Greenway Woods, situated on the outskirts of White River is not only the perfect place to stay in White River, but it is also close to many of the Lowveld’s sterling attractions.
It’s undeniable that Elephants are the most majestic animals. While visiting White River it would be worth your while to take a trip to Hazyview and visit the sanctuary, Elephant Whispers. Elephant Whispers opened in December 2007 and has quickly become the place to go if you want to interact with these intelligent gentle giants.
Feeding, riding and walking with the elephants are the most exciting activities to enjoy.
At Elephant Whispers you will have a choice of different activities that you can do with the elephants. You will get the opportunity to actually touch an elephant, feeling the texture of the wrinkled skin on their bodies to feeling the unique silky skin under their ears. You will be given pellets that the elephants love, and be able to feed them as they curiously come up to you. When feeding them, you can even massage the elephant’s tongue.
Guests are able to spend the morning taking a walk through the bush with an elephant as it goes about its daily feeding routine. Groups of six elephants will happily take you on their back for a stroll through the bush. Experienced elephant handlers will saddle up the elephants and stay with you as you experience this laid back meander. At any time during the walk, you can get off the elephant and walk with them.
Facts about Elephants
Elephants have a female as the head for the family. Most elephant herds have up to 25 family members. Their hierarchy is usually based on age and experience, the older the elephant the more influence it has in the herd. Male elephants usually stay in their family herd until their teens (8-15 years) after which they leave the herd in search of females and start their own families.
Elephants can usually get away with only four hours of sleep a night, usually standing upright. They do however lie down and even snore when they take a deep sleep.
These gentle giants are capable of great emotion. When one of their relatives die, elephants are known to mourn the deceased. They become silent and take their time moving around the elephant. They are also known to cover the dead relative with leaves or soil.
As big as elephants are, they are scared of bees and ants.
Adult elephants have a brain that weighs about five kilograms, so it’s no surprise they are intelligent animals. They can store information in their brains for years, even remembering individuals that they have not seen for many years.
Like us, elephants enjoy a good shower. Their trunks are used to spray water or sand over their bodies. This is said to remove and prevent parasites. Sand is also put on the backs as a form of sunscreen, as they do get sunburnt.
Elephants communicate in their own special way. They express joy at the meeting of a familiar elephant by gently flapping their ears. They also like to rub their bodies together as a way of greeting. They also make a low rumbling sound when they greet one another.
Elephant females are only fertile for a few days a year. Their pregnancies are 22 months.
Despite their size, elephants are able to swim and are actually good swimmers. They use their trunks as a snorkel if the river is very deep.