Our story with elephants starts nearly 30 years ago in Zimbabwe when Rory Hensman was given "unmanageable" elephants to train. Since then, more than 30 elephants have been rescued and trained for educational purposes in the name of conservation. We have also loved and cared for countless other animals like warthogs, kudu and steenbok to name but a few. Today we care for 7 elephants, 3 females, 2 males and our two little babies Bela and Zambezi, at Adventures with Elephants.
Our training methods are a combination of verbal commands and praise, body language and aids, targeting, clickers and of course food rewards. All our training is carried out with the utmost respect for our charges. Just like a happy cow will produce more and better quality milk, a happy elephant will help us show him/her off to our guests.
Keeping our elephants healthy, happy and stimulated is an absolute priority for us at AWE and we work continuously on building and keeping trust and rapport between us and our charges. When not interacting with the public the elephants are left to be elephants on our 300ha game reserve where they can free range feed, play, or bathe. Besides making sure they exercise regularly, and are well fed and watered, we use daily training and props like balls to keep them mentally agile and used to small things around their feet.
We supplement their diets with Bana grass, oats and lucerne, game pellets, fruit and vegetables during the year and conduct daily health checks. They sleep in large stables where they are monitored, protected and fed throughout the night.