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Elephant Pictures

Elephant pictures where one of these gigantic animals is charging the camera may look exciting but I wouldn't recommend being the one behind the lens. There are far easier and safer ways to get pictures of elephants on safari.

It's only when you are on foot close to one of these animals that you realise just how massive they actually are. I had the opportunity at the Okavango Swamp in Botswana to creep within a few metres of two cows and take some elephant photos.

And I have been charged by a bull in the Kruger National Park but fortunately I was in a vehicle so all I had to do was press the accelerator. FAST!!!

But even though they are the animal that commands the most respect from rangers when they meet them on foot especially if they have a baby elephant with them, they make excellent subjects for photography.

How to Get the Best Elephant Pictures

I've photographed them all over Africa and because they are relatively numerous you can afford to experiment a little photographically unlike a leopard where you have to take what you get because you might not get another chance.

So once you have taken the obligatory full body elephant picture shot try zooming in (hopefully your camera allows this) for close ups of this fascinating animal. The tip of a trunk, an eye, the veins on the colossal ears, the wrinkled skin on their flanks or the nails on the front of their feet.

Because of their size these close ups tend to work really well and it gives a different perspective from the everyday "elephant towering above the savannah" images.

Also, if you are lucky enough to find them at a waterhole or river get your camera out because you are in for a photographic treat. Elephants love water and they tend to come alive when they are in or around it. You will rarely be disappointed and surely come away with some very unique and interesting elephant pictures.

To improve your elephant pictures, get a free copy of my "Better Safari Photography" e-book where I share over 25 years of my safari wildlife photographic knowledge, experience, tips and advice.

Elephant Safari

Wrestling in the water
Water Wrestling Match

Fortunately the elephant population in Africa is growing nicely and you will be able to see large herds in most of the national parks to get your photographs. Addo reserve in South Africa is a great place to see them...

Baby Elephant

Baby Elephant Picture
Big Ears

Elephants are very protective over their babies so if you do happen to come across mother and baby, be very careful and watch the body language. Flapping ears and trumpeting is a signal you shouldn't ignore...

Elephant Information

Elephant Family
Elephant Family

Apart from their fascinating appearance and size, elephants have some remarkable aspects to their lives like the fact that they communicate with each other by means of low frequency tummy rumbles...

Elephant Trunk

Elephant Trunk
Multipurpose Trunk

The amazing appendage that elephants use to do just about everything may look a little strange at first but it is a wonder of engineering and can do some rather incredible things. It is so sensitive that they are able to pick up a pencil with the tip of their trunk...

Elephant Mating

elephant mating video
A Morning Swim

Usually an elephant couple will retreat away from the herd to mate. It does however sometimes happen in the water, among other herd members, as shown in this video...

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