There is no experience like meeting a wild elephant for the first-time on a safari. If you’ve had the opportunity to ride one, you can probably still recall the lightness in their step, the fuzzy short-hair covering their skin or the soft vibrations between your legs, as they communicated with their herd far beyond your eye could see. Such authentic encounters in the wild have long been a must-do when visiting Africa or Asia.

Each year however, this bucket list trip becomes less and less realistic, with 10% of the African elephant population decreasing due to poaching, habitat loss and mistreatment in captivity. At such an alarming rate, the next 10 years will determine the future of the African elephant species, while those of Asia head towards a similar morbid fate due to urbanization and logging.

Organizations such as The Bodhi Tree Foundation, a non-profit aimed at mobilizing travelers and the tourism industry to support endangered places, are taking action to save these experiences for future generations to enjoy.

In January 2014 they launched the S.A.F.E (Safeguarding A Future for Africa’s Elephants) campaign in response to the alarming rise of poaching for ivory in Africa. Since then they’ve rallied the travel community to educate and raise awareness for the need to support elephant conservation projects, such as the African Wildlife Foundation, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Save the Elephants and WildAid, all beneficiaries.

As 2015 marks the 10-year countdown to possible extinction, the need to combat the forces aligned against the elephant must commence if we’re to reverse the diminishing population. As part of the S.A.F.E campaign, the “Power of 10” initiative hopes to raise a minimum of $10,000 for 10 crucial elephant conservation projects, in 10 landscapes where the population is in critical state. “These specific projects range from supporting park rangers in Uganda and Zambia and building watering holes in Kenya and Zimbabwe, to creating a mobile veterinarian facility in Thailand and protecting a vital elephant corridor in Cambodia.” explains Jackie Magid, Executive Director of The Bodhi Tree Foundation.

While there is still time, we must reverse the declining population of elephants, providing them with an opportunity to thrive once again in the wild, allowing for future generations of travelers a chance to experience such a bucket list worthy trip.

To learn more about the 10 local field organizations or to get involved visit www.saveafricaselephants.com, and make a donation knowing 100% of the proceeds go directly to the cause of your choice.

  • Elephants

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