Wildlife & Animals – Tembe Elephant Park

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip is the author of many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip is the author of the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Tembe's claim to fame is its population of giant elephant with enormous tusks. Elephants are very common in the park, and the other Big Five animals are present as well. However, checking off the Big Five is not the focus here, and you will probably leave without seeing all of them.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
ElephantCommon
GiraffeCommon
HippoCommon
BuffaloCommon
ZebraCommon
LionOccasional
LeopardOccasional
CheetahOccasional
HyenaOccasional

Wildlife Highlights

Wild dog have been re-introduced to Tembe. The gracious nyala is the most common antelope here and the red duiker, a sand forest special, is common but shy. The park is also home to the largest South African population of the tiny suni antelope. It is one if the few places in the country where the pretty samango monkey is regularly seen.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Tembe's best time for wildlife viewing is during the driest part of the year (June through September) and in particular from August to September. The temperatures are a bit higher in August and September, and animals gather around remaining water sources because the bush has dried out.

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