oh the places you'll go

The Elephant Walk in Tarangire National Park Tanzania East Africa

Elephants in Tarangire National Park

A game drive in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania East Africa is always very thrilling.  After a long but wonderful day of observing many African animals in their natural environment, we came upon something very special.  We came upon a herd of African elephants returning to their night pasture location.   It had been a very hot day along the Tarangire River and a large herd of elephants were walking single file, following their leader, who was probably the matriarch of the group.

African Elephants at the Watering Hole

If there is one animal that overshadows others in terms of size and intelligence, it is the African elephant.

The African elephant is the largest land animal on Earth.  It is strictly a herbivore, who seems to be thriving in all of the National Parks and Conservation areas in Tanzania.  They are evident at the watering holes, and in the forests, they can be seen peeling the bark from Acacia trees after knocking them down.

If you look closely, the male elephant has a wedge shaped head, larger front legs, and a more prominent tail bone.

African Elephants Tanzania

Elephants move around a lot, meandering over grasslands in both large and small family groups.  The matriarch, who is usually the oldest and wisest female in the group, is the boss. She leads the way.

The elephant herd consists of a mixture of new borns, yearlings, both male and female, and other adult females, often sisters or aunts of the matriarch.  While in the Serengeti reserve in northern Tanzania, you might encounter a mother elephant indicating to one of her sons that it is time for him to leave the family and go off on his own.  These young male elephants are reluctant to leave the herd and so the matriarch tell them in no uncertain terms to get lost.   Once they are sexually mature, these bull elephants tend to wander the countryside on their own, sometimes in the company of younger males.  They are always waiting for a female to come into oestrus.

The Elephant Walk