Elephant (Loxodonta Africana)

Males average around 3.3 metres to the shoulder and weigh around 5600kg, while females average 2.45 metres to the shoulder and weigh around 3745kg. Being the World’s largest land mammal, the African Elephant stand high at the shoulder and can weigh in excess of seven tonnes. His grey skin provides excellent camouflage in the thick vegetation of the bushveld. The Elephant can travel through the bush at a surprisingly fast pace for its size and can be silent when it needs to be. The eyesight of an Elephant is relatively poor but he has excellent hearing and first rate  sense of smell. An African Elephant will go through six sets of molars over his lifetime, that move forward in his jaw as they wear down.

The African Elephant will be in his late forties when he is using his last set and when these wear out, feeding becomes difficult. The total lifespan is around 55 to 65 years though some may live longer. The African Elephant is a destructive feeder consuming as much as two to three hundred kilos of grass and browse per day. Instead of eating some of the browse from a tree, he will knock the tree over and eat it all, leaving a dead tree behind him and destroying the habitat required to sustain him. The African Elephant is a social animal, found in small herds made up of cows, calves, and adolescents, led by a matriarchal cow. Bulls are usually solitary, or in small bachelor herds and occasionally with a herd of cows. Tuskless cows and those with calves, can be extremely aggressive.

The African Elephant can take many miles of walk and stalk to achieve your trophy. 375 is the legal minimum calibre to hunt the African Elephant but there is no room for shot placement error with this calibre. Many experienced “Big Five Professional Hunters” like to see this animal hunted with .40 and .50 calibre rifles using 400 or 500 grain solid bullets. A fifty-yard shot can be considered a “long shot” on the African Elephant, as most are taken at between 20 and 30 metres. Contrary to popular belief, the African Elephant is not an endangered species and several African countries have culling operations in place in order to keep their African Elephant numbers in check.

Elephants at dusk