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Elephant Encounter

A gentle and heart-warming experience with these gentle giants

The elephant encounter in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

The elephant encounter allows an intimate and educational experience with the African Elephant

The Wild Horizons Elephant Sanctuary and Orphanage is home to several rescued and resident African Elephants that have been cared for, in Victoria Falls, for many years and were formerly used for the elephant back safari activity.

Here, guests have an opportunity to learn about the beginning of this vital conservation program, the guides that have journeyed with the elephants that they have cared for, and the stories of the elephants themselves.

The elephant encounter begins with a presentation on the orphanage and how it came to be. Guests will have an opportunity to have a conversation with the very people that care for the elephants each and every day. The guides will give insight into the way the herd interacts, interesting facts about elephants and how they came to be where they are today. Learn about the threats to the African elephant in the region.

Elephants in the water at an Elephant Encounter activity in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Pachyderms enjoying a mud bath

After the informative presentations, take a walk alongside these magnificent animals - an opportunity to interact with the elephant on a personal level. Observe their individual behaviour up close while marvelling at their massive sizes, see how they interact with each other, and note the special relationship which the elephants have with their keepers.

At the end of the interaction, you will be offered refreshments and eats at The Wallow, while you cool down enjoying a view of the Masuwe River and beyond.

Elephant Encounter - Our Opinion

The elephant back safari activity used to be very popular, however due to changing attitudes around the world, regarding human/animal interactions, the custodians of these elephant decided to withdraw the rides in favour of an "encounter". Elephants live to around 60 years old and even more in captivity, so the custodians, who rescued these animals in the first place, had to find a way to cover the enormous costs of sustaining these animals, now that the revenue from the rides had gone.

The elephant encounter became the way, and although it might not contain the excitement of sitting on the back of these enormous animals, it does still offer you the opportunity to get up close to these animals, look right into their eyes and get a waft of their pungent odour. You feel bonded to them. You get to learn about them and find out the real story behind this whole conservation initiative. If you at all interested or care about elephants, then we strongly recommend this activity.

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Available Elephant Encounter Trips

Morning trip - Pickup 6:30am/Drop-off 9:30am - Includes tea/coffee/soft drinks and breakfast
Late morning trip - Pickup 9am/Drop-off 12pm - Includes drinks/beer/wine/tea/coffee and hot and cold snacks
Afternoon trip - Pickup 3:30pm/Drop-off 6:30pm - Includes drinks/beer/wine/tea/coffee and hot and cold canapés

All Trips Include

• Return transportation from all major lodges and hotels to the activity.
• Refreshments and eats.


Age Restriction - 5 years min. All children 18 years and below require a legal guardian to sign an indemnity form.

What To Bring

• Wide-brimmed sun hat
• Comfortable walking shoes
• Sunscreen
• Binoculars
• Camera
• Booking voucher
• Insect repellent
• Conservation Fee of US$10 per person

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Customer Feedback

Brilliant service and so helpful
by Sally (Blisworth, U.K.)
I stumbled across Victoria Fall Guide by accident, but I am so glad I did. Tony and Boo were so helpful, advising us on the best activities for us as I have mobility issues, and arranging our itinerary and booking everything. I had no worries about using them, or sending a very large payment to someone I didn’t know. Everything they booked for us was so well organised, pick ups on time, knowledgeable and friendly guides, clean transport. We did the walking tour of the falls, the sunset dinner cruise, full day at Chobe, the team, lion encounter and the helicopter and every single one was faultless. We were also due to do the lunar rainbow but unfortunately it was cancelled, however boo arranged the refund immediately. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone. We are so grateful to them for making our special holiday even more so.

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