Village of Elephants

Village of Elephants

Elephants along the Sangha River spend time at the Dzanga Bai, or "village of elephants," a huge clearing in the rainforest. The elephants go there for a very specific reason—watch this video to learn what it is.


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Biology, Earth Science, Geography, Physical Geography

Nat Geo WILD

Groups of mysterious forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) live along the Sangha River, part of Dzanga Ndoki National Park in the Central African Republic. These forest elephants spend time in a huge clearing called the Dzanga Bai, or “village of elephants.” Elephants visit Dzanga Bai for a specific reason. Watch this video, from the Nat Geo WILD program “Destination Wild,” to learn why and answer the short questions in the Questions tab. Then, read the Fast Facts tab to understand how forest elephants are distinct from bush elephants.

Fast Fact

There are three living species of elephants—the Asian elephant, the bush elephant, and the forest elephant. Both forest elephants and bush elephants live in sub-Saharan Africa.

Fast Fact

Forest elephants live in the humid rain forest. Bush elephants live in and around the grassy savanna.

Fast Fact

The tusks of forest elephants are usually straight, which keeps them from getting tangled in the dense underbrush of the rain forest. The tusks of bush elephants are slightly curved.

Fast Fact

Forest elephants are usually smaller than bush elephants. An adult male forest elephant rarely exceeds about 2.5 meters (8 feet) tall and weighs about 2.7 tons (5,950 pounds). An adult male bush elephant stands about 3 meters (10.8 feet) tall and weighs about 5.5 tons (12,130 pounds).

Fast Fact

Forest elephants usually have darker skin than bush elephants.

Fast Fact

The ears of a forest elephant are usually a little rounder than the ears of a bush elephant.

Fast Fact

The forest elephant has five toenails on its front feet and four toenails on its hind feet. The bush elephant has four on its front feet and three on its hind feet.

Media Credits

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National Geographic Society
Melissa MacPhee, National Geographic Society
Jessica Shea, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Last Updated

January 2, 2024

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