There are few animals in the wild that elicit as visceral a connection to natural world as the African elephant. Having been placed on the IUCN red list since 2004 as vulnerable elephants continue to be threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, and poaching for the illegal ivory trade. As a keystone species, elephants play a crucial role in shaping the environments in which they inhabit.
For this reason, Mapesu Private Game Reserve found it imperative to introduce a founder herd onto the newly created reserve. As per government decree, the reserve is only allowed to conserve one elephant per thousand hectares. As such, the breeding age females within the herd need to be given contraception from time to time to ensure the reserve does not become overpopulated.
During this conservation expedition, you are given the opportunity to participate in this vital conservation work and get up close and personal with Africa’s largest land mammal. You will be working alongside the reserve team and veterinarian. You will be able to observe both on the ground and from a helicopter and gain an understanding of what it takes to protect these magnificent giants.
In conjunction with the Endangered Wildlife Trust, Mapesu Private Game Reserve was able to release cheetah onto the reserve. This species is used to roaming in large home ranges and the telemetry equipment helps to locate these animals and is of vital importance to our understanding of their movements as well as their safety in the event of an escape. These collars, however, do not have an infinite battery life and as the animals grow the collar may become tight or run out of battery.
During this expedition you will assist in the chemical capture of cheetah, which may be from the air or on the ground with the use of a bait. The collars will be replaced, and the animal released back into the reserve.
If you are interested in joining us in this expedition, please contact us as timing, availability and dates are only made 6 months in advance of the event.