Be a part of &Beyond’s incredible conservation story, by embarking on Elephant Conservation activities at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve. Depending on which research activity is available at the time, you will have the opportunity to participate in either an elephant contraception or an elephant collaring. Be captivated by these once-in-a-lifetime adventures, as you get up-close-and-personal with these iconic wildlife giants.
Since the inception of &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, the reserve has seen many conservation firsts, one of which was the use of non-invasive contraceptives to manage its burgeoning elephant population. Elephants are one of Africa’s most iconic and magnificent wild animals, however; when confined in a nature reserve, they are also capable of causing major environmental changes should their numbers increase too dramatically. At &Beyond Phinda, female elephants are vaccinated only after having had one calf and the object of the programme is not to decrease elephant numbers but to slow their growth to an appropriate level.
Join one of the reserve’s wildlife veterinarians on this exceptional halfday experience, where you will gain first-hand knowledge about this pioneering programme, by assisting with ultrasound examinations and taking blood samples of selected elephant cows within the reserve.
&Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve is committed to ensuring the survival of Africa’s elephant herds. Seven elephant herds on the reserve have been collared to assist with monitoring and tracking their movements. From time to time, one of the elephant collars utilised in this research will be in need of replacing and we invite groups of up to eight guests each (sharing one vehicle) to participate in this extraordinary experience. Guests will play an active role in the day’s adventure. As the veterinary team flies overhead in a helicopter in search of the elephant, guests will follow in hot pursuit with an expert ranger in an open 4×4 safari vehicle. Once the animal is located and darted, the helicopter will land, and guests will have the never-to-be-repeated opportunity to touch the anaesthetised elephant as they change its collar. Dates for this exceptional adventure are dependent on whether there is an elephant to collar, as well as on the availability of the vet and the helicopter pilot. All funds raised from guests go directly towards the costs of running Phinda’s elephant conservation and management project. This incredible adventure will be offered to one group as there is one collar available.