Side by Side Initiative

In Africa, there are places that people and elephants live “side by side.” Perhaps to observers, that may seem astounding or inspiring! But, the reality is that this interface can also be problematic, or even detrimental, for both elephants and people where “conflict” occurs between them. This initiative is asking that YOU consider yourself to be on both “sides” to help protect elephants and people by supporting Elephants Without Borders’ community coexistence projects, that aim to alleviate such conflict.

Botswana is home to the largest elephant population on the African continent. The Chobe district, located in the north-eastern corner of the country, is mainly a wildlife area that hosts a large portion of the country’s elephant population. The people live and create a living within scattered villages and townships along the edges of Chobe National Park and river system of the Chobe to Zambezi Rivers. Elephant herds that need to access the river system, especially during the dry season, are met with a mosaic land-use layout, having to cross through human settlements and farms to get to needed water. Some elephants are opportunistic or learn that crops they pass provide easy pickings of tasty vegetation. And in the townships, areas that were once undeveloped forested habitat, where elephant families learned specific routes to the river, now have to contend with having to continually adapt to their known pathways being severed or no longer accessible, due to an expanding urban landscape with development, housing, businesses and roads. In addition, many people are now moving into the District from non-wildlife areas of the country to find employment in the booming tourism industry, but without knowledge, experience or tolerance living with wildlife…  let alone herds of elephants. This makes for a volatile situation… As a result, the human-dominated areas of Chobe District are considered “hotspots” for human-wildlife conflict, whereas: property is damaged, there are road accidents with wildlife, people can get hurt or even killed, and elephants are shot, often killed, some for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time or due to retaliatory shootings.

EWB provides help and has ongoing, yet expanding programs working with the communities and schools within Chobe District to provide assistance in elephant education, awareness, safety and mitigation techniques to deter elephants from farms and property, with an overall goal to help reduce conflict situations.

In addition, EWB has come up with an adaptable mitigation solution: the EleSenses Toolkit is a low-cost, user-friendly, mobile, solar-powered (green technology,) sustainable, mitigation system, aimed to deter elephants by targeting their five senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste.  The tools have been tried and tested with substantial success. With the successes thus far, the toolkit is now more and more in demand, with requests to provide assistance throughout the District’s villages.

The farmers and communities need help. While, elephants now face more threats than ever: high rates of poaching, hunting, habitat loss, climate change (drought,) and serious conflict issues. Elephants need protection.

Our goal is to raise $150,000 to effectively implement these strategies in five key villages near where the elephants live. Please stand Side by Side with us, next to the elephants and people that stand Side by Side! Support this initiative, by clicking here:

Any donation is significant and greatly appreciated! We, with the elephants and communities, are grateful for your kindness!

We invite you to send a brief message of support to the community members utilizing the EleSenses toolkit, as part of this initiative. Please  send your message with subject “Side by Side”  to: