At Ilala Lodge, we’re lucky enough to be frequently visited by a herd of large and hungry elephant. While it may be bad news for our flourishing front lawn, these majestic creatures are very much welcomed by guests and staff alike.
Being the truly hospitable Victoria Falls accommodation provider that we are, we’ve taken the time to dig up some fascinating facts about our hearty visitors.
Here’s what we found out:
- The scientific name of the African elephant is Loxodonta africana. Loxodonta is Greek for ‘oblique-sided tooth’.
- The trunk of an elephant contains more than 40 000 muscles. It is an amalgamation of the upper lip and nose, and can sense the temperature, shape and size of objects.
- Elephants favour one tusk over the other, just as humans are either right or left-handed.
- An elephant spends approximately 16 hours a day eating as much as 150kg of leaves, grass, fruits, roots and twigs. They need to eat so much because they only digest about 40% of what they eat.
- Elephants are among a small list of mammals that can’t jump; this list also includes hippos, sloths and rhinos. However, unlike elephants, rhinos and hippos can have all four feet off the ground at the same time when running.
- The African elephant is the largest living land mammal, followed by the Asian Elephant, the White Rhinoceros, and the Hippopotamus. Make sure to be on the lookout for both White Rhinos and Hippos on your next Victoria Falls safari.
- A complex network of blood vessels in an elephant’s ear helps to control its body temperature. As they flap their ears on a hot day, blood is circulated through the veins, returning to the head and body around -12°C cooler.
- The elephant’s gestation period is the longest of all animals – a whopping 22 months from conception to birth!
- African elephants are highly intelligent; their brains are similar to that of a human’s in terms of structure and complexity. Grief, play, humour, compassion, altruism, memory, learning and mimicry are all behaviours displayed by these magnificent animals.
To find out more about African elephants, and where else to spot them in Victoria Falls, or to simply organise your next trip to this gorgeous town, email Ilala Lodge on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us directly on +263(13) 44737.
Image Credits: misquitos, Jason Wharam, Vince O’Sullivan, Vince O’Sullivan