About Somopane


Named after areas where Mopane trees grow, Somopane was born in around 1987 and is part of the original herd that was rescued from Zimbabwe, during the country’s land reforms.

He is by far the most intelligent elephant of the herd and is very confident, and comfortable in his skin – he never seems to feel the need to prove himself to others. He enjoys time alone, especially when out foraging, and is an excellent mediator, often preventing the younger males from getting into fights.


With his strength in peacemaking, he played an importing and calming role in helping the entire herd to settle down, when they first arrived in South Africa. Through the years, Somopane has always been a respectful, warm, loving elephant. His smarts and a phenomenal sense of smell have made him the perfect tracker of the herd.

In terms of dominance, he is in the fourth position in the herd. He shares his stable area with Bubi and her daughter Zindoga. One of the taller elephants of the herd, Somopane has a slender body, less wrinkled skin, and a somewhat rounded forehead, with the thickest tusks of the herd, which are evenly levelled.