It is becoming increasingly clear that The War on Elephants is in full swing; if we fail to act, then African elephant populations may soon be on a downward spiral towards extinction. Part of the cost of this holiday includes a donation to Save the Elephants, who are battling to protect elephants from a bloody, insatiable demand for ivory.
However, at Steppes, we believe that tourism also has an important role to play in conservation. By visiting threatened elephant population, you not only give them an economic value and bring money to desperately poor communities, you also help to draw attention to their plight.
This journey not only highlights the plight of Africa’s elephants; it showcases a range of outstanding conservation projects – the last hope for this threatened species. These include empowered national parks, pioneering elephant research projects, vital conflict management schemes and intensive captive-elephant rehabilitation programmes.
Visit grasslands, forests and deserts during a month-long immersion into the lives of Africa’s elephants. Learn about pioneering conservation projects, encounter isolated populations and interact with elephants as part of this incredible journey.
Start with the West African parks of Odzala and Zakouma – the latter a conservation success story, before heading to Samburu, birthplace of Save the Elephants. From here, head to southern Africa; track desert-adapted Namibian elephants, before interacting with Abu Camp’s rescued herd, in the heart of the Okavango Delta.
Odzala National Park is one of the last strongholds of the diminutive forest elephant. This forested expanse is part of multinational tranche of jungle – itself crisscrossed with ancient elephant tracks. Managed by African Parks, the park is bucking the trend.
- One of the best places in West Africa to see forest elephants in their jungle-shrouded glory
- Stay at a pair of beautiful tented camps that hide amongst these verdant, humid forests
- Explore the park on foot, by vehicle and on small boats
Zakouma National Park - found in Chad, where lush savannah and the sands of the Sahara meet - is staging a remarkable fightback. Thanks to community support and highly effective ranger patrols, poaching has almost ceased. Just one recorded incident in the last three years is testament to the success that the park is experiencing.
The beautifully rugged scenery of Samburu, in Kenya, is home to vast numbers of savannah elephants. Stay at Elephant Watch Camp – home to the Douglas-Hamiltons. Situated just a few kilometres away from Save the Elephants’ research base, this Bohemian luxury retreat is immersed in the life of the region’s elephants.
- Visit the nearby Save the Elephants research base
- Set out on game drives in search of wandering herds – each one dominated by a wise matriarch
- Meet exceptional guides – some of whom are even able to identify almost 1,000 individuals by sight
The dry landscapes of the remote Kunene Region, in Namibia, are home to the hardiest of all elephants. Amidst wind-sculpted rocks and dry riverbeds, an incredibly resilient elephant population survives, adapted to the seeming inhospitable environment. Stay at a simple tented research camp, run by Elephant-Human Relations Aid, whose work centres on reducing elephant-human conflict.
- Meet the researchers who study these desert-adapted creatures and gain an insight into their valuable work
- Join EHRA in tracking these wide-roaming animals, who tramp slowly across the harsh landscape
- Visit local community projects that help to educate, inform and support nearby villages.
Abu Camp sits amidst the lagoons, islands and channels of the Okavango Delta – a landscape in complete contrast with Namibia. Meet the camp’s resident herd, which is made up of individuals that come from a variety of captive backgrounds. Learn about how the camp plans to rehabilitate these rescued animals.
- Experience close-up interaction with the elephants; gain a remarkable insight into their habits, behaviour and capacity for emotions
- Meet the handlers who raise these animals; see the connection they have with them
- Learn about Abu Camp’s work with Elephants Without Borders
For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.