The Best 15 Documentaries About Elephants

Aug 3, 2023 | Animals, Best Of

This uplifting documentary takes viewers on a journey through the wilds of Africa, following the lives of two elephants and their families as they traverse landscapes both lush and dangerous. The stunning cinematography captures the majesty and grace of these remarkable creatures, providing an unforgettable glimpse into their world.

1. Life of African Elephants

Take a journey on the wild side and explore Africa’s majestic elephants! In this remarkable documentary, you’ll get to know these gentle giants as they roam freely in their natural habitats. From the savannas to the dense forests, you’ll witness their incredible strength, intelligence, and beauty.


2. Elephants On The Run

Elephants have an incredible connection to their natural environment. For centuries, these majestic creatures have roamed the grounds of Kilimanjaro without issue. But times are changing and the pathways they use to safely traverse through the area are quickly disappearing due to more farming practices being implemented by landowners who want to protect their property from the migrating herds.


3. Elephant-King Of The Kalahari

The beautiful landscape of Kilimanjaro is a home to many elephants who have lived peacefully over the centuries. Unfortunately, land for farming has taken away the pathways these animals used to travel on and caused them to become isolated from their natural habitats. Without access to safe ground, more and more elephants are becoming prey to lethal traps set by farmers in order to protect their land. Although, some of the elephants are fortunate enough to be treated by bush vets, many go unnoticed and unfortunately suffer fatal injuries as a result. It is becoming increasingly difficult for these majestic creatures to survive in the wild unless proper measures are taken to protect them and their habitats.


4. Elephants Survive in the World’s Most Hostile Desert

Namibia is home to one of the most hostile deserts in the world. A valley named Hoanib, however, teems with life–life that has adapted to survive in such a dry environment. At the heart of this ecosystem are its elephant inhabitants, creatures who have become uniquely accustomed to the many privations of their existence. Lead by their alpha cow, Clarissa, these elephants must endure long treks in search of food and water–in many cases, a journey with no guarantees of success. Even the elderly bulls are not immune to the difficult times: One Tusk is too old and weak to partake in his family’s migratory movement. Meanwhile, young Maya faces an uncertain future if she doesn’t find her next.


5. First year of life Happy Baby Elephant

National Geographic is a portal to the world as we know it, and beyond. As the ultimate authority on science, exploration, and adventure, Nat Geo takes us closer than ever to captivating stories that shape our understanding of our planet. Through their world-class journalists, photographers, filmmakers, and scientists, they deliver incredible insight into the complexities of our natural environment.


6. Interesting Facts About Elephants

Elephants are truly remarkable animals. Their massive size and incredible strength never fail to mesmerize us. But have you ever wondered how long it takes for a female elephant to become pregnant and give birth? Or how big a baby elephant is when it’s first born? Let’s delve into some fascinating facts about these gentle giants.


7. Life of Elephants

Africa is home to some of the most impressive and magnificent mammals in the world. From elusive leopards and gazelle-like bongo, to majestic elephants that can reach heights of up to 10 feet tall at their shoulders – this continent has it all. The largest land mammal in the world, the savannah elephant, can weigh as much as 12,000 pounds, while the smaller forest elephant is only around 10,000 pounds. Both species have unique characteristics; savannah elephants have large curved tusks in contrast to their counterparts’ smaller and straighter ones that are designed for navigating through dense foliage.


8. Elephants – Back to the Wild

In this captivating documentary, viewers are taken on an unforgettable journey as we follow a two-year-old orphan elephant through his release program. We witness his growth and development over the course of one year, as he is reintroduced into the wild and takes his first steps with his herd in David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s breeding and rehabilitation station.


9. Newborn Elephant -Kruger National Park

We were lucky enough to experience a beautiful event while staying at Balule Camp, Kruger National Park in October 2018. What we witnessed was an incredible newborn calf being welcomed into the herd with unconditional love and care – a sight rarely seen by humans! We managed to catch this momentous occasion on video, from the very first three hours of the little bull’s life as he learnt to stand, take his first steps and flap his ears while being guided by his devoted mother. The herd had been wandering around the camp prior to this event, but all of a sudden there were loud trumpeting sounds that pulled us towards the fence where we witnessed the tiny miracle being born.


10. Incredible Motherly Love

We ventured through the protected game reserves of Tanzania, searching for abundant wildlife. We were treated to an amazing sight when a baby elephant was pushed into the water by another and its mother came to its rescue, pulling it out with great care. Following this incredible display of devotion, we watched in awe as the sun set over the savannah, painting the sky in deep oranges and pinks.


11. Stubborn baby elephant at Pete’s Pond

The majestic African elephant is a truly incredible animal. From their long trunks to their enormous ears, these gentle giants possess an aura of power that commands respect. Watching them in the wild can be a humbling and awe-inspiring experience. Each elephant has unique characteristics and personalities that are on full display as they interact with each other in their herds.


12. Baby Elephants Walk from Birth

Can baby elephants stand up and walk just moments after being born? This is a question that many elephant admirers often find themselves pondering. Generally, newborn elephants have difficulty standing up in the first few moments of their lives. However, with plenty of help from the matriarchal herd members, they are usually on their feet shortly after entering the world. Immediately following birth, a newborn elephant is typically covered in an amniotic membrane that their mother and other female herd members promptly remove. Momma elephant then works to clean her precious calf before pulling it close to drink from her milk. With lots of patience and assistance from the herd, these wee little ones eventually find their footing and begin taking wobbly steps into the world.


13. The Family that Lives with Elephants

Iain Douglas-Hamilton’s extraordinary conservation and zoology work has saved some of Africa’s most beloved species, including the African elephant. Through five years of research and study in the picturesque Lake Manyara National Park, he was able to create successful solutions for overcrowding within the reserve. He then made it his mission to spread awareness beyond Africa, such as to Thailand.


14. Elephants Being Elephants

Remember, elephants never forget! These majestic creatures have the capacity to express grief and joy, as well as communicate through vibrations. Mukwano is a young elephant living in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park who has grown up under the care of an iconic matriarch called Matriarch. A beloved figure among locals, Matriarch has been with the park’s ecosystem for more than 25 years, imparting her wisdom and knowledge to other animals and Mukwano.


15. Borneos Pygmy Elephants

For years, Bert Dausip had been on a mission to uncover the truth about Borneo’s pygmy forest elephants. His daily excursions deep into the jungle revealed astonishing close up encounters with these unique creatures. As his observations mounted, it became clear that these animals were not derived from domesticated Asian elephants as once thought .


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David B