Observing an elephant herd belongs to the highlights of a Namibia journey. These massive animals are up to four metres high and weigh up to six tons. Their heart alone weighs 25 kg. That makes them the biggest land mammals on earth.
Elephants are vegetarians and eat about 300 kg foliage and other greens daily. If a tree is too high, they might crack it or tear it out. They drink around 200 litres of water daily.
Elephants live in family formations of between 6 and 50 animals. The leader of the herd is always a female. The young bulls are excluded from the herd at the age of 12 to 15 years when they reach sexual maturity. Then they join small "bachelor herds". The gestation of the cows takes 22 months. The calves live on mother's milk for about 4 years. Although elephants are basically peaceful animals, mother cows can become highly dangerous when they feel their calves are threatened.
Game Parks: Best for elephant observation is the Etosha National Park with its 2500 individuals. In the sparse vegetation it is easy to spot them even from a great distance. Large elephant populations also live in the national parks in the Caprivi and in the Khaudum National Park near Tsumkwe. The Chobe National Park in Botswana boasts with 50,000 animals the highest elephant concentration.