Elephants in Serengeti National Park
Elephants in Serengeti National Park are some of the top animals that have been sighted for many years in the park and are part of the big 5 animals. Elephants are among the big five wildlife species which can be seen in Serengeti national park which is located in the northern part of Tanzania.
The big five is a description of the most challenging and dangerous animals which were hunted on foot during the colonial period in Africa. The animals which make up the big five are highly sort after by tourists during their safaris in this national park and they include lions, leopards, buffalos, rhinos and elephants.
The word elephant originates from the Greek word “elephas” meaning ivory. This is a good description of the elephants since they are known for their tusks made of ivory.
In Serengeti national park, elephants can be seen during the different wildlife viewing activities which takes place in this national park such as game drives, nature walks, hot air balloon safaris among others. Elephants are described by their large ears, trunks, and tusks.
Elephants can be differentiated by the size of their tusks in that the older ones have larger tusks compared to the young elephants. They are also known to feed on grass, plants and fruit as well as barks from trees.
Other food items that elephants rely on for survival in the national park include leaves, shrubs, flowers, and fruits as well as roots especially after rain.
Another fun fact about elephants is that they use their trunks to smell their food and then lift it into their mouths. These wildlife species have also greatly contributed to their ecosystem through their dung which keeps the soil fertile and in a way also disperses tree seeds.
The environment where elephants live every day is also greatly affected by them by digging waterholes and creating footpaths that change the landscape in the national park.
Elephants are also known to protect their skin by covering their bodies in mud and dust and this is usually after their baths around the different water points around Serengeti national park.
These wildlife species are unfortunately endangered and are targeted by many poachers for their tusks which are made of ivory. This has led to many elephants being killed by humans especially during conflicts with the local communities.
Elephants are also said to be the world’s largest land creatures. These wildlife species are of two species and they include the African bush elephant or African savannah elephant which can be seen in Serengeti national park. Another species of elephants is the Asian elephants.
During safaris in Serengeti national park, elephants can be seen as they move in their groups which are usually led by the females. They are also known to be aggressive and dangerous and the males are known to be more aggressive than the females.
The fact that the elephants move in groups makes it safer for these wildlife species as well as helps in keeping and grooming the much younger elephants as they move in the open plains of Serengeti national park.
Elephants use their tusks for different purposes which include digging for food or water, stripping tree barks. They also use their tusks to defend themselves from their enemies. During courtship, the female elephants are said to find the male elephants with larger tusks more attractive.
Another unique aspect about elephants is that they also use one of their tusks more than the other and the difference can be seen when one tusk appears to be more worn out than another.
Elephants are said to have a life span of about 70 years when they roam free and their lifespan reduces when they are living in captivity.
A unique feature among elephants is sucking of their trunks. This can be seen in both the adult and young elephants. The young ones suck their trunks and it is said to be a way by which the elephants smell and this is done by putting the trunk in their mouth after touching or sniffing dung or urine from other elephants.
The large ears of elephants are another adaptation that they have that has helped them in a way that they use them for radiating excess heat from their bodies.
Elephants are also known for their rumbling low pitched sounds that sound like trumpet sounds which they use to communicate with one another and to identify other elephants around their surroundings in Serengeti national park.
When elephants come of age in Serengeti national park, they become sexually mature around the age of 8 to 13 years and around this age, the male elephants which can defend and feed themselves leave their herds.
The female elephants carry their pregnancy for about 22 months and are said to have the longest gestation period compared to other animals.
Other wildlife species which can be seen in Serengeti national park include wildebeests, zebras, kudu, waterbucks, hartebeests, giraffes, gazelles, impalas, topis, elands among others. different bird species can also be seen in this national park during safaris.
How to get to Serengeti national park
Tourists can access Serengeti national park to see these large creatures by different means which include both road and air transport.
By road, tourists can drive to Serengeti national park from Arusha.
Another alternative for tourists to access Serengeti national park is through flying to the different airstrips in the national park such as Seronera airstrip. The types of flights which are available for tourists to this national park include both domestic and charter flights.
Visit Serengeti national park and see the magnificent elephants as they roam in the open savannah plains.