The gardener – Elephant

by | Jul 29, 2016

Elephants play an important role in maintaining biodiversity. They can be best described as the “Architects of the savannah”and natures constant gardeners, moving great distances foraging which open up dense bush land creating grasslands for grazers. Their knocking over of trees creates microhabitats for smaller creatures like reptiles and insects, which in turn provides food for birds. Defecating up to 17 piles of poo per day provides food for beetles, other insects and birds, as well as providing potting soil for the many seeds that have passed through their system to germinate. Indeed, a myriad of forest species are totally dependent on elephants for their survival.


Where elephants go, other species follow. Lose the elephants and we will lose so much more. As human settlement expands, we must set aside corridors between protected habitats to ensure the continued movement of elephants and other wildlife. Elephants will do much of the biodiversity work for us if we allow them to. But we must stop the slaughter of elephants, and provide the space and protect their habitats for them to get on with their good work.


The Tsavo West National Park is a section of one of the largest wildlife conservancies on the planet, as well as one of Kenya’s largest wildlife national parks. It is well-known for its resident population of Red Elephants as well as the tale of the Tsavo Man-eaters. Unfortunately, most of the communities bordering these parks have never had a chance to visit them due to the cost. For these reasons Amara organizes game drives with Purdue University students each year into Tsavo West National Park. We also encourage children to form Wildlife Clubs and embrace their wildlife and environment. This year Mrabenyi Secondary School in Taita Taveta County had the opportunity to tour the vast Park and interact with the University students from USA.


tHistorically, the Tsavo Area is renowned for the Man-eaters of Tsavo, two mane-less lions who developed a taste to prey on humans back in the early 1900’s (various reasons are cited for this, one recently being that they suffered from tooth decay and pain that made hunting difficult for them!). Although they were later shot, they killed many people that were constructing the railway line connecting Mombasa and Nairobi. Additionally, it was the main battlefield between the Germans and the Britons in Africa in the course of World War I. Currently the area is very peaceful and is now famous for its resident Red-colored Elephants, that enjoy dust-bathing in the red colored soil. The serene environment of Tsavo comes mainly with thorny bushland, open grasslands and among the most beautiful scenic areas are; the Yatta plateau, the World’s longest lava flow stretching 290km; Mzima springs; Shetani Lava Flow; Chaimu Hill; and Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary.

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