NAMIBIA ELEPHANT CONSERVATION PROJECT
Alleviating the human-elephant conflict in water-scarce Namibia

For more information and bookings click here*

Water is an incredibly precious commodity in the Namib Desert – both for elephants and people. The elephants of Damaraland, in their search for the life-giving liquid, frequently damage or destroy community water points, leaving small subsistence communities and farmers without access to fresh water.

There is a lack of local knowledge about elephant behaviour and communities live in fear of their giant neighbours, unable to safeguard themselves or their water from the animals. The resulting ‘water war’ has proven deadly for the elephants: sadly, hunting permits are issued for so-called ‘problem elephants’ and they are shot.

The Namibian Elephant Conservation project plays an important role in fighting the call to eradicate the Damaraland desert elephant population, and continues to work towards resolving the crisis by implementing practical and sustainable measures that allow humans and elephants to live side by side in harmony.

To do this, volunteers build walls around farmers’ and communities’ water pumps, water tanks and windmills. The walls are designed to allow the elephants to access to the water but to prevent them from damaging the infrastructure. Elephants have a highly developed sense of smell and are experts at sniffing out water. Without these walls, elephants often pull up pipes or put their tusks through water tanks in an effort to get to the water that they know is there.

Volunteers also help with patrols, helping to track the various resident herds in the area and to record movement patterns and information such as new births, deaths and other important events such as mating. The data on elephant numbers that volunteers collect is incredibly important as this is the only project providing accurate figures to the government on the elephants in this area.  In addition, teams are tasked with taking ID photos for the data base, such as photos of ears, tusks, tails and body/head shots.

On patrol week you will have the unforgettable experience of exploring the rugged, beautiful landscape of Damaraland – regarded as one of the last true wildernesses left on earth – far from the tourist track and living close to the earth and the wildlife.  You will learn navigation and tracking skills, basic bush survival skills as well as how to camp wild – without any modern luxuries! You will have the privilege of observing the wild desert elephants in their natural habitat and our knowledgeable and passionate guides will explain the behaviour of these highly social animals.

For more information and bookings click here*

* links to our partner's web site

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