Kenya Photo Safari | African Elephants in the Masai Mara

Angie Away Safari Week continues!

We’ve learned about Masai giraffes and now it’s time for a photo safari with… the African elephant.

I loved getting up close to the elephants of the Masai Mara. We must’ve seen 50 at a time just wandering the savanna at their own leisurely pace.

The African elephant largest living earth critter. 

Elephants are regal, aren’t they? I was so excited every time Willy, my guide from Kichwa Tembo, would drive us near a herd. And there were so many precious elephant babies in the Masai Mara, huddling close to their mothers in most cases… but a few wandered off like the little guy above.

African elephant society is a matriarchal family affair made up of about 10 individuals. 

Hide & Seek 

Poaching has wreaked havoc on elephant populations in the last century. Prior to an international ban on ivory trading in 1990, the Africa elephant population decreased from 1.3 million to 600,000. Kenya’s elephant population  declined by 85 percent between 1973 and 1989.

Elephants are some of the smartest creatures in the animal kingdom, mostly due to a very large brain. “An elephant never forgets” is a saying for a very good reason!

Check out some video I took of the Masai Mara elephants, and listen to some gorgeous music I recorded the staff at Kichwa Tembo singing one night. It’s infectiously cheerful!

Coming soon… Lions! 

COME AWAY WITH ME!
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  • Avatar
    March 25, 2012

    How did you feel being around so many elephants, were they scary or soothing?

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      March 26, 2012

      Definitely didn’t feel scared at all in the Masai Mara… the animals, from the elephants to the leopards to the lions, just go about their business as if those of us watching aren’t even there. The elephants were very close to us at times, almost touching the truck, and it was never too close for comfort even though they’re totally wild and untamed.

  • Avatar
    March 26, 2012

    I spend a lot of time in Africa and my breath is always taken away from me when I have close encounters with elephants. There is something mesmerising about these wonderful creatures, especially when they are chomping a bush right next to your vehicle!

    Brilliantly written, this article certainly encaptures what it is like to see and experience elephants in the wild.

    • Avatar
      March 26, 2012

      Thanks, Jenny! It was breathtaking to be around so many creatures, especially the huge elephants!

  • Avatar
    November 21, 2014
    Stacy

    I’m beginning to plan my first trip to Africa in 2015. I’m curious about what time of the year you went to see this quantity of elephants. Also, any recommendations on places to stay? Thanks!

    • Avatar
      December 02, 2014

      I was in the Masai Mara in October 2011. There were SO many elephants and just animals in general. I believe that’s the very end of the great migration, so it might be better to go at a different time, but I never left camp without seeing a zillion creatures. I stayed at &Beyond Kichwa Tembo, a really lovely place.

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