The Mara Elephant Project - A Legacy that still lives on


Elephants in Kenya face major challenges. Human population growth has led to habitat loss, while poaching remains a constant threat. Thankfully, the Mara Elephant Project (MEP) has been working tirelessly since 2011, partnering with the Wildlife Research and Training Institute (WRTI) and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

Founded in 2011 by Richard and Liz Roberts, the Mara Elephant Project is dedicated to elephant conservation in Kenya. Inspired by his family's deep commitment to a legacy of conservation stretching back three generations, Richard, who grew up in the Mara from the age of three, aimed to extend this mission by protecting elephants and fostering peaceful coexistence with local communities through reduced human-wildlife conflict.


Through the collaring and tracking of over 80 elephants across Kenya, the Mara Elephant Project gains crucial data on their movements and habitat utilization. This information helps understand how elephants navigate their environment and allows MEP to detect security risks and respond swiftly, ultimately protecting these majestic giants.

Imagine a tool that can monitor elephants and deter them from entering human settlements peacefully. Drones are making this a reality as communities living alongside elephants often face the challenge of protecting their crops and homes. MEP uses drones as a key tool for surveillance and deterring elephants. Their buzzing sound, mimicking that of bees (of which elephants are afraid - fun fact), effectively encourages elephants to quickly move out of community settlements and back to safety.

MEP-trained rangers have played a crucial role in numerous rescue efforts. Their dedication extends beyond technology, with over 80 Maasai Rangers trained by MEP becoming role models in their communities and ambassadors for wildlife protection.  From locating wounded elephants to removing snares, their quick action, often in collaboration with KWS and veterinary doctors from the Sheldrick Trust, has saved countless lives. 


MEP's commitment goes beyond individual rescues. They've also mapped the Greater Mara Ecosystem, one of Kenya's most critical ecosystems. This helps MEP researchers understand how elephants respond to environmental changes but also benefits pastoralists and other wildlife by providing insights into sustainable resource management. Through their integrated and impactful approach, MEP has continuously improved elephant conservation strategies, ensuring these gentle giants have a brighter future.

The MEP is a pretty incredible group, wouldn't you say? They are all about giving these incredible creatures a fighting chance. They reckon that elephants deserve to roam free and have a healthy future, and they're doing everything they can to make that happen. So, if you're passionate about elephants and want to see them thrive in their natural habitat, the Mara Elephant Project is worth checking out. You can learn more about them and even support their efforts. 


P.S. Richard (the founder of MEP) set up an amazing lodge in the Mara North Conservancy - Richard’s River Camp.

If you're interested in getting involved in Mara's conservation efforts and seeking luxurious accommodation, feel free to enquire below for more details about this camp.

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