Guests will have the opportunity to participate in &Beyond Phinda’s elephant conservation project, witnessing an elephant capture and darting, and assisting in the changing of the sleeping pachyderm’s radio collar. Phinda is committed to ensuring the survival of Africa’s elephant herds and, as such, we implement best practice research and management practices. Seven elephant herds on the reserve have been collared to assist with monitoring and tracking their movements. The collars also play an essential part in Phinda’s immunocontraceptive programme, aimed at managing the elephant population in the reserve to maintain optimum levels.
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 elephant to collar, as well as on the availability of the vet and the helicopter pilot. Guests will need to spend a minimum of three nights at the reserve to allow for any unforeseen delays due to bad weather or any other factors beyond our control. All funds raised from guests go directly towards the costs of running Phinda’s elephant conservation and management project.