Elephants Alive conducts research on Elephants throughout the APNR by collaring and tracking their movement. To read more about their work click here: Elephants Alive overview

Their assistance was invaluable during the 2018 relocation of the Elephant Bull at Ingwelala which was considered a Damage Causing Animal (DCA). Previous attempts to chase the Elephant away with a helicopter failed resulted in this relocation. To read more about this click here. 

APNR Elephant Identification


The guide features 30 of the known elephants we have been monitoring since 1996 when Dr Michelle Henley and her mother began the ID study. Over time, Michelle has come to know a great number of individual elephants and she has highlighted their distinguishing characteristics in this guide. We hope that this guide will help you identify some of the elephants you have encountered. On our website we have listed the Iconic bulls within the APNR.

If you would like to report any sightings, please send images, date and location to

If you would like to purchase our Guide to view more identified elephants please contact us at


Elephants Alive has developed an Elephant ID Guide featuring some of the iconic elephants found in the Greater Kruger. The guide has an identification database with photographs and drawings of unique features of over 2000 elephants. 

We identify individual elephants by their sex, ear patterns (tears, notches, holes) and the shape of their tusks. Monitoring individual elephants for nearly 25 years has given us insight into their social bonds, breeding behaviour and movements over time. Our research highlights the importance of older bulls in elephant society. Elephants revere their elders, relying on them as mentors that discipline younger bulls.

Elephants Alive has the longest and most consistent elephant tracking data in southern Africa having collared our first elephant in 1998, providing fundamental information for reserve managers in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.


Iconic elephants are mature and majestic bulls whose distinctive tusks have merited naming them.Elephants Alive monitors a number of large-tusked bulls, which are representative of a bygone era, before the upsurge in ivory poaching.


Elephants Alive: January to March 2020

Elephants Alive: October to December 2019

Elephants Alive: July to September 2019

Elephants Alive: April to June 2019

Elephants Alive: January to March 2019

Additional Reading