Iconic to Africa are the Majestic African Elephants
Africa is home to two species of elephants: the African Savanna Bush elephant and the African forest elephant. These majestic animals are an iconic part of Africa’s natural heritage and play a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance of their respective habitats.
Africa’s elephants still face severe threats like illegal hunting for ivory and meat, habitat loss and degradation, and human-elephant conflict. As with most wild animals, humans need to prioritise the conservation of the world’s elephants and their habitats.
Photograph © Tere Abumohor
Photograph © Cameron Clements
In and around areas like the Kruger National Park, the issue of elephant management is highly debated. It has become a controversial issue, as some argue that in these specific areas, there are too many elephants.
“Elephants are our ecological engineers; they play a vital role in maintaining our landscape. In an ideal world, we’d like to lean into the trans frontier parks initiative where they are dropping fences, as they’ve done between Pridelands and Balule. A lot of research still needs to be done to see how all these things affect the elephants,” said David Havemann, EcoTraining Training Manager.
As the space battle is fast becoming one of the biggest challenges for both elephants and humans, the translocations of elephants in areas like the Kruger National Park are becoming one of the most effective solutions to safeguarding elephant populations and protecting the needs of surrounding communities.
Elephants in the riverbed
Photograph © Marno de Klerk
“At EcoTraining, we are committed to giving our students a deeper understanding of the natural world. We ensure that our students know animals like elephants are classed as keystone species and play a crucial role in preserving and maintaining the biodiversity of the ecosystems they inhabit. It is up to all of us to find creative solutions to minimise human-elephant conflict and promote peaceful coexistence,” said EcoTraining Managing Director Anton Lategan.
What can we do?
1. Raise Awareness
Starting a course with an organisation like EcoTraining is a great way to educate yourself and others about elephants’ challenges and the importance of their conservation. Another way of doing this is by sharing credible information on social media.
2. Promote Responsible Tourism
If you plan to visit regions where elephants live, choose responsible tour operators that prioritise the well-being of elephants and the conservation of their natural habitats.
Photograph © Christoff Els
Photograph © Tayla McCurdy
3. Engage with Local Communities
Support projects that involve local communities in conservation efforts. Encouraging sustainable livelihoods and offering alternative sources of income can reduce the dependence on activities that are harmful to elephants.
4. Combat the Illegal Wildlife Trade
Report any illegal wildlife activities to authorities or relevant organisations—support measures to combat the illegal trade in elephant ivory and other elephant parts.
By working together, we can all significantly impact the conservation of the elephant population and other endangered animal species.
Swimming with Elephants | Pridelands Camp
Have you ever seen elephants disappear? No, it’s not a magic trick, but we have seen it with our own eyes.
How? Well, have you ever seen an Elephant swim?
First, you see something moving out of the corner of your eye, and you smile when you realize that elephants are nearby. You sit quietly by the dam, not daring to move, hoping that they will come fully into view. Next, you see them silently running to the waterhole; it’s a race, and the victor always looks incredibly pleased with him/herself. They pause, take a drink and start splashing themselves with the water. And then the magic happens.