Bees and Black Mambas – recruiting new bee-lievers



We are thrilled to announce the expansion and next stage of our successful “Bees, Trees, Elephants and People Programme”.  Elephants Alive will be training the award-winning, all-female Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit to become bee-keepers.

We now share Headquarters with the Black Mambas within the Greater Kruger National Park on the border of the Associated Private Nature Reserves to the west of the Kruger National Park. In the past we had helped some Black Mambas get their drivers licence, trained them in feeding bees in the dry winter months and collaborated on various community outreach programmes. We cannot wait to strengthen our ties by keeping bees and growing food together.

This exciting new project will install 100 bee-hives, cultivate a medicinal plant garden,  a food garden for added food security to the Black Mambas and gain experience in the cultivation and market value of an elephant unfriendly crop-garden containing plants known to be unpalatable to elephants.  Teaching the Black Mambas bee-keeping and horticulture will function as a proof of concept. The experience gained will act as an template for Elephants Alive’s ongoing work in southern Mozambique, where we are working with local communities to develop safe corridors for elephants moving between protected areas.

By recruiting “bee-lievers” living adjacent to Protected Areas to value ecosystem services, and empowering women as social role models and community leaders, peaceful coexistence with elephants can be realised. At the same time, communities can supplement their income by developing alternative livelihoods to ensure sustainability -  thereby increasing their economic  resilience against major disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which threaten conventional employment schemes.

Help support this project by sponsoring one of the bee-hives. Each beehive costs $150 – and you can name your hive and we will send you updates. Support here  and please email your beehive/s’ name as well as any message of encouragement to a Black Mamba that we will share with them.

Thank-you to the Tanglewood Foundation and the Rufford Foundation for generously sponsoring additional project costs.


Black Mambas Anti-poaching Unit