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Where to see Elephant in Zambia

By far the biggest of the so-called Big Five – indeed, the largest land animal on the planet – the elephant shapes the very landscape it inhabits and is a defining presence on any safari.

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Quick facts about Elephant

Scientific name: Loxodonta africana Habitat: Woodland and savanna
IUCN status: Vulnerable Adult weight: 2,500–6,500kg

The elephant familiar to most safari-goers is, technically speaking, the African bush elephant, a distinct species from the smaller African forest elephant (L. cyclotis). This enormous animal is extraordinary in every respect: its tusks, enlarged front teeth, serve for feeding and fighting; its trunk, an elongated nose, can tear down a branch or pick up a bean; and its huge ears are cooling vanes that circulate the body’s blood supply.

Matriarchal herds of females and young centre on a dominant female; mature males form smaller bachelor herds. Elephants communicate over huge distances using infrasound, and co-operate in finding food and water.

They are the engineers of the landscape, creating waterholes and opening up savannahs, although confined populations can be destructive.


Muscles in trunk


Record tusk length

22 months

Gestation period


Weight of brain

The top camps for seeing elephant in Zambia

Based on 844 reports by our travellers since Mar 2018, visitors at these camps in Zambia have the best chances of sighting elephant.

Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Top 10 camps for elephant

% of travellers who saw elephant

Top 10 camps for elephant

% of travellers who saw elephant

Where to see elephants in Africa

African bush elephants occur in 37 countries, with today’s largest populations found in Tanzania, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Visit waterholes during the dry season to see the most action.

Top tips for viewing elephants

The more you watch elephants, the more enthralling they become, whether it’s an individual quietly feeding or a boisterous herd interacting at a waterhole.

Especially impressive gatherings occur in Chobe and Moremi (Botswana) and Hwange (Zimbabwe). Other excellent locations include Amboseli and Samburu (Kenya), Tarangire, Ruahaand Serengeti (Tanzania), Etosha (Namibia), and the Luangwaand Zambezi valleys (Zambia).

Elephants habituated to vehicles generally allow a close approach. However, always be alert to signs of agitation, such as a raised trunk or flapping ears. Cows with young should always be allowed plenty of space. Watching elephants from a boat offers a different perspective – as does a guided walk in elephant country, where observing their tracks, droppings and feeding signs can be as exciting as finding the animals themselves.


Our best Zambia holidays for elephant sightings

Based on our travellers' reports, these ideas for Zambia safaris are likely to give the best elephant sightings

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Hyena Safari

11 days • 4 locations

Mix relaxation and adventure on a safari combining the South Luangwa with Victoria Falls and the beaches of Lake Malawi. These three locations are among the most iconic in southern Africa.

US$8,630 - US$11,910 per person

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Puku Safari

11 days • 3 locations

Discover South Luangwa’s prolific wildlife before exploring the wildly remote pans of Liuwa Plain National Park and relaxing in one of the Livingstone area’s most romantic and exclusive hideaways. A safari of luxury, style and impressive diversity.

US$13,200 - US$18,440 per person

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Perekani Walking Trail

10 days • 5 locations

Five smart but rustic bushcamps are the comfortable staging posts for this walking safari in South Luangwa. The route offers outstanding seclusion and rich wildlife with top-quality guiding throughout.

US$9,250 - US$11,500 per person

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Duiker Safari

10 days • 3 locations

Three luxurious bushcamps in stunning riverside locations, split between the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi national parks, offer a wide variety of expert-guided safari activities in stunning game-rich environments.

US$8,060 - US$10,020 per person

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Crawshay's Zebra Safari

10 days • 4 locations

This superb safari combines two of Zambia’s best national parks, the South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi. The camps are small and high quality with excellent safari guides.

US$9,760 - US$13,820 per person

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Hippo Safari

9 days • 4 locations

Combining excellent game with aspects of remoter safari in South Luangwa, as well as the cultural delights of Livingstone, this trip also makes use of long-stay discounts, making it an excellent-value and well-rounded adventure.

US$7,480 - US$8,820 per person

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Giraffe Safari

9 days • 3 locations

A safari to the remotest parts of Zambia’s Luangwa Valley. Perfect for experienced safari goers and first-time Africa adventurers. Explore with expert guides whilst staying at small bushcamps.

US$8,390 - US$9,740 per person

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Civet Safari

9 days • 4 locations

Combining three intimate bushcamps in the quieter south of the South Luangwa, this safari will appeal to those looking for an interesting mix of walking and vehicle safari.

US$7,480 - US$9,230 per person

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Defassa Waterbuck Safari

9 days • 3 locations

Stay in three intimate, owner-run camps during this exploration of Kafue National Park. Remote locations, true wilderness and a range of activities make for a real adventure off the beaten track.

US$8,240 - US$8,670 per person

View all holidays to Zambia

More information about elephant in our other destinations

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

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