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Eland
Asset 14

Eland

Where to see Eland in South Africa

The eland is Africa’s biggest antelope and looms large in the continent’s culture, from prehistoric rock art to modern game farms. Though widespread, it is shy, with sightings seldom a given.


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Quick facts about Eland

Scientific name: Taurotragus oryx Habitat: Open savanna & grasslands
IUCN status: Least concern Adult weight: 340–940kg

The massive, tan-coloured, common eland is related to kudus and other spiral-horned antelope species. Both sexes have a signature square profile – accentuated in the bull by a large dewlap – and straight horns that are longer and narrower in the female. The ox-like males are twice the weight of females, sometimes reaching buffalo size.

Herds, sometimes of several hundred, wander widely in search of food. Inhabiting open country, from arid bush to montane grassland, eland graze during the rainy season but may switch to browsing during the drier winter months. Though relatively slow-moving, they can leap impressive heights. Females produce a single calf after a nine-month gestation. Today eland are farmed in some areas for meat and milk.


1.83m

Max shoulder height of bull

2.5m

Jump height

15–20 years

Life expectancy

7 litres

Daily milk production

The top camps for seeing eland in South Africa

Based on 17 reports by our travellers since Jun 2018, visitors at these camps in South Africa have the best chances of sighting eland.


Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Top 10 camps for eland

% of travellers who saw eland

Top 10 camps for eland

% of travellers who saw eland

Where to see eland in Africa

Look out for elands in open terrain in any major conservation area across southern and eastern Africa, including mountainous ones. But be prepared to enjoy these shy animals from a distance.


Top tips for viewing eland

Ancient rock art across much of Africa attests to the eland’s former significance as both spiritual totem and food source. Today the species remains widespread, occurring from South Sudan to South Africa’s Cape, but numbers are much reduced, with a total population estimated at 136,000.

Eland are plentiful in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem and central Botswana, but can nonetheless be elusive. Reliable spots for sightings include Mana Pools (Zimbabwe), Etosha (Namibia) and the Nyika Plateau (Malawi). The species has also been introduced to many private game ranches in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Wary of humans, whether on foot or on wheels, elands are most active at dawn and dusk. Listen out for the tell-tale click of their hooves when they approach a waterhole.

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Our best South Africa holidays for eland sightings

Based on our travellers' reports, these ideas for South Africa safaris are likely to give the best eland sightings


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Cape Genet Self-drive Safari

20 days • 8 locations
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO CAPE TOWN AIRPORT

Enjoy fine-dining in Cape Town, whale-watching in Hermanus, and a range of walking and water-based activities throughout De Hoop’s Nature Reserve, the Klein Karoo and Plettenberg. This relaxed self-driven safari concludes with stays in The Winelands and Namaqualand.

US$2,780 - US$3,330 per person

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Bontebok Self-drive Safari

12 days • 5 locations
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO PORT ELIZABETH AIRPORT

This well-rounded safari encompasses fine dining, a range of activities and elegant accommodation across some of South Africa’s most stunning locations. Visit Cape Town, the Winelands and sections of the spectacularly diverse Garden Route.

US$1,320 - US$1,480 per person

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Kwandwe Self-drive Safari

3 days • 1 locations
PORT ELIZABETH AIRPORT TO PORT ELIZABETH AIRPORT

An elegantly stylish lodge that is well suited to families, Kwandwe offers a range of safari activities and the chance to sight all of the Big 5 during exploration of the eastern cape.

US$2,030 - US$2,770 per person

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Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari

19 days • 10 locations
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

Journey from South Africa’s cosmopolitan Cape Town to central Namibia’s Okonjima Nature Reserve during this self-driven safari. The route passes through a stunning variety of landscapes, offering access to this beautiful continent’s rich diversity.

US$3,270 - US$3,350 per person

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Leopard Safari

13 days • 4 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO CAPE TOWN AIRPORT

Victoria Falls, Botswana and Cape Town – a classic southern African itinerary combining luxury, wilderness, safari and culture. We can't think of a better way to spend two weeks.

US$8,050 - US$11,010 per person

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Ostrich Self-drive Safari

14 days • 9 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

Great value self-drive adventure through the epic desert landscapes of southern Namibia and South Africa’s Kalahari, visiting highlights such as Fish River Canyon, the ghost towns of Lüderitz and Sossusvlei’s dunes.

US$1,980 - US$2,500 per person

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The Highlights of Africa

17 days • 7 locations
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO KIGALI AIRPORT

An epic adventure taking in some of Africa’s most incredible sights and wildlife experiences, from Cape Town to the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, the Maasai Mara and an encounter with mountain gorillas.

US$12,440 - US$15,040 per person

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Cape Mountain Zebra Self-drive Safari

12 days • 4 locations
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO CAPE TOWN AIRPORT

Fine dining, luxurious accommodation and a wide of range of leisurely activities make this a superbly comfortable self-driven safari. Visit the cosmopolitan Cape Town, tranquil coastal retreats, stylish wine farms and spectacularly peaceful nature reserves.

US$3,440 - US$5,810 per person

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Meerkat Self-drive Safari

8 days • 5 locations
UPINGTON AIRPORT TO UPINGTON AIRPORT

Explore the wildly remote Kgaladgai Transfrontier Park from four simple, self-catered bases before concluding with two nights at Augrabies Falls National Park. An exciting safari including varied game and birdlife, well-suited to the autonomous traveller.

US$900 - US$940 per person

View all holidays to South Africa

More information about eland in our other destinations

Click here for detailed information about eland in other countries, including the places for sighting eland.


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