Project information

Connecting Tsavo's Elephants

With Africa's human population set to double by 2050 and infrastructure projects a key plank in Africa’s development plans, knowing how elephants interact with such infrastructure is critical to their future. A successful solution in Tsavo through the monitoring of elephants could become a benchmark

March 2016 - December 2020

Charity information: Save The Elephants

Save The Elephants logo
  • Need


    The Tsavo Conservation Area in south-east Kenya is inhabited by Kenya's largest elephant population (an estimated 12,000 individuals). It is also home to some of the last 'Great Tuskers' in Africa. Without warning in mid-2014 construction, contractors began rapid development of a new fast railway link between Mombasa and Nairobi without consideration of vital wildlife corridors that connect the historic migration routes.


    Elephant movement data generated by GPS tracking collars is a powerful tool for persuading government about the need for crossings. The project covers the purchase, deployment and management of the tracking collars, the deployment and monitoring of camera traps in all of the railroad underpasses and coordination to ensure that data is fed into the fast-moving planning processes. The data will also benefit Tsavo's anti-poaching operations and assist work to reduce human-elephant conflict

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To ensure ecosystem connectivity by securing wildlife corridors


    » Deployment of satellite radio tracking collars
    » Monitoring of elephants and their use of the pre-existing underpasses and the habitat in general.
    » Generate information from the elephants tracking collars for decision by Government on design and numbers of wildlife crossing structures.

    What success will look like

    By the number of secured underpasses that are actively in use and have longer term sustainability.

  • Impact


    Ecosystem and Habitat connectivity and reduced human elephant conflict. These changes will be demonstrated through increasing elephant population, their even distribution in the Tsavo Ecosystem and through reduced number of reported human elephant conflict cases in the area. We will also demonstrate these long-term changes through the number of collaborations with the stakeholders particularly the communities, the Kenya Railways, the academia and the Kenya National Highway Authority.


    Funding for continuous monitoring and tracking: We are approaching various donors for sustained funding of the project.
    Lack of cooperation from the non-conservation organization: Approached them through a united conservation voice.
    Lack of sufficient qualified Staff with the capacity to monitor and track the animals in other partner organization: We have identified and enlisted potential staff within partnering organizations for training, we have also provided tracking tools.


    We will provide an annual report, progress reports and scientific publications.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £116,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £19,096 Tracking Equipment Satellite Collars, Frequency Receivers, Air and Ground Radio
      £34,650 Collar Deployment Veterinary Fees and Equipment, Immobilization Drugs, Helicopter and Fixed wing aircraft hours, Fuel
      £13,090 Tracking Cost Yearly Satellite Collar data download fee, software development
      £10,010 Vehicle Maintenance Fuel and Maintenance including a 10% annual inflation
      £7,700 Capacity Building Spartial Analysis skills workshop training
      £31,454 Monitoring and Field Studies Monitoring fee, vehicle and aircraft running

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Mathew Lester £5,200 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The Tsavo ecosystem defined (43,000km2) as the area in which the major terrestrial animal populations find their home range on a yearly basis. It constitutes the Tsavo Conservation Area (TCA) in Kenya and the Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania. The core of TCA is approximately 23,000Km² comprising Tsavo East, Tsavo West and Chyulu National Parks. Outside the protected areas, the communities practice nomadic pastoralism, sedentary livestock keeping and small scale farming


    Elephants through increase in number and viablility. The local community through less Human Elephant Conflict. The tourism through increased tourism from a sustained wildlife product and the transport sector through decreased wildlife road and rail accidents.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We work to secure a future for elephants in a rapidly changing world. Leaders in elephant science, we provide cutting-edge scientific insights into elephant behaviour, intelligence, and long-distance movement and apply them to the long-term challenges of elephant conservation. We are also the originator of the beehive fence concept for mitigating Human Elephant Conflict. We are involved in the long term monitoring of population trends and shifts in density of elephants across Africa.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Benson Okita Ouma

    He the lead person of the project from Save the Elephants

    Fredrick Lala

    Is the lead from Kenya Wildlife Service

    Richard Moller

    He is a project partner from Tsavo Trust