We protect wildlife through education


Adventures with Elephants is a place of inspiration and joy. Our beautiful reserve in South Africa is home to many types of wildlife from zebra; giraffe and warthogs; to meerkats. Our biggest honour is the privilege of caring for 5 beautiful African elephants who were destined to be culled.  Our latest additions,
Zambezi and Bela, were born to mothers Shan and Mussina and are our 6th and 7th family members.

We offer close up and personal encounters with our elephants carried out with cheerfullness and respect for the welfare of both our guests and our majestic residents. Here you will learn all about our continent's gentle giants. Their intelligence, their bodies, their behaviour. You will leave humbled and moved, and a lifetime ambassador of holistic wildlife conservation.

Photography provided by Shannon Wild


zambezi and Bela, our bundles of joy

The situation of the African elephant is a precarious one not only because of the value of the tusks but also owing to the fact that they are destructive, expensive to maintain and difficult to protect. Habitat encroachment and competition for the same natural resources also causes friction with local communities. At AWE we work proactively to keep our animals healthy, and safe and are involved in holistic conservation efforts through research and work with our local community. Our latest additions are Zambezi, born to Shan on the 4th October 2015, and Bela, born to Mussina on the 23rd September 2016.

Our elephants

Our elephants represent the many difficulties of managing wildlife in Africa today. Deemed "problem" animals, Mussina, Chishuru, Nuanedi, Chova and Shan were given to us otherwise they would have been culled. Their classification as "problem" animals is a direct result of their impact on flora, diminished land, human/elephant conflict and legislation, a scenario all our wildlife faces today. They highlight the conservation issues and difficulties facing wildlife and conservationists alike in a changing and modernising Africa.

Meet our elephants →

Their home

Together with giraffe, wildebeest, red hartebeest, kudu, waterbuck, impala, eland, zebra, ostriches and warthogs, our elephants share 300 hectares of bushveld. They have access to 2 large dams and over 40 shrub and tree species can be found. In addition our elephant have access to a further 2000 hectares to free range feed.

Adventures with Elephants is situated in the Waterberg district of the Limpopo Province in South Africa. The area is characterised by deciduous forest or bushveld and there are archeological finds dating to the Stone Age.

Read about their home 


A day in the Life of an elephant at AWE

Keeping our elephants healthy, happy and stimulated is an absolute priority for us at AWE and we work continuously on building and keeping trust and rapport between us and our charges. When not interacting with the public the elephants are left to be elephants on our 300ha game reserve where they can free range feed, play, or bathe. Besides making sure they exercise regularly, and are well fed and watered, we use daily training and props like balls to keep them mentally agile and used to small things around their feet. 

We supplement their diets with Bana grass, oats and lucerne,  game pellets, fruit and vegetables during the year and conduct daily health checks. They sleep in large stables where they are monitored, protected and fed throughout the night.

Read more about a day in the life of our elephants

Of all African animals, the elephant is the most difficult for man to live with, yet its passing - if this must come - seems the most tragic of all. I can watch elephants (and elephants alone) for hours at a time, for sooner or later the elephant will do something very strange such as mow grass with its toenails or draw the tusks from the rotted carcass of another elephant and carry them off into the bush. There is mystery behind that masked gray visage, and ancient life force, delicate and mighty, awesome and enchanted, commanding the silence ordinarily reserved for mountain peaks, great fires, and the sea.”
— Peter Mathiessen, The tree where man was born