An old bull elephant, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namibia

Those Elusive Desert Elephants

In Africa, En-Route, Namibia, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

Kunene Region, Namibia

From our lodge of Camp Kipwe in Twyfelfontein, we embarked upon the exciting tour of tracking desert elephants. (For more on the accomodation check out our post on Camp Kipwe)

These elusive animals are now only to be found in the Kunene region of Namibia and Mali in North Africa.

An old bull elephant, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namibia

A helpful guide

If you're considering a road trip through Namibia, then your in for a holiday of a lifetime. I always find it incredibly useful to plan our trips with the help of a guide book.

Take a look at this informative Bradt guide, it will give you great tips and advice.

Taffy the tracker

There were only four of us on the 7 am drive to track the Desert Elephants, so this meant it was going to be quite a personal experience.

‘Taffy’, our tracker, although not very Welsh, drove us to the Elephants last known location. En-route he came upon some old tracks, no sure definition in the footprint, but appeared to point us towards a waterbed.

As we approached the waterbed, the footprints were crisscrossed by fresh tracks that made us perform a U-turn and head towards the mountains.

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Why not?

Start creating your own adventure, and discover the amazing scenery & African wildlife of Namibia for yourself.

We chose British Airways, and it was all done with a few clicks, a brief stopover in Johannesburg, and our luggage was there for our arrival in Windhoek.

Were we really doing this?

This is such a fantastic experience, the feeling of anticipation and expectancy that you get while bumping around in the back of an open safari truck, wishing and hoping that your dreams will be realised, cannot be surpassed.

We were in luck, we came across a small herd of mainly females, with some juvenile young males, a total of about seven animals. ‘Taffy’ parked the truck close to the group, in a place where they wouldn’t feel threatened.

A peaceful herd, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namibia

We were within 25 feet of them. However, they were free to move around us.

Huddled around, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namibia
A suprised bull elephant, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namiba

Taffy explained this was only part of the herd, there were more to be found, but I was slightly reluctant to leave just in case we didn’t discover any more.

However, we headed off to track the other part of the herd which apparently included an infant.

Should we have left?

After about 30 minutes we managed to track the mixed herd, which did include the month old baby.

All ages, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namibia

Unbelievable, Taffy again placed us a safe distance away, but we were still fairly close to them all.

Wandering on, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namibia
A small herd on the move, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namib

We had to pinch ourselves; there are only about 600 of these beautiful animals left in Namibia now.

A young bull elephant, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namibia
A child staying close to mother, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namibia

Although they have risen to this number in recent years due to local conservation, in the early 20th century there were 3,000 roaming this landscape.

Mother and child, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namibia

These desert dwellers rove wild around this area of Namibia and cover about 15km in a day.

Kicking up the dust, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namibia

We sat observing this herd of elephants for quite a while, watching them dust bathing was a fantastic experience.

Dusting down, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namibia
A little dust in your eye, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namibia

Does life get any better?

Unfortunately, we had to start heading back.

A mother protecting her young, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namibia

Just before we left Taffy drove us around the back of a large rock and let us get out and climb up, so that we could view the elephants without the protection of the truck.

A lone young elephant, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namibia
Catching up with the herd, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namibia

Witnessing the desert elephants in this environment, was one of the things we wanted to see before we set off on this trip, and it was mission accomplished.

Staying close, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namibia
The first of the herd, desert elephants, Kunene Region, Namibia
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Have You

Jumped on board a safari truck and tracked creatures in the wild? Or did you discover them as part of your self-drive adventure?
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Inspired to visit Namibia?

Why not have a look at all our posts from our Namibian adventure?

Hopefully, there's plenty to inspire you, and you'll get the urge to plan that trip of a lifetime.

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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