Our Mission

Our mission is to ensure the survival of elephants and their habitats, and to promote the harmonious co-existence of elephants and people.

Where We Work

We work where our collared elephants go, crossing local and international boundaries:

  • The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Area (100,000 km2). This consists of:
    • The Kruger National Park and the Associated Private Nature Reserves on its western border in South Africa
    • Limpopo, Bahnine and Zinave National Parks in Mozambique,
    • Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe.
  • The Lebombo Transfrontier Conservation Area (10 029 km2) linking Maputo Special Reserve’s coastal elephant population to South Africa’s Tembe Elephant Park via the Futi Corridor.
  • Elephants occurring in corridor areas between Transfrontier Conservation Areas.

Our HQ is based near Hoedspruit, in the Limpopo Province in South Africa.

We share our HQ with the all-female Black Mamba Anti -Poaching Unit.

See our interactive map to see where we work - Click here.



In 1998, Iain Douglas-Hamilton of Save The Elephants (STE) and Marlene May, Trustee of STE and owner of Tanda Tula Safari Camp, initiated the first elephant collaring operation in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve west of the Kruger National Park.

Early in 2000, Iain and Marlene heard of Michelle Henley who was working on her PhD on elephants in the area.  Michelle and her mother had begun an individual recognition study of elephants in this region in 1996, and this study as was later to form the basis of Elephants Alive’s existing ID studies.

While completing her PhD, Michelle joined Iain and Marlene in setting up the STE SA Research Programme based at Tanda Tula. Marlene and her late husband, David, provided the vision and critical start up finance to fund research on collared elephants. This for 14 years was the centre of operations for the elephant studies and conservation endeavours.

The project grew from strength to strength, and in 2014 Elephants Alive budded off from STE SA to form its own NGO working in collaboration with STE.  In 2021, Elephants Alive transitioned to a Not for Profit Company.

Elephants Alive’s work and sphere of influence continues to expand west of Kruger and across borders North into Zimbabwe and East Mozambique.