Here are some of the differences between African and Indian elephants, since this question always comes up whilst on safari.

African elephant –  Loxodonta africana

  • Back more or less concave and saddle shaped
  • Ears enormous and when extended cover the shoulders
  • Forehead rounded and sloping
  • Trunk with two pointed projections at the upper and lower parts of the tip of the trunk
  • Tusks large and developed in both sexes
  • Bulkier and taller at the shoulder than the Indian species

Indian Elephant – Elephas maximus

  • Back convex and steeply sloping
  • Ears small, triangular and do not cover the shoulders
  • Forehead has prominent bulges above the eyes
  • Trunk has only one upper projection at the tip
  • Tusks small and usually only visible in the male
  • Obviously smaller than its African counterpart

Dean Robinson

Senior ranger

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