Feb 7, 5 years ago

Elephant Human Relations Aid

This volunteer experience takes you to the northwestern regions of the Namib Desert, traditionally known as ‘Damaraland’.

This harsh tribal wilderness area, runs parallel to the skeleton coast national park, and is home to a small population of desert-adapted elephants.

The first week of the project will see you working with the local subsistence farmers, building protective walls around their water points, or constructing new water points for elephants away from homesteads and farms.

The following week is spent assisting the staff of EHRA in following, and monitoring the movements of these elephants on patrol, camping wild and living close to the earth, elephants and people.

Damaraland is vast, scarcely populated communal trust land. As it is a transitional zone between the high rainfall area in the east, and the Skeleton coast in the west, it is regarded as un-farmable on a commercial basis. Therefore it has become a natural, unfenced refuge for desert adapted animals such as; black rhino, oryx, giraffe, springbuck, kudu, steenbok, baboon, lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena, brown hyena, black backed jackal and more.

These areas used to be inhabited by nomadic bushman hunter-gatherers, of whom there is lots of evidence in the form of thousands of rock paintings and engravings. Now, beyond the fringe of permanent settlements, only nomadic pastoral farmers, and tourists venture.

This area is still regarded as one of the last true wilderness areas left on earth!

“Thank you so much everything you did in order to get us there. The last two weeks we have had the most unforgettable time and it has been an experience that will stay with us forever.”

– Jacob Stockton and Madeline Carr, Australia, January 2018


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