Elephants Without Borders

Elephants Without Borders’ Side-by-Side with farmers and wildlife

Elephants Without Borders (EWB) is a compassionate and dedicated charity working towards the peaceful coexistence of humans and elephants in Africa. With a focus on Botswana’s Chobe district, home to the world’s largest elephant population, EWB aims to mitigate conflicts between elephants and people. Through sustainable initiatives like the Side-by-Side program, environmental education, and advocacy, EWB seeks to protect both elephants and local communities.

In Botswana’s Chobe district, where a large elephant population lives alongside a growing human community, with 130,000 elephants in Botswana, 70% of them outside National Parks, conflicts between humans and elephants have become a significant concern.

EWB developed their Side-by-Side to support farming families living in rural areas alongside elephants. The program emphasizes sustainable solutions, environmental education, and advocacy, including “Safety Living with Wildlife” workshops and training in sustainable agriculture practices.

Side-by-Side in action

During this crop season, the EWB team collected information about wildlife and elephant activity from participating farmers from the Chobe and Boteti regions in Botswana. The information collected included how EleSenses equipment (devices used to deter elephants from crops) performed, as well as animal movement. This information can then be used to better support farmers and communities.

As a practical example, camera traps are used to monitor two corridors passing through local farms. Each corridor is used daily by bull and matriarchal family herds to access the Boteti River. It was noticed that each corridor was used at different times, and this understanding can be used to promote a more harmonious coexistence between elephants and communities.

The EleSenses Toolkit mentioned earlier deters elephants by targeting their 5 senses, such as motion-sensor alarms, pungent-smelling organic oil, lights, and poly wire rope. Powered by solar energy, this offers a cheap and sustainable solution to promote a happier relationship while protecting crops and communities.

Unique workshops and education programs, developed by EWB and specifically for farming families living in rural areas, fulfill EWB’s pledge to be by the side of farmers that live alongside elephants.

Another strategy is to monitor artificial watering holes – EWB monitors 67 spread over a huge area covering 47,500km2 throughout north-eastern Botswana. EWB’s fixed-wing aircraft dutifully carries out the aerial surveillance work alongside ground-based field trips to over 18 waterholes. The information gathered feeds into the big picture of where elephants will be and if waterholes are in need of repair.

A brighter future for Botswana’s elephant and human residents.

As Elephants Without Borders (EWB) continues its dedicated efforts towards harmonious coexistence between humans and elephants, there is hope for a brighter future in Botswana’s Chobe district. With innovative solutions like the Side-by-Side program, sustainable agricultural practices, and the use of EleSenses technology, EWB is empowering rural farming families and safeguarding precious wildlife. Through community involvement, education, and monitoring efforts, EWB is paving the way for a peaceful cohabitation where both elephants and people thrive. As the sun sets on each successful day of coexistence, a promising horizon awaits, where elephants can roam, and communities flourish side by side with these majestic creatures.