The Desert Adapted Elephants of Damaraland: Namibia’s Gentle Giants

All elephants are special, but if you have been lucky enough to witness the desert adapted elephants of Damaraland, you will understand just how special Namibia’s gentle giant really are.

A species that has adapted over the years to the harsh conditions of the semi-desert environment in which they live, Namibia’s desert adapted elephants are almost identical to other African elephant species, but they are slightly smaller, have proportionally longer legs, and larger feet that allow them to cross the endless sand dunes that lead the way to the sparse water supplies that they so desperately need.

Surviving on nothing more than moisture-rich vegetation found in ephemeral riverbeds, the desert adapted elephants of Damaraland are surprisingly resilient, often going several days without water as they seek out new pastures in one of the driest environments on planet earth.

During our recent self-drive holiday Namibia, we were lucky enough to encounter the desert adapted elephants of Damaraland as they made their way to one of the few perennial water holes. Here’s what our experience looked like…


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