For the first time ever, an intrepid group of women explorers has decided to turn the global spotlight on the plight of elephants and the people who protect them, and they will do this by embarking on an epic expedition across Africa.
The Elephant Ignite Expedition departs on Women’s Day on 9 August 2016 and plans to traverse 10,000km through 10 African countries, starting in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa and ending in Kenya.
The expedition will take them to Pongola Game Reserve, Tembe Elephant Park, Kruger, Gonarezhou, Hwange, the Okavango Delta, South Luangwa National Park, Ruaha, Selous, Ngorogoro, Tsavo, Amboseli and many many more of Africa’s wild places, which provide sanctuaries for the continent’s remaining elephants.
The Elephant Ignite Expedition aims to raise ZAR1,000,000 in funding. All proceeds go towards supporting the incredible beneficiaries including the Elephants and Bees Project, Elephants Alive, Game Rangers International and the South Luangwa Canine Unit, amongst others.
The founder and expedition leader from Blue Sky Society Trust, Carla Geyser, says that after spending months dedicated to research and planning, so many conservation leaders and like-minded sponsors have come on board to support the initiative. “We all believe that it will not only ignite a global interest in the expedition and conservation, but will also translate into real, practical actions for saving elephants,” she says.
“This epic journey will be underpinned by community upliftment, youth education, public awareness of the plight of Africa’s declining elephant population, and a fundraising drive to support the dedicated non-profit organisations that are doing such amazing work to protect the elephants,” she adds.
Along the journey, the Elephant Ignite Expedition will engage with various research organisations, current conservation, political and tribal leaders and foster knowledge-sharing between generations and nationalities. “The projects and organisations that the expedition will be visiting all provide conservation as well as community upliftment and educational programmes, especially amongst the youth,” says Geyser. “The expedition will weave an invisible web, linking together these conservation projects in order to expand their support base and ongoing funding through public awareness.”
The expedition will be filmed for a web series for the award-winning Earth Touch website. The series will document not only the journey, but tell the stories of the various organisations and people who are truly making a difference in the world of elephant conservation.