TOKWE - The Matriarch

Tokwe is named after a river in Zimbabwe

Estimated date of birth is 1988


Tokwe is an extraordinary elephant. She was the leader of the original herd that was rescued from Zimbabwe, in 2002. Her presence and guidance was a big factor in the herd settling down so quickly in our care. They followed her lead, trusted her decisions and still do so to this day.

Tokwe was the first elephant to give birth, which was to Limpopo, in 2006. Her second baby, Pisa, was born in 2009. However, she also has three ‘adopted’ children; Jabulani, Kumbura and Timisa that have been introduced to the herd. We presume that Tokwe got impregnated for the first time by a wild bull as she went on an adventure away on her own from the elephant stables the one night, and then twenty-two months later Tokwe gave birth to Limpopo.

Lundi is her closest friend, almost like a sister, which stems from their time of comforting each other during the strenuous times in Zimbabwe.

Tokwe shares her stable space with all the youngsters mentioned above, as well as Fishan.


Tokwe embraces all the qualities of an exceptional matriarch. She is protective, caring, nurturing, kind, accepting, but also disciplined and well ordered. The Jabulani herd has followed her example since the beginning and she has never let them down. She leads by example and is a strong decision maker.

Her maternal instincts and nurturing qualities have been remarkable over the years, as was evident in the way she accepted Jabulani, Kumbura, Timisa, Shawu and Mopane to the herd. She has always reacted lovingly to an elephant needing a mother and a herd.


Tokwe has the most slender and pointed tusks of the herd. Her left tusk curves inwards slightly.

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