Spending a fun filled, educational morning in the heart of the Okavango Delta with three orphaned African elephants called Jabu, Thembi and Morula, will be something that will remain with you for a lifetime.  During your morning you will get the pleasure of meeting each of the three elephants on a one to one basis as well as seeing them interact as a herd. Being so close to these amazing animals you will learn everything you would want to know about them but more importantly you will get to touch, listen and smell them which will only enhance this amazing experience.

Founded in 1999 by Doug and Sandi Groves the Living with Elephants Foundation provides a safe and secure environment for the elephants. Together with much needed support they have made it their lifelong commitment to look after and learn from the herd. Doug and Sandi have provided the herd with a life as close to one of a wild elephant, foraging and playing in the wild during the day yet being kept safe in an enclosure during the evenings. 

Each of the three elephants have an individual personality which quickly becomes apparent when you are introduced to them one by one: 

Standing at just over 3 metres at the shoulder Jabu is the proud and handsome bull of the herd. Jabu is short for the Jabulani, which means happiness in Zulu and a true reflection of this magnificent elephant.  He is kind, playful, generous, big-hearted and dependable.  Out of the three elephants he is the most confident  and independent and provides Thembi and Morula a source of comfort.  A quick learner and always eager to please Jabu's eyes light up when it comes to learning something new. He has built up a solid trust with Doug and Sandi and is always eager to please.

Thembi is the smallest and the little sweetheart of the herd. Named after the Zulu word Thembigela meaning Trust, Thembi has learnt a few tricks to get her own way.  She loves being the centre of attention and is very smart and sociable.  Being the smallest in the group she does become concerned quickly when either of the other two elephants start to wander out of sight.  She has appointed herself as protector of the herd however being so boisterous quickly becomes overzealous in perceiving a threat or danger when none exists.  

When Morula joined Doug & Sandi she was not the elephant she is today. She had no confidence and was carrying a lot of baggage from her past, which lead to a variety of bad behaviour.  Morula spent most of her early days with Doug and Sandi venting her frustrations by tearing down any trees in her path.  With time and the great love that Doug and Sandi have for Morula, her lost personality started to emerge.  Now that she has rediscovered herself she is an elephant with a mild nature, great gentleness and a sense of belonging within the herd.

Meeting this herd will leave you with lifelong memories, whether it is taking Jabu for a walk with his trunk in your hand , Thembi's boisterous nature or a blink of Morula's long eye lashes you are certain never to forget this unique herd.

Have the opportunity to meet these three magnificent animals while staying at either Sanctuary Baines Camp or Sanctuary Stanley's Camp.


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Guest Testimonial

The final day in Cusco was outstanding and we do want to thank the really good guide Juan Carlos, who everybody said was exceptional. Please pass on all of our thanks to all concerned at every level for making this trip so spectacular.

- BM, Sussex

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Living With Elephants