The home of AWE elephants
African elephants are found in a wide range of habitats stretching from dense forests to open plains. The key limiting factor for elephants to survive in a habitat is availability of water. Many elephants require water daily. At Adventures with Elephants, the elephants have access to 3 larges dams as well as several other water points throughout the reserve. Every day, the elephants spend time drinking and splashing around in the dams, not only to quench their thirst, but also to cool themselves down and apply mud like sunscreen. After spending time at the dam, the elephants then move off to feed in various parts of the reserve.
Diverse feeding ground
The reserve at Adventures with Elephants has several distinct vegetation zones including combretum woodlands, acacia thickets, and open savanna. Depending on what the elephants feel like eating that day, they make their way around the reserve to find the plants they want to eat. Often the elephants focus their feeding in the combretum woodlands, seeking out their favoured mistletoe tucked away in the canopy of the combretum trees, as well as sampling from the wide range of plant species available to them. There are over 40 shrub and tree species found on the Adventures with Elephants reserve from which the elephants select their favourites.
Elephants are destructive and picky eaters and can play havoc on the vegetation and trees in the bish. In order to relieve the bush and keep it healthy, we supplement the elephants' diets with different crops. We grow our own Bana grass for them in the summer and as long as possible into the winter. When it gets too cold and the Bana grass no longer flourishes, we grow and feed them oats. We also give them Lucerne in the winter months.
A biosphere reserve
Adventures with Elephants is situated in the Waterberg district of the Limpopo Province in South Africa. The Waterberg area is mountainous with extensive rock formations. It is characterised by deciduous forest or bushveld and there are archeological finds dating to the Stone Age. Nearby are early evolutionary finds related to the origin of humans.
The Waterberg is the first region in the northern part of South Africa to be named as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. A biosphere reserve is an area which demonstrates innovative approaches to living and working in harmony with nature. One of the primary objectives is to achieve a sustainable balance between the goals of conserving biological diversity, promoting economic development, and maintaining associated cultural values.