Our Elephant Champions
Elephants Alive is well rooted within STE with Dr. Iain Douglas Hamilton being the co-founder. We started out in 2003 as Save the Elephants – South Africa and transitioned to Elephants Alive officially in 2013. For the past two decades, we have closely shared elephant movement expertise and have received support from STE for our extensive elephant tracking projects as well as some of our core staff costs. We have also shared student supervision opportunities with Dr. Lucy King who represents the Elephants and Bees Project Leader within STE and is the Head of the Human-Elephant Co-Existence Program within the ECF.
Elephants Alive received support from USFWS for the first time in 2009 and have since then received ongoing support which has enabled us to increase our reach over the past 13 years. We are proud to be one of the organizations that the USFWS has chosen to support as competition for available funds is high with an award rate of approximately 20-25%. The most competitive requests for USFWS support demonstrated a clear conservation benefit and well-justified indication that the applicant and proposed activities would have a high likelihood of impact on African elephants and their habitat.
The Oak Foundation has supported our work in four-year blocks since 2016. They have also generously enrolled Elephants Alive on a needs assessment course. The Oak Foundation represents a valued longer-term supporter of not only EA, but many of our strategic partners in Mozambique where our collared elephants are forging vital corridors to connect Protected Areas across the landscape. We are proud to be supported by such a credible organization making a difference for wildlife.
The Elephant Crisis Fund supports our work in Mozambique, which aligns with two of their focus areas: (1) promoting human-elephant coexistence: dealing with the threats to elephants in close proximity to people and (2) protecting elephant landscapes: giving elephants space to survive and recover. We take immense pride in working alongside the ECF since 2016 when we first started mapping elephant corridors.
Elephants Alive first met the Founders and Directors of Jamma International in 2018. Since then, they offered core support for one year and provided financial assistance for an additional year in order to establish the first successful Rapid-Response Unit to alleviate human-elephant-conflict in southern Mozambique, together with EA and the ECF. They have a keen interest in our work in Mozambique and will be offering additional support to enable more Rapid Response Units to be established and well as develop tools to understand the social landscape.
The flagship Rufford Small Grants Programme gives funding to individuals working in developing countries who are starting on the ladder of conservation research and establishing pilot programmes. Since 2020, Elephants Alive has been privileged to be recognized for our efforts in upskilling women in beekeeping and permaculture skills alongside our human-elephant-coexistence gardens which have been established in collaboration with the Black Mamba APU. This project forms the basis of a proof of concept on how bees, medicinal plants and elephant unpalatable crops can be used as barriers to protect people assets while also ensuring alternative income streams that increase tolerance for people living with wildlife.
The Lion Share support was started in 2020 and is focused on strengthening resiliency in communities reliant on wildlife-based ecotourism and was implemented by the United Nations Development Programme on behalf of the Global Environment Facility in partnership with the Small Grants Program. The Lionshare support enabled us to establish a permaculture garden alongside The Black Mamba APU to facilitate a transfer of skills in beekeeping and permaculture endeavours.
A partnership forged during the covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Founder, Peter Eastwood, supported our vision for permaculture gardens and a bee apiary to diversify the income of the Black Mamba APU with whom we share our Headquarters. The Tanglewood Foundation also allows us to use their Koru Camp facilities to run our Ndlopfu Gogo Program where we take grandmothers from the communities surrounding the Protected Areas and introduce them to elephants we have followed for a quarter of a century.
Established by Ian and Jooles Kilbride, SWF aims to contribute effectively to the survival and sustainability of Africa’s endangered species, particularly rhino, lion and elephant. Since 2022, SWF has partnered with Elephants Alive to support the monitoring costs of five elephants - Intwandamela, Swazi, Trailblazer, Summer and Lotter. We look forward to sharing elephant stories related to these individuals which often take us on other journeys that are intrinsically interwoven with people and elephant habitat.
For over 30 years, Alan & Sarah McSmith have been running specialist elephant awareness safaris and trails in six African countries. They have dedicated their lives to telling the complete story of elephant consciousness and conservation, by showcasing their advanced sentiency, complexity and keystone ecological behaviour. It iss not only the future of elephant that is at risk, but also this precious gateway toward a deeper awareness of the wonders of our natural world and inter-connectedness. Having met the pair 20 years ago in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Alan is our go-to whenever a meaningful and spiritually emersed safari experience is required.
Amarula and elephants are intimately connected through the fruits of the marula tree from which the popular Amarula Cream Liqueurs are made after harvesting of the fruit from uncultivated trees.
The Amarula Trust was created in 2008 with the aim to safeguard the African elephant. In 2018 we partnered with the Amarula Trust to print our very sought after Amarula Elephant ID Guides.
This guide enables people traversing the Associated Private Nature Reserves to identify characteristic collared elephants and other individuals with significant ear pattern or tusk features.
Blue Sky Society Trust is an organisation dedicated to helping people and animals in need. They mobilise the power of passion, perseverance, and partnership to preserve Earth’s precious biodiversity, change community mindsets and global perceptions, uplift, lend a helping hand and “make better”, and raise generations of eco-savvy children. Elephants Alive has been incredibly fortunate to work alongside founder, Carla Geyser, since 2015, in fundraising for various projects and jointly collaring many elephants.
Apparel made to raise awareness for elephant conservation, whilst celebrating the legacy of a late brother. Since 2018, Elephants Alive and the McMillan family forged a wonderful partnership that has evolved from trucking wandering elephants back to safety, treating snare wounds to collaring elephants on Mike’s birthday. Their passion for elephant conservation inspires us as much as their dedication to keeping Mike’s memory alive. When you purchase one of their products, it’s not just simply an item, but it’s a story of love, and a concerted choice to become part of Mike’s herd and the elephant world.
Hoedspruit Coffee Purveyors is a Hoedspruit-based coffee purveyor and roaster. The founders are passionate about the good things in life – family, friends, the bush and last but not least, a great cup of coffee! Since 2021, for each bag of flavorsome Ethiopian coffee sold, we get a cut to continue conserving elephants.
Elephants Alive is a beneficiary of MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet since 2018 – a fundraising programme which raises more than R6 million per month for selected schools, charities, animal welfare and environmental organisations. By signing up to their card system, selecting us as a beneficiary and shopping at South African partners, you indirectly donate towards our cause.
In 2017, Meerendal Wine Estate initiated the sale of 63 800 bottles of BIGFEET Pressed for Elephants Wine, the sales of which were a great success both locally and internationally as the wine was of exceptional quality. We are proud to partner with such a prestigious wine estate on a fine product with the proceeds of part of the sales coming to Elephants Alive to ensure their survival.
Managers, Henry and Debbie Hibbett who have been long-time supporters of Elephants Alive, offer much-needed logistical support when required whilst also donating one tank of fuel every 2nd month through Ndlopfu Shareblock situated in our study site.
Gin for conservation – is there a better combination? We are thankful to founders Marnus and Rossouw Kruger, for believing in our work. Through every purchase of gin, Elephants Alive receives a donation.
Since 2015, Elephants Alive has been a beneficiary of Relate, a 100% NPO that not only employ and upskill individuals from low-income communities, but also donates a large portion of their income to credible organisations. To date, Relate has donated more than R1 million to elephant conservation. What we love about Relate is how they are not only supporting other worthy NGOs, but in the process they are providing employment to the Grandmothers in the community which will improve their livelihoods.
SATIB Insurance Brokers (SIB) founded SACT under stewardship of the retired SIB founder, Brian Courtney. The Trust seeks to raise funding to support approved and established conservation projects dedicated to wildlife research, anti-poaching initiatives, human-wildlife conflict mitigation programmes and community and tourist educational initiatives. Elephants Alive has been offered various forms of support from SACT for over a decade in the form of the provision of research vehicles, vehicle and liability insurance with the latest collaboration involving the production of an Elephant Comic to provide valuable educational material that speaks to the protection of the African elephant.
The Strickland Foundation was established in 2019 in an effort to aid in the conservation of our planet and the extraordinary animals that live here. They also seek to aid in education and compassionate service to community. Elephants Alive has been a beneficiary since 2020 although the Director of EA’s friendship with the founders of the Strickland Foundation goes back almost a decade. We are proud to draw on our friendship to ensure the survival of the African elephant
Founders, Michelle & Grant value the importance of connecting passionate people to the wild through intentional conservation-focused safari experiences that help empower conservation efforts through their dedicated wildlife fund. They have supported Elephants Alive when we collar elephants or require funding for welfare situations such as snare removals.
Knowledge Sharing Network
The Administração Nacional das Áreas de Conservação (ANAC) was established in 2011 as a Mozambique State Institution responsible for the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable development of its ecotourism. Dr. Carlos Lopes Pereira as the then Director of Protection and Law Enforcement of ANAC, helped fit our first collars in Mozambique in 2016. In collaboration with EA and the Mozambique Wildlife Alliance (MWA), we have helped identify human-elephant-conflict (HEC) hotspots on the landscape and corridors connecting Protected Areas across national boundaries through our extensive elephant tracking dataset. This has enabled us to develop and finance innovative HEC mitigation strategies together with the MWA which will assist ANAC in ensuring the safety and security of both people and elephants across southern Mozambique.
The Associated Private Reserves lie to the west of the Kruger National Park and consist of the Timbavati-, Klaserie-, Umbabat- and Balule Private Nature Reserves. The Reserves have each approved the research conducted by Elephants Alive since its inception in 2003. In support of the work we do, the individual reserves have signed a 10 year agreement (23rd of April 2018 until the 22nd of April 2028) with EA. The APNR have used the information provided by EA to guide their elephant management plans and have also kindly provided logistical support for EA during elephant collaring operations.
South Africa’s first all-female anti-poaching unit who patrol 50 000 ha in The Greater Kruger, has partnered with Elephants Alive in various projects since their inception in 2013. These women, with a passion for wildlife and rhino conservation, are also the voice in the community through their conservation work. Not only do they aim to protect all wildlife, but also become role models within their communities by showcasing the benefits of wildlife conservation. Elephants Alive have provided logistical- and financial support to diversify the skill set of the Black Mamba APU by assisting members with obtaining their drivers licences, by providing training in beekeeping, permaculture practices for their own food crops and the growing and selling of elephant unpalatable crops.
Working towards human-wildlife coexistence, Elephants for Africa conducts research In Botswana to conserve the African elephant through understanding the ecological and social requirements of male African elephants and put these into the context of human-wildlife conflict.
Elephants Alive and EfA have always kept in close contact because the friendship between the two Directors that goes back almost two decades and as they share a similar research focus, having concentrated on the less studied bull elephant population. In 2019, Dr. Kate Evans joined the Elephants Alive Board while Dr. Michelle Henley
“For Elephants, Inc.” is dedicated to the survival of the world’s African elephants through research, conservation, and education. Dr Kari Morfeld and her team conduct research on the biology of wild African elephant populations so that they can improve zoo management and exhibits to reflect elephants’ natural biology and behaviour. Partners since 2011, we collect all the required field samples for analyses purposes and proudly share our Headquarters. Together we strive to provide scientific data that will inform elephant management decisions in South Africa and elsewhere.
The Associated Private Reserves lie to the west of the Kruger National Park and consist of the Timbavati-, Klaserie-, Umbabat- and Balule Private Nature Reserves. The Reserves have each approved the research conducted by Elephants Alive since its inception in 2003.
In support of the work we do, the individual reserves have signed a 10 year agreement (23rd of April 2018 until the 22nd of April 2028) with EA.
The APNR have used the information provided by EA to guide their elephant management plans and have also kindly provided logistical support for EA during elephant collaring operations.
An organisation that delivers international standards of conservation services in partnership with ANAC and regional stakeholders to support wildlife, communities and habitats across Mozambique. Elephants Alive has been working with founders, Drs Carlos Lopes Pereira and Joao Almeidas since we collared the firsts elephants together in Mozambique in 2016, several years before MWA was established. However, since 2020, a strong partnership was forged through the support of several joint projects in Mozambique, including but not limited to the launching of the first and very successful Rapid Response Unit to combat escalating human-elephant conflict in southern Mozambique.
The PAMS Foundation was founded in Tanzania in 2009 by Krissie Clark, Dr. Ally Namangaya and Wayne Lotter, and is a conservation non-profit with a mission to empower the people who protect wildlife and wild places. Their vision is to enable a world where people understand the value of nature, are supported and equipped to peacefully co-exist with wildlife, and where wildlife and wild places are secure. Elephants Alive partnered with The PAMS Foundation in 2016 and together supported the conservation and protection of both elephants and lions in Limpopo National Park at the time. We continue to share ideas and knowledge with Krissie Clark to dimmish human-elephant-conflict based on our experience.
Southern African National Parks manages a system of national parks which represents the indigenous wildlife, vegetation, landscapes and significant cultural assets of South Africa for the pride and benefit of the nation. One such area is the Kruger National Park (KNP) which was formulated more than a century ago and in which EA operates. Since our inception, SANParks representatives have been our scientific advisors. We have collaborated on three research agreements to enable us to study elephants in different regions of the KNP and have also contributed towards various Elephant Management Plans, conferences and workshops hosted by SANParks to improve the management of elephants over time. Dr. Michelle Henley was the proud recipient of the the prestigious Kudu Awards of SANParks for women in conservation in 2019.
The dynamic duo Drs Joel Alves and Ben Muller embody everything one would look for in a wildlife vet team – professionalism, conservation-mindedness and passion. Having been trained by Elephants Alive’s long-term friend, Dr Cobus Raath, we knew a partnership with Wildscapes would be beneficial, from collaring operations to using our honey to treat snare wounds.
Brian & Claire Makare
Joubert de Lange
Mark & Jacqui Atkinson
Mike & Gail Strong
The Smelting family
Thank you to the following for allowing us to use your images (in alphabetical order) -
Aida Ettayeb, Andrew de Luca, Brendon Simonson, Chad Cocking, Charlie Lynam, Christin Winter, Harriet Nimmo, Izak Pretorious, Jessica Wilmot, Dr Michelle Henley, Michellene Munro, Mike Kendrick, Nick Bornman, Rifumo Mathebula, Rivoni Mkansi, Robin Cook, Vusi Mathe and Wisani Ngwenya.