Mavela Project supported by Elephant Gin
Since the very beginning, Elephant Gin has been identifying suitable projects to the benefit of Africa’s elephants and their ecosystems in Kenya and South Africa.
Through different events, cooperations, kind contributions and of course the sale of Elephant Gin, the company has been able to transfer funds over EUR 50.000 to date to the foundations, Big Life in Kenya and Space for Elephants in South Africa.
Today, we want to tell you a bit more about the Mavela project near Jozini in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, that was founded by Space for Elephant Foundation (SEF) as part of their drive to create migratory routes for elephants and to assist the local communities in creating employment opportunities.
SEF secured the property (pictured) years ago and had always planned to create a community hub and market on the site. Unemployment is rife in the area, which is attractive for poachers in getting information and assistance from the local communities. SEF has realized that even with strong anti-poaching units, community members will assist poachers for a small amount of money where they can. The strategy of SEF is to get the communities involved by creating employment opportunities and to make them aware of the value of wildlife by showing them how to earn a living from the wildlife.
At MAVELA and with the support of Elephant Gin, this strategy is coming to fruition as people are taught how to attract tourists create work for themselves. The poachers nowadays, with SEF’s efforts, find it more difficult to make use of communities to assist them.
1. Create the final link in a corridor that will stretch from IsimangalisoWetland Park to Pongola Nature Reserve
2. Create employment opportunities for local community (accommodation for tourists, markets, hiking trails etc.)
3. Educate community about the precious wildlife around them (building education center)
4. Train community members to become entrepreneurs in the environmental, sales and tourism business and create
employment opportunities (building training center)
- Set up basic ablution facilities for tourists who stop near the road.
- Created foot paths to a viewing point.
- Built small accommodation units to be used kitchen, office and accommodation for tourists.
- Set up camping facilities with open air shower overlooking Pongola Game Reserve and the 3rd largest dam in South Africa
- Arranged and organized a Mountain Bicycle race through the area with the focus around the area of Mavela.
- Negotiated with the land owner of an 80 ha property to make it available to SEF to complete the link between Pongola Game Reserve and the area directly south of it.
All the above list items are already completed by the funds that were made donated by Elephant Gin.