All About Elephants – 5 Nelly Updates from 5 Different Projects!

All About Elephants – 5 Nelly Updates from 5 Different Projects!

Posted by Georgia Wilson on 2nd Feb 2022

If you are an elephant lover, then boy, you are in the right place. Today, we're bringing you the latest ‘nelly’ news from five different projects, four separate countries, including three videos, with two distinct species and one review, all in one blog! 

1. New Baby at Desert Elephants in Namibia

We’re kicking this blog off by heading over to Desert Elephants in Namibia, where new mother Carissa gave birth to a tiny calf just a few weeks ago. This adorable calf was recently named Fiori, meaning flowers in Italian. In such harsh conditions, motherhood will be a challenge for young Carissa, but she is lucky to have a strong support system of older females who will teach her how to look after her first-ever baby. This group includes Carissa's mother, Duchess, who is not only guiding her through motherhood but is proving to be a wonderful grandmother to little Fiori.

Baby Fiori - Desert Elephants in Namibia

2. Heart-warming Friendships at the Rhino and Elephant Conservation Project

We are excited to share this beautiful moment between Elephant Mandebvu and rhino Tafika at the Rhino and Elephant Conservation Project in Zimbabwe. 

The relationship between the elephants and rhinos at the reserve has always been special, going right back to when the first rhinos arrived. Mandebvu had another incredible bond with Amber, one of the original female black rhinos. It was heart-breaking to see Mandebvu's devastation when Amber was killed by poachers in 2007. Mandebvu has also had a close relationship with Shanu, who was Amber's daughter and is Tafika's mum - so it looks like the family bond will continue for a 3rd generation as Tafika is pregnant! As you can see in the video above, Mandebvu is very gentle with the new mum-to-be.

Nzou and Her Buffalo Herd

The Rhino and Elephant Conservation Project is somewhat renowned for its interspecies friendships. Nzou is a well-known elephant who was adopted by buffalos. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Nzou’s parents were culled by poachers in the 1970s, and while she was introduced to a new elephant herd, she took to a group of buffalos instead that welcomed her as one of their own. Nzou became the matriarch of the buffalo herd and can be found around the reserve with her unique following, contradicting the age-old saying 'you can't choose your own family'.

3. Checking in on Kariega's Elephant Herds

Boom! And we are in South Africa (if only it was that easy). Anyway, is there anything better than videos of a baby elephant throwing a tantrum? This young elephant tells Kariega ‘Big 5’ Conservation Project visitors that he is armed with grass and not afraid to use it! If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, you will know that we've already posted this video but it was too cute not to share again. If you are seeing this for the first time, you're welcome...

4.   New Years Calf Born at Shamwari

Ranger Mino recorded this video of an adorable new calf at the Shamwari Conservation Experience just a few weeks back! The calf was born on January 1st, so s/he is around a week old here!

5.  Katarzyna Reviews The Great Elephant Project 

We are finishing up at The Great Elephant Project over in Sri Lanka. Our recent volunteer Katarzyna left a great review of her time on the project, including some of her favourite moments:

The Great Elephant Project Volunteer Kasia

“It’s hard to choose one particular moment as the program was full of lifetime memories... Observing elephants feeding peacefully next to us was glorious, watching their behaviours and interactions, first time recognizing a specific individual - but also finding a leopard photo captured on our camera traps, seeing the gratitude of the local farmers the project team supports, lovely breaks on the terrace facing a beautiful and serene lake, wake up calls by jungle birds, wildlife all around... I will treasure these memories!

The Great Elephant Project Elephants by Katarzyna

The team on the ground is simply amazing, an excellent combination of quality research with ongoing, long-term work with the local communities to resolve the human-elephant conflict. And while the accommodation is very basic, for me it was part of the adventure!” 

Thanks to volunteer Katarzyna for her review and wonderful photos including the banner image.

Always dreamed of volunteering with elephants? Head over to our Volunteer with Elephants page to see a full range of our nelly-related projects, we're certain that you'll make memories that you (and the elephants) will never forget!

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Has this blog inspired you to volunteer? If so, why not enquire today? Simply fill out an enquiry form, and allow a member of our travel team to assist with your query! Please note that blog comments are not monitored by the travel team, so any questions related to bookings may be missed.

Marie-Paule commented 5 months ago
I looked through the programs with elephants and left an inquiry above.
This program looks really interesting and love to get more info if possible.
Did I understand right that the start is in South Africa and moves further to Sri Lanka or is the entire stay on the island ? Can’t wait to find out more … very intrigued

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