Coming eye to eye with an African elephant for the first time is a moment you will never forget and unlike any feeling you have ever experienced before – it may even leave you at a loss for words! This is exactly how an African elephant back safari begins. You will be matched with and introduced to your pachyderm companion and your first glance into those soulful, honey-brown eyes may reveal more than you anticipate…and tug at your heart strings!

Elephant Back Safaris, near Addo, Eastern Cape

The largest living terrestrial animal in the world, an adult African elephant stands at between 2-4m/7-13ft at the shoulder, weighs up to 6 tonnes and devours up to 180kg/400lbs of grasses, leaves, bark and fruits each day. These magnificent mammals are found in 37 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and thrive in a diverse range of habitats including savannah, woodland and rainforest and some have also adapted to life on mountain slopes and in coastal and arid desert regions. The African elephant, a keystone species in nature, plays a vital role in maintaining ecological harmony. Ninety species of trees, for example, are unable to propagate without their seeds having first passed through the digestive tract of the elephant enabling them to germinate.

Browse our recommended elephant back safaris below, or if you have something different in mind, call us and we will advise and assist you.

The African elephant is an extraordinarily intelligent and social mammal and as you climb into the specially designed saddle and saunter almost silently off into the African savannah you will see your surroundings in a new light ‘through the eyes’ of your elephant, a totally different experience to that of a game drive…and there is no vying for top positions in the game drive vehicle either! The view aboard an African elephant is amazing and unparalleled and, with the elephants scent overpowering that of the riders, other grazing and browsing wildlife encountered on the safari will feel relaxed in the presence of the herd.

Elephant Back Safaris, Camp Jabulani
Elephant Back Safaris, Camp Jabulani

Elephant back safaris offer travellers a once in a lifetime experience and a glimpse into the lives of these remarkable animals. Most elephant safari outfits provide the opportunity to not only ride the elephants but also to interact closely with the herd in a number of different ways including walking alongside the elephants, observing or participating in a mud bath and watching training exercises. Travellers will also gain an insight into elephant conservation and come away with an understanding of the fascinating social interaction and behaviour of the African elephant. After an elephant back safari, one cannot help but gain a new respect and admiration for this inspiring African giant!