Road Safety

Road kills

There is a large biodiversity of wildlife in Botswana, please help us spread awareness and please drive with care on all wildlife corridors for Their safety and yours!

The open roads are dangers to passing wildlife especially at night where people have limited sight and are careless towards the wildlife due to a lack of knowledge of their importance, heavy vehicles or vehicles travelling at high speeds wont have enough time to swerve or stop for a passing animal and a hit and run is the result! People need to be aware they are not alone on these roads and drive with care and caution! 

We all need to work together to take care of our wildlife, so when passing through at night please keep in mind who can be lurking in the dark.

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Speed kills!!

The trust is working to protect the wildlife and with a goal to maintain a sustainable environment, please support us in keeping them safe!

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Help Needed

This young bull has a rare cancer in his eyes and has had procedure done before to try and remove it, unfortunately it wasn't successful in the long-term and he is constantly hanging around Elephant Sands bush lodge due to lack of sight and stress to move too far from a water source.

this was the previous attempt to remove this rare cancer and as you can see it is a delicate procedure, it is a field procedure with limited equipment and only the human eye as an aid.

this was the previous attempt to remove this rare cancer and as you can see it is a delicate procedure, it is a field procedure with limited equipment and only the human eye as an aid.

The young bull can put himself in a vulnerable position around inexperienced tourists and other wild animals due to his poor condition, support is needed for us to act as soon as possible, it is a costly operation due to the distant location from any veterinary services that the Water For Elephants Trust cannot afford at the moment.

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This is a close up of the current state of this young bull's eyes, as you can see he has lost his eyelashes and is continuously blowing and rubbing his eye out with his trunk, you can see the damage he is inflicting on himself. 

Please support us on this Journey to save this elephant.

24 Hour Wildlife Census

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On 4 November 2017 we did a 24 hour Wildlife Census in a 25 km radius where WFET have been supplying water during the drought.

The census was a follow up on last years count. We have definitely made some progress within one year.

The largest number of animals counted was elephants and buffalo. We counted a 1 512 elephants in this small area in comparison to last years 1 800 + elephants. Having a smaller number of elephants is what we were aiming for due to opening boreholes further away so that we can disperse these animals so that there is less stress on the environment and other animals witch during the count also included buffalo, hyena, impala, kudu, leopard, lion, warthog and zebra.

This area contains much more than just elephants! It is a diverse ecosystem with many unclaimed insect and rodent species and also other general game and rare antelope species, therefor WFET finds it very urgent to expand the project so that we do not lose any of relationships between all the plants and animals that play a vital role to keep it a balanced ecosystem.

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Benny & Mike

When the rains cease in dry season, some barriers between humans and animals disappear with the tall grass.  

Summer 2015 was an especially harsh dry season in Botswana. And Elephant Sands (the Moller family's lodge) in Northeast Botswana, was smack dab in the center of it. Hundreds of elephants would gather in a day to come drink at the small water hole at their lodge. Some would wait up to eighteen hours to get a turn at the crowded pool. 

In their desperate search for water, elephants will break down walls, pull up pipes, and scavenge campsites. Providing water and policing these trouble makers became a full-time job for lodge manager Mike Toth. 

And then came Benny. 

In August that year, a bold bull trumpeted through the campsite, poking around for water and stepping a little too close to campers. 

Mike chased him away from the campsite initially, but he kept returning. Recognizing it was water he was after, Mike filled up the trough near one of the campsite bathrooms. The newly named Benny came to drink, and let Mike spray him with water from afar. 

They got into a routine over the next few days, with Mike filling up the trough and Benny coming to drink. But then Benny did something extraordinary -  he pointed to Mike with his trunk then rubbed his injured foot three times. 

When Benny returned a few days later his wound had split open. Mike gave him something to drink and sprayed him with water. After trying to clean the wound with the hose, he sprayed his feverish body. Mike and the Moller family phoned the vet. The team followed him through the night to keep a close eye on him The vet did an emergency surgery on Benny's infected foot, which appeared to have a piece of wood lodged in the wound. 

With a patched up foot, Benny showed up four days later rummaging through the campsites for water. 

Recognizing his old trouble-making friend, Mike walked right up to him and gave him water directly. 

After two months of this close-contact routine, Benny grew more and more trusting. In two months he began to touch Mike with his trunk, feeling and smelling who his human buddy was.

After letting Benny make the initial contact, Mike bravely placed a hand on the wild elephant's trunk. This ritual continued throughout the season every other day. 

Benny would come and stand by the lodge (giving the occasional tourist a heart attack) and wait patiently for his water and human friend. 

As their connection grew, Benny got more protective of Mike. In the heavy drought season, the elephants around the water hole grew in numbers and grew more agitated with longer wait time to get to the water source. One day, when Mike was giving Benny water by the campsite, a large bull elephant came in-between the two. Remarkably, Benny recognized the danger of another wild elephant to his human companion. He grabbed Mike's hand with his trunk, pulled him away, and backed up into the large intruder. 

This friendship has carried on for the last two years. Benny has returned every dry season to wait by the lodge for fresh water and his old friend. Mike hopes to see his giant friend again this year. 

Water first brought these two together. In the dry season the elephants and the wildlife of Botswana are all on Benny's mission: to find fresh water.

What is a bore hole?

For anyone who has visited the African wilderness (or spent a good amount of time on the couch watching the Discovery Channel), you know that the watering hole is THE place to witness animal activity. There’s an obvious answer as to why: water is an essential part of almost every animal’s daily survival.

And when the rains come to a halt in the dry season, natural watering holes are hard to come by. Animals will travel miles to find water, gather together in the open, and become agitated in their search for something to drink.

That’s where man-made boreholes come in. Built to sustain local wildlife, boreholes and pumps are installed to keep water flowing for thousands of thirsty animals that come throughout Northeast Botswana.

Many man-made water holes in the region were originally built for concession hunting to gather animals in one area. However, Botswana outlawed hunting in 2014 and these privately owned boreholes were left unmaintained.

In an effort to continue to supply water to the largest elephant herd in Africa (and all other wildlife in the region), WFET and the Department of Wildlife are looking to re-build these man-made watering holes and drill some new ones for the growing populations.

This process starts with drilling a bore hole.

What is a borehole?

A bore hole is a vertically drilled hole in the ground, usually made to extract water (although it can be used for petroleum and natural gasses).

A borehole is very much like a well, except it is not hand-dug or lined with stone.

Then what?

As the hole is being dug, sand and mud are scooped out. In WFET’s case, if we’re digging a new borehole, once we get to the water we have to check if the water is salty or fresh. If it’s salty the process has to start all over again at a new location. If it’s fresh, the hole is then lined to keep mud and sand out of the water being pumped out. It’s lined with a double casing from bottom to top. Gravel pec – stops sand from getting and blocking the hole.

The hole is then equipped and the trough is built. These bore holes can pump a minimum of thousands of liters of water per hour.

With so many elephants coming to drink out of these bore holes, the pumps we use have to be strong enough to pump enough water for the 800 elephants that can arrive in one day. This means using a diesel pump. Our plan, in partnership with the government, is to eventually build a solar pump that can match that power.

The next step? Drink up!