A mesmerizing drone perspective: walking with elephants in Khanyisa & the herd

This Earth Day we bring you a special view of the rescued elephant herd as they move through the bush and forage with their carers close by to offer protection. This view from above, as the birds’ see it, shows a different angle to these gentle giants to what we normally show you. See if you can spot Khanyisa and the other 15 members of the herd using their identifying features.

Scroll down to see the video below

You get a good view of the wilderness, with the bush lush and green, although we are heading out of rainy season now.

We have been very busy at HERD over the last couple of months with various projects helping to restore the land our elephants roam on and areas where due to various environmental forces, there is little to no vegetation. This lack of foliage leads to mass erosion and to nutrients and top soils being washed away.

We have covered around three hectares with our grasslands rejuvenation project, utilising brushpacking and seed planting to facilitate the growth of new vegetation. We have continued to work on different sections on a weekly basis.

These are all long-term projects, as nothing in nature happens quickly. We have also built several gully plugs on erosion areas to help the process of halting erosion and backfilling sites with material that will facilitate the regrowth of pioneer grass species.

Our grasslands restoration work incorporates the ploughing of barren areas, then using our organic compost from elephant dung and spreading this over the area to put nutrients into the soil. Following this, we plant grass seeds in the same gullies made by the tractor to prevent them being washed away in the rain, and then cover the area intensively with thorn trees to prevent the new grass from being eaten.

One of the other methods we use to curb erosion on various sites is the use of gully plugs. These are implemented in erosion channels at various points to slow down the flow of water and prevent important soils and materials from being washed away.

It helps build up material behind the gully plug to stop erosion and create material for plants to take root in. The gully plugs are in place, helping us to make use of natural materials in our mission to stop erosion.

We are confident in these measures to help restore our land and better look after the elephants’ home.

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