks we will pass water holes near the Tree Tops Jungle Lodge property. In the dry season it happens that we find an opportunity to watch wild elephants come and drink and bathe. In dry times irrigation lakes regularly dry out but even then elephants often meet up for a mud-bath and to socialize in evening, in the jungle behind the lakes.

Social Behavior

When Elephants Gather In The Dry Season

when Elephants Gather

in the Dry Season

It is an exceptional occurrence to move on foot and then spot a wild elephant. It is imperative to understand and respect that our own behavior is essential and crucial. We need to completely avoid disturbing the animals so they are unaware of our presence. In this regard, please pay attention to our advice.

Our camp area provides a rare opportunity to witness the social behavior of wild elephants. Sometimes at a bigger scale when more elephants gather in the dry season.

On certain days when more elephants are gathering we have observed how elephants meet and greet each other, maybe for the first time since the previous year. There can be different female/family groups and clans of elephants, always with lone, male bulls in the periphery or in the center.

In the wet season elephants move much more apart from each other.

Therefore, dry seasons is a special time for the animals, congregating, always with lakes as focal points. A time where female and male elephants express their interests in each other. And also – between male elephants – a period with a lot of concern about establishing, re-affirming or challenging status in the hierarchy.

Such days a lot of interaction is going on between elephants while – on the great days – we can observe them bathing, drinking, trumpeting, playing, mating and fighting. On other days all this activity happens invisibly – only after sunset. But we might hear the sounds then. We are inside the wild world of elephants …

On a walk to a nearby water hole