Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve is home to one of the two species of Elephant found, namely the African Elephant. The other Elephant specie is known as Asian Elephants and are found in Asia.
African Elephants are the largest Land Living Mammals in the world. Both male and female African Elephants have tusks however only the Male Asian Elephant has tusks. Primary uses of Tusks are utilized for finding food and for digging. An African Elephant needs up to 200 liters of water per day, the tusks are also used to dig for water when scarce. Female Elephants can only have cows (young) from an age of 12 years and the pregnancy will last for 22 months.
Living up to 70 years old these incredible creatures remain a true and magnificent sighting while out in the Hluhluwe Reserve. When coming across a Elephant one has to quickly ascertain whether or not the Elephant is in musth as this is when they are the most aggressive. Tell Tales of a Elephant in musth is when an oily smelly secretion can be seen above the Eye. This occurs in male Elephants between the ages of 20 to 50 years and last up to 3 weeks. Should you come across a male Elephant in Musth please at all times try to keep your distance. This is without a doubt the most agitated and aggressive time period for any bull Elephant.
Witnessing Hluhluwe Elephants can be a pleasant and incredible experience. Large herds of 200 Elephants are frequently witnessed and best places to witness them is usually close to water sources.
Elephant Lifespan and Cycles
The female during Gestation will pick another female from the herd to assist her with the birth and rearing of the offspring. Suckling takes place up to 4 years long. During this time the entire herd will be involved in educating, protecting and disciplining the young. The female during her lifespan rarely has more than 4 young.
A variety of vegetation such as grass, a variety of tree, leaves, bark, roots and fruit. A adult elephant has a healthy appetite and can consume up to 200 kg per day.
An Elephant's tail can grow up to 1,3 meters long with thick wire like hair at the tip. The tail is used a fly swatter.
Elephants are not only intelligent but also incredibly social creatures. They display emotions by touching, smelling and guiding one another continuously. When fellow Elephants are injured or sick their seems to be a true sense of concern with other Elephants.
Elephants use ultrasound when communicating, this has been evidant when Elephants have stopped in their tracks and raised the ears when no noise was apparent. Infra Sound has the ability to travel further and passes undisturbed through forests and grasslands.
Elephant Social Structure
Herds can range from a dozen to hundreds of Elephants. The matriarch is a female ranging between 30/40 years. The herd consists of mostly female's and males are tolerated up until puberty of between 10 /15 years at which point they are banished from the herd.
The male Elephant penis can grow to a size of four feet and weigh up to 60 pounds. Female Elephants are only fertile for two or three days every four months during her estrus cycle.
Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park and its Elephants
These creatures deserve your respect please at all times refrain from speeding while in any reserve. Keep your distance and travel safe. Hluhluwe Imfolozi is the oldest proclaimed game reserve in Africa offering you some of the most incredible sightings while in Africa. This 96000 hectare reserve offers a multitude of accommodation based in either of the sections in the reserve namely Hluhluwe Hilltop and Umfolozi Mpilla Camp. Activities include day drives, night drives and guided walking trails. The park boasts not only the Big 5 but other tremendous wildlife such as Wild Dogs and Cheetah to name but just a few.
Enjoy your journey and discover an untouched wildlife paradise. Heritage Tours & Safaris would like to invite you on a safari of a lifetime while in the area.