Buffelsdrift Elephant Bush Walk, Western Cape - South Africa | Hotspots2c
Tour
Edu Group
Private
Select Group
Small Group
Tailor Made

Transport
Mini-coach
Mini-coach / SUV
Suv

Tempo
Medium pace
Packed pace
Relaxed pace

Departure
Scheduled to go
Ask us
Minimums required
show results
Theme
Luxe Bush Escapes
Explore Like a Local
Family Fun
Eco Glamping
Fynbos & Flowers
South Africa
Tailor Made Tours
Adrenaline
Foodie Flavours
Edu Travel
Deals & Specials
Victoria Falls
Close to Nature
Beach Bliss
Cape of Wine
Cape Town
Private Tours
Small Group Tours
Garden Route
Love South Africa
Select Luxury Tours
Whale.. hello there
show results
Stay
Backpackers
Guest House
Hotel
Lodge
Tented Lodge

Rating
Comfort
Cost Saver
Deluxe
Superior
show results

Elephant Bush Walk

add to wish list

Duration of activity
± 30 min
Tailor Made Tours
Go Wild on Safari
Garden Route
Love South Africa

Why You’ll Love It

Meet three orphaned African elephants with suitably tribal names: Bulelo meaning Thank you, Jabari aka Powerful and Malaika aka Angel. Their parents were poached in the Kruger National Park, and in efforts to keep this family together; the herd was hand-reared and now roam in the vast Cango Valley at the Buffelsdrift Private Game Reserve. Every morning and late afternoon, they eagerly report to the waterhole to walk knee-cap-to-shoulder alongside their human parent caregivers. Visitors are welcome to join and experience these loveable creatures’ caring nature in the wild Karoo setting from a reasonable distance.

This is not your average walk-in-the-park… This Elephant Bush Walk activity is a unique way to observe the world’s biggest land mammal as would-be naturalists leisurely stroll with the gentle giants.

At Buffelsdrift Game Lodge, conservation is one of the key components that they strive for, with sustainability being the main focus. These three elephants were orphaned when their parents were killed in the Kruger National Park and have not been taken from the wild for captivity. Buffelsdrift Game Lodge took them in as their land was big enough to keep the animals together and they've now also become a part of the Buffelsdrift Family. If Buffelsdrift did not intervene, these elephants might not have been this lucky.  Raising an elephant is hard work and takes a lot of time and funding. The calves drink about 3 gallons of milk every 4 hours. Calves are very attached to their mother during early stages, but under the circumstances, Joseph Maseko (Head Guide) acted as their mother/father. He raised them from their baby stages, even slept with them at night; and now standing at 3,5m tall, these giants are 16+ years old weighing in at 3 tonnes! Time flies when you're having fun. 
 
In order to keep the elephants occupied and happy a command-reward system is followed. For each command successfully done, the elephant receives a reward; a snack or a verbal appraisal by the professionally trained elephant handlers. No tricks are done with the elephants; these 'commands' only refer to the option to direct these gentle giants’ behaviour when required.  Buffelsdrift does not practice traditional Asian Elephant training methods. The elephants do not undergo any form of abuse, cruelty or corporal punishment and are only instructed by positive reinforcement which strengthens bonds and relationships with elephant and handler. The lovable creatures are affectionate, love the attention and reach out to interact occasionally. 
 
The elephants start their daily routine with a walk along the nearby waterhole and also visits again in the late afternoon for a splash and play in the water. This is where you join them during their usual walk.  This animal-friendly experience between human and elephant is only of an educational nature and aims to be as natural as possible.

MAP

TOURS THAT MAY VISIT THIS SPOT

popular
safari gardenroute 2daywildlife
add to list
Wildlife + Safari
Packed pace
2 Days
from R3,200
Eco Glamping
Fynbos & Flowers
South Africa
Close to Nature
Go Wild on Safari
Small Group Tours
Garden Route
Small Group
    view trip
top tour
addo national park hotspots2c tours2
add to list
Garden Route + Addo
5 Days
from R6,600
Explore Like a Local
South Africa
Adrenaline
Beach Bliss
Go Wild on Safari
Small Group Tours
Garden Route
Love South Africa
Small Group
    view trip
popular
guided game drive hotspots 4x4
add to list
Garden Route + Safari
Packed pace
3 Days
from R4,200
Explore Like a Local
South Africa
Close to Nature
Go Wild on Safari
Small Group Tours
Garden Route
Small Group
    view trip
save 7%
franschhoekvalley hotspots2c
add to list
Garden Route + Winelands Combo
7 Days
R9,100
from R8,463
South Africa
Adrenaline
Foodie Flavours
Deals & Specials
Close to Nature
Beach Bliss
Cape of Wine
Small Group Tours
Garden Route
Small Group
    view trip
save 7%
capepoint 2 penguins tour
add to list
Garden Route + Wow Combo
8 Days
R10,200
from R9,486
Explore Like a Local
South Africa
Deals & Specials
Cape of Wine
Small Group Tours
Garden Route
Small Group
    view trip
save 10%
10 day combo hotspots2c tablemountain capetown tours
add to list
Cape Town + Garden Route Combo
10 Days
R14,700
from R13,230
Explore Like a Local
South Africa
Adrenaline
Deals & Specials
Cape of Wine
Cape Town
Go Wild on Safari
Small Group Tours
Garden Route
Small Group
    view trip
safari drive gardenroute tour
add to list
Fun Along the Garden Route
3 Days
from ?
Explore Like a Local
South Africa
Edu Travel
Beach Bliss
Edu Group
    view trip
follow footsteps giants hotspots2c addo tour
add to list
In the Footsteps of Giants
5 Days
from ?
Beach Villa
South Africa
Adrenaline
Private Tours
Private
    view trip
Gardenroute Walking forest
add to list
Garden Route Tailor Made
Relaxed pace
Multi Day
from R7,600
Explore Like a Local
Family Fun
South Africa
Tailor Made Tours
Garden Route
Love South Africa
Tailor Made
    view trip

Know Before You Go

 what to expect

 

South Africa

  

11 official Languages Spoken

Afrikaans – English – isiNdebele – Sepedi.– Sesotho – Siswati – Xitsonga – Setswana – Tshivenda – isiXhosa

How to say hello?

Molo – Xhosa

Sawubona - Zulu

Hallo - Afrikaans

Dumela - SeSotho

 

Electricity – Volt & plug

The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ. Most plugs are 15 amp 3-prong or 5 amp 2-prong, with round pins.

Measurements 

Metric System

 

WiFi/Internet Access on tour 

WiFi can be found at most accommodations, restaurants and airports, however, the download speed is often slow and many connections limit your data usage. In short, you’ll be able to stay connected with home, but don't expect to watch HD movies in your spare time.

 

When to go

South Africa is blessed with a mostly mild climate, but different areas will yield different temperatures throughout the year. Summer in South Africa is usually peak season, lasting between November – February, however Easter time (March) is often still considered peak season too. Temperatures range from 25ºC in coastal areas to high 30ºs in inland areas. Cape Town has ideal weather during this time and Durban sports warm beaches and humid air, Johannesburg experiences hot clear days and often an afternoon thunderstorm.

Shoulder season is April and May, as well as September and October. Surprisingly, the weather in Durban is often at its best during this time, and other areas simmer down from their scorching highs. Prices are lower and crowds are smaller. September and October see eruptions of flowers and blooms all around the country.

Winter is beautiful in most parts of the country. Cape Town experiences winter rain and is often a little cold and miserable, but still crisp and beautiful. Because of the warm Indian Ocean, Durban has spectacular weather in winter, often hovering around 20-25ºC with clear blue skies. Inland areas get quite chilly and the odd snowfall is not uncommon (it only lasts for a day though!). Prices are at an all time low and it is an ideal time for game viewing, as the animals are more active in the cooler weather. 

Best time to go

Jun-Jul = Safari 

Jan-Feb = Beach 

 

Public Holidays

With the possible exception of Christmas Day and New Year's Day, most tourist services and attractions are open on South African public holidays. In addition most city shopping centres, restaurants and entertainment venues remain open.

1 Jan   New Year's Day
21 Mar   Human Rights Day
30 Mar   Good Friday
2 Apr   Family Day
27 Apr   Freedom Day
1 May   Workers' Day
16 Jun   Youth Day
9 Aug   National Women's Day
24 Sep   Heritage Day
16 Dec   Day of Reconciliation
17 Dec   Day of Reconciliation Holiday
25 Dec   Christmas Day
26 Dec   Day of Goodwill

 

Visa & Travel docs

Travellers from most Commonwealth countries (excluding New Zealand), most Western European nations, Japan and the USA receive a free, 90-day visitor's permit on arrival. These travellers do not need a visa to enter South Africa. A valid passport is essential with at least two empty pages. You generally will need to show return or onward travel arrangements. Children aged under 18 must show an unabridged birth certificate (showing both parents details).

Some countries do, however, need a visa. Visas are not issued upon entry, they must be attained beforehand. It is advised that you clarify this before you leave, the Department of Home Affairs office has a comprehensive list of countries that do not require visas. http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/exempt-countries

 

What to pack

We're generally laid back in South Africa, so no need to haul out your best silks and diamonds when you head to our shores. Here's some clothing advice when in South Africa:

  • For the summers, bring clothes that are cool and comfortable, along with an umbrella or rain jacket, as this is when most of the country gets rain. A light jacket or wrap is a good precaution. Don't forget a swimming costume.
  • The winters are generally mild, comparing favourably with European summers. But we do get some days when temperatures plummet, especially in high-lying areas such as the Drakensberg (some nights go below 0ºC), so be prepared with jerseys and jackets. If you are going to the Cape, rain gear will be needed in this season (your average here will be between 10-20ºC).
  • Always bring a hat - the sun can be strong even in the winter months. Make sunglasses, a hat and sunblock a firm part of your skin care kit.
  • Walking shoes are a good idea all year-round, with warm socks in the winter.
  • For game viewing, a couple of neutral-toned items will be useful, but there's no need to go overboard and kit yourself out like David Livingstone, out to explore Africa for the first time.
  • For the evening, if you are dining at an upmarket restaurant or seeing a show, go the smart-casual route. If you are simply going out to get a bite to eat, a general “no shirt, no shoes - no service” rule applies, so as long as you are fully clad, your attire should not be an issue.
  • When travelling with Hotspots2c we encourage reasonably sized bags for multi-day tours and we are able to accommodate bags that are on average under 20kgs. For one and two day tours, a light backpack is encouraged. 

  

Health & Safety

There are no compulsory vaccinations required to enter South Africa with exception of a yellow fever vaccination if you have been in a yellow fever area within the last 12 months.

The only major health risk you might face in South Africa is malaria, which is confined to small areas in the north-eastern parts of the country. Small pockets of the northern parts of the Kruger National Park fall under this area but the risk here is considered extremely low and it is not always necessary to take anti-malaria tablets. Remember as a precautionary measure to check with your accommodation what is recommended.

South Africa may have high crime statistics, but if you conduct yourself wisely, most tourists enjoy the country without any incident at all. Ensure that you lock away your passports and travel documents in a safe, which is usually provided by your accommodation. Don't flash around valuables and keep an eye on your belongings at all time. Majority of South Africa’s crime is opportunistic petty crime, so if you are vigilant about your belongings you should not have any problem.

 

Getting Around 

South Africa has 3 world-class airports that receive international flights every day; Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Most international airlines will have flights into one or all of these airports daily.

There are numerous budget carriers that offer domestic flights between the major cities for very reasonable rates; this is the fastest and safest way to span large distances, especially between Johannesburg and Cape Town, which is a 2-hour flight.

From the airports there are numerous shuttles and taxis that you can pick up upon arrival, there are also many different car hire options at each airport and in all major cities. Uber is another reliable and affordable option.

 

Money 

Our currency in South Africa is the South African Rand. You can easily convert your currency to rand at a bank or Forex Bureau, the airports and larger towns often have many different Forex options. You can also withdraw from an ATM, banks are available throughout South Africa. Be sure to check what international bank charges you will incur for withdrawals before you arrive. Major credit cards are usually accepted in hotels or restaurants, however, there may be a surcharge. It is advisable to have small amounts of cash for curios and tipping. 

Tipping

  • Restaurants and Bars - Tipping in restaurants is the norm and is customarily kept at 10% of the total shown on the bill. Many restaurants will add a 10% service charge to a bill if the number of guests exceeds six or ten.
  • Petrol Stations and Car Parking - Petrol station attendants may be tipped a few Rands if they wash the windscreen, and offer to check oil and water and the tyres. Car-guards or parking-attendants are usually given R2 - R5. Car parks and areas around many popular tourist spots are populated by locals in day-glo yellow vests who offer to direct you to a space or to "look after your car for you." They are not threatening and you do not have to pay them, but giving them a few Rands may stop them from turning to petty crime. Cape Town has recently instituted a more formal parking attendant system in the downtown area, where uniformed attendants with handheld machines take payment for parking.
  • Tour Guides and Drivers – Tipping on tour is neither expected nor compulsory, However, should you wish to tip, the recommended tip is usually R10 per person on a day tour and R15 per person per day on multi-day tours. For private tours, R50 per person per half-day tour and R80 per person per day for a full-day tour is the norm.
  • Hotels - At hotels you may choose to leave money for housekeeping, this is often between R10-R50 per person per day but is in no way compulsory. It can also be done at the end of your stay
Filters