On World Elephant Day, we list five of the planet’s best places to photograph this majestic animal.
1. Amboseli, Kenya
One of the abiding images of Kenya is a big bull elephant set against the sensational backdrop of a snow-capped peak, looking like a scene from an idyll. It is actually a scene out of Amboseli, a park so synonymous with elephants that it has come to be known as “Africa’s elephant park”. And it affords the unique opportunity to observe elephants spectacular vistas overlooked by the Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. The big cat trinity is there too, just so you don’t feel left out.
Watching African elephants in the picturesque landscape of Amboseli can render you speechless for certain, but such speech-numbness only leads to creating some of the best images of the large mammals in their natural habitat.
2. Kabini, India
In the mixed deciduous forests of Kabini, Nagarahole, mystery, beauty, and mesmeric charm are present aplenty. This stretch of pristine Nilgiri Biosphere forms a naturally extravagant backdrop to the abundant wildlife of the region.
The Kabini area is also the largest refuge of the threatened Asiatic elephant and is still home to the magnificent tuskers you have always envisioned filling your photo frames. In the hallowed folds that harbour such natural wealth, a tusker or a graceful female elephant can appear at an unexpected curve of the road or out of the thickets.
3. Khwai and Chobe, Botswana
The bewitchment of Botswana is an experience to be lived right there, in the oasis for all things natural and wild. Drained by the Okavango River, an estimated 11 trillion litres of water floods the grassy plains during Botswana’s dry months, forming one of the largest inland deltas on our planet and drawing thereby an exceptional density of wildlife to its vital folds.
And it makes an alluring invitation to deep-dive into this untamed wilderness, where elephants move between their browsing areas in the mopane forests and the fresh water of the Okavango.
4. Corbett, India
Since Corbett was born as India’s first National Park, it has remained one of the country’s finest wild refuges harbouring a sensational variety of free life in the most breathtaking of settings. Located nicely between the Himalayas and the terai that stretch to Nepal, the Ramganga and her tributaries crisscross the park spawning some dramatic landscapes that dazzle with celestial beauty.
With rich disparity in habitat, ranging from plain to precipitous and dense forests to emancipating meadows, it supports a rich variety of precious natural treasures and adorns India’s crown as a gleaming jewel. The gently gigantic beauty that the Asiatic elephant is, it is sheer enchantment to not only watch one but also to photograph in Corbett’s spectacular natural settings.
5. Kaziranga, India
Fed by the mighty river Brahmaputra, Kaziranga’s 470km2 lush green flood plains are composed of tall, dense grasslands interspersed with cane brakes, open woodlands, interconnecting streams and numerous lakes or beels. And virtually everything about Kaziranga is large, as giants dominate the landscape. From the grasses to the birds, and from the reptiles to the mammals, everything will hypnotise you to feel as though you were in a dreamland, disconnected from your real life.
And the rarity and exclusivity that Kaziranga offers in terms of all things wild add excitement to the experience. We don’t have to separately say that the setting as such is a mesmerising one to watch and photograph elephants among a breathtaking variety of other wildlife now, do we? Witnessing the enormity of elephants’ presence in Kaziranga is a unique experience that no other national park can offer, and our own Photography Tour in January is a great way of doing it!