Thursday, 18 February 2016

Kalahari Bush Elephants the largest Elephants in the World

Botswana's Elephant Country :

Elephants living in Chobe National Park in Botswana and in the Okavango Delta in Northern Botswana are "Kalahari Bush Elephants"; the largest in size of all known Elephant Subspecies.

Yet they are characterized by rather brittle ivory and short tusks, most likely due to calcium deficiency in the soil.

Chobe National Park in Botswana which is home to around 70,000 Bush Elephants is part of the range of Africa's largest Elephant Population. Concentration of Kalahari Bush Elephants is extremely high throughout Chobe. At Chobe, you can get so close to elephants that you can hear the deep rumblings as they communicate with each other across miles of savannah.

With an estimated population of 70,000 "Loxodonta Africana" is plentiful and because of tight restrictions on poaching, remarkably tolerant of wildlife tourists. One thing is a given in Chobe; just a brief drive along any of its roads quickly reveals a torn branch, a trumpeting call, an enormous grey shape coming out of the Bush ..........  all the unmistakable signs that this is elephant country/territory.

That is why, Chobe  National Park is probably best known for its spectacular elephant sightings. Chobe National Park is said to have the highest concentration of elephants in Africa today as of February 2016.

Botswana is home to the largest remaining population of African Bush Elephants. They number around 130,000 as of February 2016.

This is largely thanks to government - backed conservation and protection programs. Kalahari Bush Elephants stand 4 metres tall and weigh a colossal 12-14 tonnes.

Wildlife Experts in Botswana say that Kalahari Bush Elephants have short tusks because of the poor mineral content in the soil. Poor Soil means short tusks.

In the Okavango Delta, it is quite common to see hundreds of Elephants coming together to play, wash, and swim in the waters that encompass the delta.

The Dry Season from May through November in this part of north - eastern Botswana forces large numbers of  "Kalahari Bush Elephants" in Chobe to move to the Chobe River for drinking and bathing.

They come in such large numbers that they give wildlife tourists an unsurpassed chance to see "Bush Elephants" in a variety of ways -- in the water, on land, and upclose.

At Lake Ngami, one can come across herds of hundreds and hundreds of Bush Elephants drinking water or browsing in the area for grass and other nutrients.

There are a number of reasons why Botswana has so many "Bush Elephants". Many Elephants from Angola fled Angola during the civil war there and came across the Caprivi Strip, a slender piece of Namibia into Chobe National Park some 11,000 square kms in area.

Additionally, rampant poaching in Southern Zambia also encouraged elephants to move south into Botswana. This all happened in the 1970's, 1980's, and 1990's.

Along the Okavango Delta, one easily comes across small and large breeding herds of "Kalahari Bush Elephants". Since Elephants travel in sex- segregated groups, Cows and Calves are always led by a "Matriarch".

If one is lucky while travelling along the Okavango Delta by boat, one can come across Gigantic Herds of Bush Elephants reveling in an elephant's favourite pastime, namely taking a "mud bath".

Conclusion :

Let us do our utmost in 2016 to protect the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park, and its elephants from rampant poaching.

Important Note : I wish I could be a Global Ambassador for "Botswana's Elephant Herds".

Credits and References :

1)  Africa's Elephant Haven

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/africas-elephant-haven-botswana-a-rare-bright-spot-in-dire-battle-against-poachers

2) Update from the Great Elephant Census in Botswana

http://magazine.africageographic.com/weekly/issue-17/great-elephant-census-botswana-update/

3)  Elephant Fiesta in the Okavango Delta by Gaia Vince ( October 29, 2010)

http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/wildlife/2010/10/elephant-fiesta-in-the-okavango-delta/

4)  Botswana's Elephant Country by Jane Perlez (New York Times Published July 12, 1992)

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/07/12/travel/botswana-s-elephant-country.html

Friday, 12 February 2016

A Message to Readers

Dear Friends,

I have decided to resume blogging again with regard to Wildlife Conservation.

I will be posting 2 articles in the near future.

They are as follows :

1) Kalahari Bush Elephants the Largest Elephants in the World.

2) My 5 Must Visit International National Park Destinations.