Female Elephant and Calf
African Elephants live in the sub-Saharan parts of Africa including countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. They can live in forested areas, deserts, savannas, river valleys and marshes. African Elephants are the heaviest land mammal and the second tallest. In the wild, they eat a wide variety of plants including leaves, roots, bark, grasses and fruit. Each day they can drink anywhere up to 50 gallons of water and 200-600 pounds of food. African Elephants have been known to alter their own ecosystems because of their size. They can pull up trees and shrubs. Their destruction can turn wooded areas into grasslands that are needed for grazing. They can create water holes by digging in dry river beds. Plus, when they walk they stir up insects for other organisms to eat. The African Elephant is listed as an endangered species.
Range-- many parts of sub-Saharan Africa; Small numbers of forest elephants live in dense forests of Central Africa from Zaire west to Mauritania. Some savanna elephants are far more widespread in drier woodlands and savannas. Savanna elephants are now most common in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa.
Habitat-- deserts, forests, savannas (open grasslands), river valleys and marshes.
Niche-- drink tons of water and feed on mostly vegetation; create water holes; demolish bushes turning places into grasslands for grazing; make and enlarge caves used by many species; predators are leopards, lions, and jaguars
In the afternoon, after eating lunch in Bwabwata N.P., we left the park to go to our lodging at Ngepi Camp along the Okavango River. But first, we had to stop as a large herd of elephants, including many small ones like seen here, crossed the road.
The African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) is the larger of the two species of African elephant. Both it and the African forest elephant have usually been classified as a single species, known simply as the African elephant, but recent evidence has seen the forest elephant classified as a distinct species. Some authorities still consider the currently available evidence as insufficient for splitting African elephants into two species.