Video: A river of elephants in Ruaha

Written by: Emily Liebchen

All day we’d seen elephants going in the same direction and then we came across a massive herd making their way down to the river in Ruaha National Park. There must have been over 100.


It was a family safari, with Sven guiding it, so there were kids in the car. Everyone was very excited to see them up close, and for the ellies to be so relaxed about us being there. This was lucky, as Sven had no choice but to turn the engine off and just wait for them to pass, trying to keep everyone in the vehicle as quiet as possible. You never really know how it will go down when you have elephants all around you.

Watch this incredible video of the sighting here:

Later that day we had another herd passing through camp, also heading in the same direction. Elephants are known to congregate together spontaneously and, especially in Ruaha (if you have good safari karma) you can see big gatherings of several hundred elephant. Often an old bull will remain up on the river bank greeting all the families as they arrive, and then the whole riverbed is covered with elephants. Sub-adults practice their mock fighting, babies play in small waterholes in the sandy river beds, and there is a lot of mud bathing. While you can’t hear anything, you can almost imagine the gossiping and chats that are going on! It is a very moving experience.

Adventure Camps

Adventure Camps has three fixed camps in the southern wilderness of Tanzania, as well as the only mobile safari and overland transfer operation in the area, who can take you where no-one else can go. We offer a genuine safari experience with few frills but rustic comfort.

  • Flo Montgomery

    This video was taken by Sven Liebchen of Authentic Tanzania Safaris – thought I should give him the credit! Its such a cool movie, the way the elephants filter past the car so placidly and yet this was taken in one of the wildest conservation areas in Africa – the Ruaha National Park in Tanzania.

    • Angus Begg

      spent a night there en route to katavi about 5 yrs ago – loved it ! Still owned by the Fox family?

      • Flo Montgomery

        Hi Angus – Happy New Year! Some great pix appearing everywhere to celebrate.
        This film was taken by the Authentic Tanzania team when out on a game drive near their mobile camp in Ruaha – they have another in Selous, and the rest of the time set up mobile camps in all sorts of wilderness areas, including Katavi.
        The Foxes own some great camps in Ruaha – Ruaha River Lodge, the first they started; also Selous – Rufiji River camp; also two in Mikumi and one on the coast near Bagamoyo. But no connection with Authentic Tanzania, who are purely mobile safaris and transfers.

        • Angus Begg

          Thanks for the info Flo and happy new year to you too, please forgive my forgetfulness yesterday 🙂 I travelled vias a few of the Fox camps, and also remember the folks’ spot near…Mufindi (?) in the central highlands. They had great tales of their walk from there to Ruaha, porters in tow, when they first located their campsite. My bus trip to Dar from the highlands was also interesting 🙂
          If you’re involved with Authentic Tanzania, I would dearly like to return to produce multimedia editorial and marketing content on wild Tanzania – podcasts, smartphone tv clips and excellent writing (commendations say so!) and photography. If you’re simply a traveller, an africa-enthusiast, im glad you found Ruaha.

          • Flo Montgomery

            Hi Angus,
            yes the Foxes are great – you are thinking of Mufindi where they started from.
            I am representing Adventure Camps of Tanzana – you can see the info below, if you go to our website you can then contact me and we can chat. I’m also on Facebook.

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