The Elephants of AmboseliAugust 29, 2019
Africa’s iconic quadrupeds are to be found in impressively large numbers in one of Kenya’s most popular game viewing destinations, Amboseli National Park.
Covering almost 400 sq. km of the greater Amboseli ecosystem and set against Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, Amboseli National Park is the stronghold of East Africa’s elephant population. Over 1600 individuals roam the wetlands, savannah and woodlands that make up this diverse and unique ecosystem in southern Kenya.
We look at why the elephants of Amboseli are such a highlight of any Kenyan wildlife safari and the important research and conservation work that organisations on the ground are doing to help them thrive:
Amboseli is an incredible destination for a wildlife safari as it is the stomping ground of some of the biggest elephants (both in body and tusk size) in the world. What’s more is that they are also the longest studied elephant population, and perhaps the most famous, globally. Unfortunately, they have faced the same challenges of human conflict, poaching and habitat destruction as other elephant populations found throughout Africa.
Amboseli Elephant Research Project
The Amboseli Trust for Elephants has led this critical research through the Amboseli Elephant Research Project (AERP) since 1972 and it continues today with the aim of long-term conservation and welfare of Africa’s elephants and the ecosystems within which they live. They work within the context of human needs and pressures through scientific research, training, community outreach, public awareness and advocacy, which has had crucial findings for elephant research:
“The knowledge gained from the AERP team has profoundly altered the way we think about, conserve and manage elephant populations. Our research has highlighted the ethical implications of dealing with sentient, long-lived, intelligent and social complex animals and our knowledge base provides powerful and authoritative support to elephant conservation and advocacy campaigns worldwide.”
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Their work with the elephants of Amboseli is supported by other organisations like the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which is known primarily as the most successful orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world. To date, 247 elephant orphans have been raised, 6136 veterinary cases have been attended to and they operate 14 mobile de-snaring teams in Kenya’s main wilderness areas with a clear mission and goal underlying their collective work:
“We embrace all measures that complement the conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife including anti-poaching, safe guarding the natural environment, enhancing community awareness and providing veterinary assistance to animals in need.”
A special part of visiting Amboseli on safari is being able to learn about and engage with elephants in a responsible and ethical way while also tangibly supporting the work these organisations do through park fees.
If you are interested in being in the presence of Africa’s mighty giants, contact us for a safari to Amboseli National Park that is tailored to your budget, time and travel requirements.
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