10 Best Places to See Elephants in Africa

10 Best Places to See Elephants in Africa

Where are the best places to see savanna elephants in the wild? The highest densities of this subspecies of African elephants are found in the wildlife areas of eastern and southern Africa. The top game parks for seeing elephants are found in Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia and South Africa.

  1. Chobe National Park & Delta - Botswana (Southern Africa)
  2. Hwange National Park - Zimbabwe (Southern Africa)
  3. Kruger National Park - South Africa (Southern Africa)
  4. Tsavo East & West National Park - Kenya (East Africa)
  5. South Luangwa National Park - Zambia (Southern Africa)
  6. Amboseli National Park - Kenya (East Africa)
  7. Northern Safari Circuit - Tanzania (East Africa)
  8. Samburu National Park - Kenya (East Africa)
  9. Etosha National Park - Namibia (Southern Africa)
  10. Addo Elephant National Park - South Africa (Southern Africa)

1. Northern Botswana - Chobe National Park & Delta

Northern Botswana is home to the largest continuous population of savannah elephants in Africa, with the population estimated at around 150 000 elephants! The elephants in northern Botswana are free to roam over an area of about 80,000km².

Chobe Park - Botswana

Tim CopelandChobe elephants - Tim Copeland

  • home to one of the largest concentrations of elephants in Africa
  • estimated at around 70 000 elephants in the 11,700 km² of Chobe Park
  • also said to host the largest elephants in terms of body size
  • elephants are relatively used to encountering tourists

Okavango Delta - Botswana

Delta elephant at camp -

  • the number of elephant sightings is increasing, as more elephants migrate from Chobe, Savuti and Linyanti into Moremi and other parts of the Okavango Delta.

In the dry season, elephants congregate at the permanent water sources - Chobe and Lynanti/Kwando Rivers, and the Okavango Delta. In the wet season, the elephants disperse with their range expanding to include food sources at water-filled pans.

Dusty Chobe elephants -

Best Safaris to See Elephants in Chobe & the Okavango Delta:

Take a look at more options - Chobe Safaris and Okavango Delta Safaris (many of the tours visit both areas).

2. Zimbabwe - Hwange National Park

JoepyrekHwange elephants - Joepyrek

  • one of Africa's elephant strongholds
  • huge population of about 44 000 elephants in an area of 14 651 km² (AG 2017)
  • often sight hundreds of elephants in one day

Ready to see more elephants than you can count? Head to Hwange on one of our Budget Hwange Safaris.

3. South Africa - Kruger National Park

Kruger elephants -

  • about 15 000 elephants in an area of 19,480 km² in South Africa
  • elephants in Kruger Park are relatively habituated 
  • walking Safaris in Greater Kruger

One of the best things about viewing elephants in Kruger is that you can take a walking safari in one of the private reserves of Greater Kruger to see these giants on foot!

Our 4 Day Kruger Park Walking Safari is an excellent one for seeing elephants on foot in the bush.

Kruger walking safari -

We can take you on all kinds of Budget Kruger Tours - short to long, camping to lodge, walking to 4x4 and more.

4. Kenya - Tsavo East & West National Park

Elen NivraeTsavo elephants - Elen Nivrae

  • Tsavo East & West, the largest protected area in Kenya, host the highest number of Kenya's estimated 35 000 elephants
  • the combined Tsavo-Mkomazi ecosystem of 46 000 km² hosts over 12 570 elephants

Go 4x4 in Tsavo and the famous Masai Mara, as well as Amboseli (also an elephant hotspot) on this Kenya Parks & Masai Mara Fly-in Lodge Safari or browse our Budget Tsavo Safaris.

5. Zambia - South Luangwa National Park

Lower zambezi elephants -

  • roughly 10 000 elephants inhabiting the 9050km² South Luangwa Park
  • large elephant herds, up to 70 individuals strong
  • 20 to 35 000 elephants in the Luangwa Valley / lower Zambezi River area in Zambia
  • encounter elephants on thrilling walking safaris  

South Luangwa is a gem for walking safaris and as with Kruger, is ideal for getting up close to elephants on foot. This 7 Day South Luangwa Tented Camps Walking Safari is a really special find.

Luangwa walking safari elephants -

If walking is not your thing then there are plenty of other South Luangwa Safaris to choose from.

6. Kenya - Amboseli National Park

Regina HartAmboseli elephants - Regina Hart

  • reputed to be the best place in Africa to get up close to free-ranging elephants
  • around 1 500 elephants in just 392 km² 
  • herds of up to 100 elephants can be seen
  • home to many big, old bull elephants and tuskers
  • excellent photographic opportunities of elephant herds with scenic Mount Kilimanjaro in the background

Amboseli elephants with Kilimanjaro -

To get a shot at the classic Amboseli image of African elephants with Kilimanjaro as a backdrop, embark on one of our Amboseli Budget Safaris. This fantastic Tsavo, Amboseli & Mara Kenya Lodge Safari is a luxury camping tour that flies to Masai Mara and back.

7. Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit (Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park & Ngorongoro Crater)

  • Tarangire - 2 500 individuals in the Tarangire ecosystem of 20 000 km² in Tanzania (big herds of about 300 elephants strong)
  • Ngorongoro Crater - big, old bull elephants with large tusks are often seen in the Crater
  • Serengeti  Park - over 2000 elephants on the 14 760 km² plains

You can experience the famous Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit on one of our budget tours, like this well-priced Northern Safari Circuit to Zanzibar Overland Camping combining top African beach and bush Meccas.

MikeSerengeti elephant herd - Mike

Serengeti's neighbouring Masai Mara National Reserve is also home to large herds of elephants that roam the scenic plains of this 1510 km² Kenyan game park. Masai Mara forms part of the Serengeti Ecosystem.

Masai Mara elephants -

Our Masai Mara & Serengeti Overland Camping Safari takes you to both iconic African reserves.

8. Kenya - Samburu National Park

  • over 900 elephants resident in or visiting the Samburu Reserve throughout the year.
  • about 5 400 elephants in the combined Samburu-Laikipia ecosystem of around 28 490 km² (11 000 square miles) 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters
Samburu elephants - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters

If you are serious about elephant watching go wild on this Kenyan Game Parks 4x4 Lodge Safari which explores Tsavo National Park, Amboseli National Park and Samburu National Reserve (all three of Kenya's best parks for seeing elephants)!

9. Namibia - Etosha National Park

  • herds of elephants congregate at the waterholes of Etosha, especially in the dry season
  • over 2 000 elephants in the 22 270 km² park
  • flat plains and low vegetation make for easy sightings of family groups and bulls

simonsimagesEtosha elephants and zebras - simonsimages

Etosha is one of Southern Africa's leading safaris destinations offering exceptional wildlife viewing. There are plenty of budget-friendly Etosha Safaris for families, solo travellers, small groups and more. 

10. South Africa - Addo Elephant National Park

Mark de ScandeAddo elephants - Mark de Scande

  • home to one of the densest African elephant populations on earth
  • estimated at around 550 elephants in the 1 640 km² Addo Park

Many of our South African tours include safaris to Addo Elephant Park as part of itineraries (6 days or more) to the Graden Route from Cape Town, Durban or Port Elizabeth.

Elephant Range Map of Africa

The map below shows places where African elephants (forest and savannah sub-species) are found in the wild.

Elephant Distribution Map from WWF

One more top place to see African elephants worth special mention:

Selous Game Reserve - Tanzania

  • over 40 000 elephants in the 80 000 km² Selous ecosystem of southeast Tanzania (includes Selous Game Reserve, Mikumi National Park and buffer areas)
  • Selous is home to over half of Tanzania's elephant population
  • one of the largest elephant populations in the world 

See the elephants of Selous and Ruaha National Park (also an elephant stronghold) on our Southern Tanzania Budget Lodge Safari or Southern Tanzania Budget Camping Safari.

More about elephants in this National Geographic Elephant feature or on the WWF African elephant page.

Find the perfect affordable safari to see elephants in Africa, contact African Budget Safaris.

South Luangwa camp -

If you liked this post, these trips cover similar ground…

Leave a Comment or Ask a Question

comments powered by Disqus

Places Mentioned in this Post

Similar & Related Blog Posts

Below you’ll find further reading and articles related or similar to this post.

Amazing Facts about Africa’s Big Five

Africa's much-loved, relentlessly pursued Big Five animals are each extraordinary wild creatures in their own right. Here are some popular and lesser-known amazing facts about Africa's Big Five - lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. Read on

Kenya’s Elephant Populations Outgrowing Parks

Kenya Tsavo Elephants by Craig R. SholleyGood news - elephant numbers in Kenya are increasing strongly! The not so good news is that conflict between humans and the elephants roaming into villages and onto ranches is also increasing. However conservationists and government are working to protect Kenya's elephants. Read on

Foster a Baby Elephant in Kenya

Kungu and StephenFostering an elephant or rhino in Kenya will only set you back about R500 (50USD) a year! The fostering process is run online so you can select from either the adult or baby elephants and rhinos on the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s website. Read on

Endangered Animals in Africa - Best Places to See these Rare Animals & How to Help

Gerry ZamboniniOn African Safaris you may be lucky enough to spot these 10 endangered animals, roaming freely. Get the facts about these endangered African wildlife species, find the best places to see them and see how you can help to ensure their survival! Read on

Guide to Planning a Safari to Botswana

Thinking of taking a trip to Botswana? Here's a detailed travel guide for planning a Budget Safari to Botswana - from choosing the right tour and deciding which top destinations to visit, to the best activities and pre-safaris to-dos. Read on

Tanzania - Land of Legends

Not sure which country to explore on safari in East Africa? Tanzania comes out tops! Read on

Africa’s Best National Parks in its Top 7 Safari Countries

A snapshot of Africa’s Best National Parks in the 7 Top Safari Countries, from the legendary Masai Mara in Kenya to Namibia's dramatic Etosha Park and wild South Luangwa in Zambia. Read on

The Wildlife Drama of Etosha Park

William Routard05One of Southern Africa's top game viewing destinations, the world-renowned Etosha National Park is the best place for wildlife watching in Namibia. See how to get the most out of your Etosha Safari... Read on

Big Five Safaris Near Cape Town

Inverdoorn Game ReserveLooking for an affordable Big Five game park close to Cape Town? Here are three of the Western Cape's best Big Five safari destinations for time-pressed travellers on a limited budget. Read on
Show us some FB Love

Our TrustPilot Reviews

Follow @RealAfroSafaris