Facts About African Elephants – Uganda

The African elephant comprises of two living elephant species, the African bush elephant and the smaller African forest elephant. African savanna elephants are the largest land mammals in the world easily identified by their long, highly mobile, and sensitive trunk, very large ears, and two tusks extending from the upper jaw. Some elephants lack tusks due to wear and breakages.  The trunks are also used for communication and handling objects and their large ears help to radiate excess heat.

There are around 5,000 elephants in Uganda today. They are mostly found in the landscapes of Kidepo valley national park, Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park and it is the prime home for elephants in Uganda, Kibale forest national park, and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.

These mighty giants are intelligent, sociable, affectionate animals and they do portray behaviors similar to humans such as caring for the weaker individuals, adopting orphaned elephant calves, and grieving over dead companions.

  • Habitats.

Africa elephants like staying in coastal, montane, forest, different savanna associations, semi-Desert, and swamps. The only requirements being access to adequate food, water, and usually shade.

Social behavior of African elephants.

Elephants are highly social and live in family groups of 12 individuals and more led by an older female which guides the group in daily life. These families are made up of related females and young ones.

When young bulls reach puberty, they leave their family and form bachelor herds because they can’t compete with large and more experienced mature bulls and females remain with the family to the extent that when closely related elephants are separated for a long time, upon the time of reuniting usually this habit is seen on water points when different groups of elephants gather to drink they display intense greeting ceremonies by trunk interactions, vocalization, urination, defecation and secretion of glands.

Elephants have got very strong bonds. Elephants also play by chasing themselves, mounting, wrestling, and sparring. Dominance hierarchy depends on many factors, including maternal lineage, age, sex, and personality traits of the elephants.

Elephant’s personality is considered basing on qualities such as leadership, playfulness, gentleness, and popularity. Young elephants learn normal behavior in a social context and learning from others or social learning. Calves follow their mothers and responses to learn who are their relatives and friends and who represent potential threats.

Facts About African Elephants

Africa Bush Elephant

  • Food of African elephants.

Elephants are actually herbivores. They consume a very wide variety of plants and plant parts, grass, bushes, fruits, twigs, tree bark, and roots. In wet seasons, elephants eat quantities of grass while more woody and herbaceous food is taken during the dry seasons. Elephants use their tasks to strip tree barks and dig for roots. Front feet sometimes are used to kick loose grass clumps and shrubs.

Flowers and fruits of some trees are liked by elephants but they are out of their reach but they tend to concentrate on the seeds dumped by other animals an adult elephant can consume 150-300kgs of food and can consume 100-220litres of water daily.

  • Reproduction.

Elephants have got long pregnancies and produce large calves that require a long developmental period. A single calf is dropped after a period of 660days every after 3-4years weighing around 75-120kgs. Calves are dropped throughout the year.

Longevity. African elephants live 35-65 years of age in the wild.

Where to find Elephants Among the Uganda National Parks

Murchison Falls National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park takes its name from Queen Elizabeth II of England and it is remarkably one of the best Uganda safari destinations. This park is set in Western Uganda, about 5-6 hours’ drive away from Kampala and forms part of the vast Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area which also covers Kyambura Wildlife Reserve. It was founded as a national park in 1952 as Kazinga Channel National Park and later, its name changed to Queen Elizabeth National Park in 1954. View Details Here

Kidepo Valley National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is the only national park in Northwestern Uganda and also the largest of all the 10 national parks in Uganda. This protected area lies in the Southwestern districts of Nwoya, Masindi, Buliisa, and Kiryandongo approximately 4-5 hours’ drive away from Kampala capital city. It takes its name from Murchison Falls one of the world’s powerful waterfalls which squeezes itself in a narrow gorge of about 7 meters prior to plunging about 43m down. View Details Here

You May Also Be Interested in the Following Uganda Safari Packages

Queen Elizabeth National Park

The 4 Days Short Uganda Wildlife Safaris Tour takes you to Queen Elizabeth National Park for a Uganda Wildlife tour. The activities done include game drives, boat cruise at Kazinga Channel, Bird watching tour at Kazinga Channel, and Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge. The game drive in the Ishasha sector is always on the search for the tree-climbing lions. Book This Trip

5 Days Uganda Wildlife Safaris Primate tour

A 4 Days Kidepo Valley Wildlife Safari takes you to Kidepo Valley national park for a Uganda wildlife safaris tour in the jungles of Kidepo valley for an adventure of Scenic drives, Nature Walks, Authentic cultural encounters and a visti to Africa’s most scenic wildlife parks. The park comprises rolling savannah grasslands and rugged spectacular mountain landscape. Book This Trip