Where to see the African Savannah Elephant in Rwanda

Where to see the African Savannah Elephant in Rwanda: The African savannah elephant is one of Africa’s Big Five animals which are highly sought after by tourists visiting the continent. In Rwanda, the African savannah elephant can only be found in Akagera National Park which is apparently the only savannah national park in the country.

Where to see the African Savannah Elephant in Rwanda

The African savannah Elephant is also referred to as the African Bush Elephant and it is known to be the largest land animal in the world. This species is bigger than the African forest elephants, as well as Asian elephants. It is distributed across 37 African countries and inhabits forests, savannah grassland and woodlands, wetlands and agricultural land.

What you should know about the African Savannah Elephant.

  • African savannah elephants are actually very social mammals that live and travel in herds consisting of cows and their offspring. Adult males normally referred to as bulls, live alone in small bachelor groups.
  • The African savannah Elephants are scientifically referred to as Loxodonta Africana. They are characterized by their highly skillful trunk, long curved tusks and massive/large ears. Both males and females have tusks which start to show once they are 1 to 3 years old, and these tusks grow throughout life.
  • Their tusks grow from deciduous or milk teeth known as tushes that develop in their upper jaws and consist of a crown, root and pulpal cavity, which are completely formed soon after birth. The longest known tusk of an African bush elephant measured 3.51 meters and weighed 117 kilograms.
  • They use their trunk for smelling, breathing, detecting vibrations, caressing their young, sucking up water and grasping objects like logs, tree trunks and so much more. The tip of their trunks is comprised of two opposite extensions/fingers, which contribute to their extreme dexterity.
  • The maximum lifespan of the African savannah elephant is between 70 and 75 years, with a generation length of about 25 years.

Bodyweight and height.

African savannah elephants can weigh up to 6000 kilograms, which is about 7 tons and can measure up to 3.3 meters at the shoulder. Adult bulls can reach a shoulder height of up to 4 meters. Elephants attain their maximum stature/height when they complete the development of long-bone epiphyses (top part of the femur bone), which occurs in males around the age of 40 and females at the age of 25. 

Their Diet.

Elephants in general are herbivorous animals which goes to say for the African savannah elephants. Their diet mainly consists of grass, creepers and herbs. The adult African bush elephant can consume up to 150 kilograms of vegetation per day. However, during the dry season their diet also includes leaves and bark. The high levels of calcium found in tree barks aids in the proper development of their bones.

African savannah elephants can also consume fruits like papaya, banana, guava, stems and even seeds of maize, sorghum and sugarcane. They also supplement their diet with minerals from termite mounds and mineral licks.

How important are their ears to these majestic creatures?

African savannah Elephants have very large ears which help to regulate excess heat caused by the hot African sun. Their ears are also used to communicate with one another. Their ears are used in conjunction with the soles of their feet and their trunk, and also help them to hear sounds over long distances. On average, an elephant can hear another elephant’s call from as far as 4 kilometers. In some circumstances, their hearing can be increased up to 10 kilometers away.

The reproductive Cycle of the African Savannah Elephant?

Female African bush elephants begin ovulating for the first time at the age of 11 years and are in estrus for 2 to 6 days. In captivity, adult females have an estrous cycle lasting 14 to 15 weeks. African bush elephants mate during the rainy season, and bulls in musth (adult males on heat) cover long distances in search for females and associate with large family groups. African bush elephants have a gestation period of 22 months and usually give birth to one calf every 2 to 3 years.

Their conservation status on the IUCN Red List. 

The African bush elephant has been listed as a vulnerable species under the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List. Their survival in the wild is being threatened by factors such as; poaching, illegal trade on ivory and other body parts, large-scale deforestation and encroachment on their habitat.

The African savannah elephant in Rwanda can best be viewed during a game drive in Akagera national park. Elephants are actually one of the Big Five animals that can easily be sighted in the national park, along with the Cape buffalo. 

Where else can one find the African savannah elephant in the wild?

The African bush elephant can be seen by tourists on a game drive in any savannah national park in Africa, with best sightings being in the following national parks; Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park in Uganda, Masai Mara National Park in Kenya and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. You can also sight the African savannah elephant in savannah national parks in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and other safari destinations in Africa.

Other wildlife Species visitors can see in Rwanda.

There are other wildlife species that tourists in Rwanda can view and these include; Mountain gorillas and golden monkeys in Volcanoes national park, Chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest national park and other primates such as the black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys and so many more. Visitor can also sight wildlife such as Black eastern rhinos in Akagera national park, along with topi, Sitatunga, impala, bushbucks, waterbucks, crocodiles, and hippos to mention but a few.

Book now your safari to Rwanda and get an opportunity to view a wide variety of wildlife animals in the country!

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