Wildlife & Animals – Tembe Elephant Park

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip lives in South Africa and is the author many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Bradt and Insight guide to South Africa.

Philip lives in South Africa and is the author many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guide 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 abundant 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. The gracious nyala antelope is common and is particularly striking in the dappled light of the sand forest.

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

Wildlife Highlights

Wild dog have been re-introduced to Tembe, and they are regularly encountered. The small red duiker, a sand forest special, is common but shy and is usually seen crossing the road and then disappearing into the forest. The park is also home to the largest South African population of the tiny suni antelope.

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 well-known water sources because the bush has dried out.

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