Elephants are intuitive animals with a deep capacity for emotion. They communicate in mysterious ways that are mesmerising to witness.

At Madikwe Safari Lodge, you will have the privilege of spending time with these majestic creatures up close. Experienced guides will introduce you to the resident elephants and share fascinating insights into their unique social structure and intelligence. This is an experience not to be missed for any elephant lover.

Elephants are highly intelligent and can communicate long distance

These majestic mammals can communicate in a variety of ways, using sounds, body language and touch. They have a memory that is renowned for its longevity. This helps them to remember where they have seen food and water sources before.

They communicate through stamping which other elephants can detect through their feet. This means that they can keep in touch with other members of their herd even when they are far apart and warn each other of danger. Elephants sometimes lay their trunks on the ground to detect vibrations in the earth. They are known to participate in synchronised freezing.

Elephants have amazing emotional depth. They are highly social animals that form close bonds with each other. They have been known to grieve the dead and show compassion for other species.

Iconic trumpet trunk

Elephant trunks are the most sensitive organ possessed by any mammal, consisting of around 150 000 muscle units. it is used to breathe, grasp food, taste, and drink. It is another important way in which they communicate with each other. It produces 110-decibel trumpet blasts.

They produce low frequency ‘rumble’ noises between 1 and 20 Hertz. This is called infrasound which cannot be heard by humans. It is detectable by other elephants from as far as 10 kilometres (6 miles) away.

Their advanced sense of smell can distinguish between different types of plants and detect water sources up to 19 kilometres (11 miles) away.

Elephants at Madikwe.

Who run the Elephant world? Girls.

Elephant herds are mainly made up of related females that work together to protect and care for the youngsters. The males tend to be more solitary. Males will only join a herd during mating season, after which they will return to their solitary lifestyle. A matriarch will lead her herd to food and water sources, and all the members of the herd will cooperate.

Maternal instincts the size of an elephant

Elephants have strong maternal instincts. Do not approach an elephant mother’s child. She will fight tooth and nail to protect her calf from any perceived threat.

When the elephant calf is born, it is completely helpless. The mother will carefully lift her calf with her trunk and place it on its feet. The calf will then stay close to its mother for the next few years, until it is old enough to fend for itself. A young elephant must learn how to use its trunk, a process that takes a few years.

Elephants are very social animals and live in close-knit families or herds. They share a strong bond with each other and cooperate in raising their young.

The best place to see elephants in South Africa

Madikwe Safari Lodge is in Madikwe Game Reserve, which is home to a large population of elephants. The reserve is also home to a variety of other wildlife, making it the perfect place to go on safari. Book your stay today!