Alone, in family groups or in large herds, elephants are everywhere in the Timbavati and Tanda Tula guests have been treated to many memorable sightings. Why so many ellies? Food and water are plentiful, and the fruit from the marula trees is ripe- a true delicacy for the pachyderm palate (we too enjoy marula fruit – especially in the form of Africa’s famous Amarula liqueur!)
Of course, with so many elephants around our guests also see evidence of their feeding habits. Trees are debarked, and some are even pushed over. While this type of feeding looks destructive, it does have lots of positive effects :leaves and fruit from the knocked over trees are enjoyed by rodents, reptiles and small mammals. When thick grass grows up through the branches on the ground it creates a safe place for breeding and nesting activities, and of course decaying trees create nutrient rich soil.
Elephants are one of the species that have the most influence on the health of the bushveld and we are happy to see so many.
Words and photos by Jacquie Gauthier