We are about to undertake a very ambitious plan to let the world know how much Tanzania and its people cares about the natural world, and the elephant, in particular.
On 4th November 2013, a very important conference, called by IUCN, will commence. It will bring together world leaders and experts in the fields of conservation and illegal wildlife trade, to try to secure the future of the most iconic land mammal on the planet; the elephant. This is a once in a generation opportunity to send a powerful message to those world politicians who are in a position to help.
By “Herding For Elephants”, we will be able to explain to the ordinary people of Tanzania, the full extent of what is happening, and galvanize them, particularly the next generation of adults, to help stop the slaughter. We will also be able to show the world leaders that the people are prepared to stand up for the elephant, and will be watching closely the outcome of the IUCN conference.
Two herds of humans will move towards Dar es Salaam, one from the North, and one from the South. They will be dressed, along with their vehicles, in celebration of elephants, and will be looking to draw the attention of every village along the way. They hope to collect more herders with whatever transport means they have, at any point they can and to move with the group for as long as they can. Some might just join us for a kilometre, some for a whole day’s stage, one or two, perhaps for the whole safari.
At important junctures, the herds will stop and gather a larger herd together. There will be teams of students from the area who will compete for their schools in elephant quizzes, elephant style athletics, and in presenting an elephant model made by the school. There will also be lectures, music, food and drink, and chances for those with the means to support the TEPS cause through donations or by buying our “Herding For Elephants” T-shirts.
There will be TV and newspaper journalists all along the way, spreading the message to the whole country, and making our elephant models, and elephant-dressed vehicles more and more famous as they go. There will even be a giant elephant teapot, dispensing tea to the weary herd as it arrives in each destination.
By Dar es Salaam, we hope that our message of support for the elephant will be in the ears of all the leaders arriving to tackle the poaching crisis. We hope to attract a few delegates to our fundraising dinner, the night before they begin their discussions, and celebrate a successful journey.
Whatever we receive along the way will be crucial to help TEPS support the government, and pull together all those with the will and the heart to protect the elephant for generations to come.