“You whose feet pounded the earth, the hard earth into powder in ancient times, so that green things might grow. You are the protecting spirit of Africa. You are the whisper of our stories in the wind that has forgotten its heritage salute you, elephant of the plains of Africa. Bayete, elephant!”

– Credo Mutwa

Our Dream

We as SEF has realised that to only focus on elephants and creating space for elephants will not turn our dream into reality, hence we have started campaigns that includes communities, environmentalists, governments and other organisations.

Our dream is to see elephants migrate as they did 300 years ago to and from Angola to KwaZulu Natal in South Africa.  We realise that it is a huge dream and it will not be easy to achieve, but that said it did not deter us from starting. Today we have a number of success stories in KwaZulu Natal, where we started on a small scale negotiating with farmers and local communities.  We are working towards our dream and is asking for anyone with the same aspirations to contact us, to either help or support us.

Corridor projects

  • The Mavela project
  • The Lubombo Spine Corridor
  • Anti Rhino & Elephant projects
  • Thanda Game Reserve / Mduna Tribal land initiative
  • Seismic research / Elephant communication

Community driven projects

  • Education and Training programmes
  • Small Business Ventures & Tourism
  • Bhekamanzi Thonga Village
  • Space for Elephant and Rhino Centre
  • Living with Hippos project

Corridors

The elephant is has a strong sense of family unity and the individual members of these families are connected by strong bonds and the elephant is therefore… a Symbol of Family Unity and the African philosophy of UBUNTU.

In a natural environment elephants had migratory routes that were used by many generations. Today many of these routes have either disappeared through human encroachment or have been truncated by fences built around game parks & reserves, leaving only small pockets of wildlife islands scattered over the African continent. As a great African asset elephants need to be included in the economic equation.

The dream of the Foundation is therefore to create space for elephants and simultaneously integrate the needs of the people by re-establishing some of the lost space by creating corridors and linking wildlife areas. This is to be achieved through the engagement of the UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) whereby a unique platform for cooperation on research and development, capacity-building and networking to share information, knowledge and experience is provided.

Advantages of Corridors

  • Enhance the population viability and biodiversity.
  • Can be utilised by other species (e.g. wild dog, rhino etc)
  • Activate meta population dynamics
  • Takes pressure off the habitat in the source areas
  • Reinstating natural processes
  • Allow for re-colonising and natural dispersal of species
  • Supports fluidity and connection of elephant society communication and interactions (social, genetic, ecological)
  • Decreases chronic levels of stress
  • Allowing people living around the corridors to either co-own or at least participate in management

How do we link wildlife areas?

  • Dropping of Fences
  • Creating Corridors between Game Reserves
  • Create Linkages between Traditional land and Game Reserves
  • Create Linkages across countries borders
  • Making communities part of the programmes
  • Introducing Education
  • Creating micro tourism enterprises and job Creation

People and the Elephant.

The relationship between the elephant and humans are coming on for years. This can be seen in certain religions that are seeing the elephant as an almost holy figure.  Elephants were the path makers’ / road builders between different communities through dense forests and mountainous areas. A good example of this is the pass that was built to link Franschhoek and Villiersdorp in the Western Cape – South Africa that was built on an old migratory route used by elephants.

People lived in harmony with elephants with, no fences to keep them apart, both finding ways to keep out of each other’s path.  It was only since the last 200 – 300 years that humans start to fence in their areas and to control the movement of the elephants and other wildlife. It is SEF’s mission to create corridors, hence creating links between the areas where elephants used to migrate to and from.

A step by step process

The methodology for the creation of corridors, range expansion, dropping of fences differ from project to project. The main aspects that has to be taken into consideration are as follow:

  • Topographical Layout of area
  • Role players
  • Interested and Affected Parties
  • Funding
  • Current Activity / usage of the area
  • Roads, towns, infrastructure

The general steps that are to be followed for the creation of a corridor are but not limited to the following:

  • Identify the area for the proposed corridor
  • Prepare budgets
  • Applying for Funding and secure it
  • Identify landowners i.e. farmer, rural communities, tribal authorities, government departments, protection areas etc.
  • Determine the land use.
  • Prepare a Spatial Development Framework indicating the fences, land use, owners, structures, infrastructure etc.
  • Set up workshops with all the owners involving the Interested and Affected Parties
  • Draw up agreements and contracts between the parties
  • Construct the necessary infrastructure and remove infrastructure (fencing) where required.

 


Future Corridors in Kwazulu-Natal

Future Corridors planned in KwaZulu Natal and other areas are in different stages of development:

  • Lubombo Spine Corridor
    This corridor will link Pongola Nature Reserve in South Africa with Swaziland and Mozambique and as later phase with Kruger National Park
  • Mavella Corridor
    Linking Pongola Game Reserve with Mkuze Game Reserve
  • Thanda Nduna Range Expansion
    This project has already been registered as a protected Area under Biodiversity Act
    Another link with Hluhluwe iMfolozi park will be Negotiated
    This project is an integral part of the Zululand Corridor linking Isimangaliso Wetland Park with Itala Game Reserve.

This list will be updated as more projects are being identified.

Phase 1 of the Lubombo Ecological Trail Corridor

Overview of the proposed Lubombo Trans Frontier Conservation Areas over 3 countries

Proposed future Corridors for the Province KwazuluNatal