Elephant Human Relations Aid

EHRA provides practical and realistic solutions to the elephant-human-conflict, helping people AND desert elephants to live safely and in harmony in Namibia.

About the Project

Elephant Human Rlations Aid is a Namibian registered not for gain organisation (reg no. 21/2003/630) which has been in operation for 12 years. The aim of the organisation is to conserve the desert elephant population in Southern Damaraland, Namibia, through anti conflict measures.

In the 1980s the population of desert-adapted elephants in the Southern Kunene Region were wiped out through years of poaching and hunting. For years elephants were absent from the area. In 1998 an elephant bull led a herd back to the Ugab River. From that point on other herds followed until today where there are a total of 7 elephant herds in the Ugab and Huab River areas.

Unfortunately, the people that now live in this area are not used to coexisting with the elephants. Traditional houses have been destroyed, elephants have used man made dams and broke infrastructures such as windmills or damaged water tanks with their tusks. This leaves people without access to water and creates a misunderstanding toward the elephants.

The Elephant Humans Relations Aid project aims to address this inbalance in nature by protecting water points and educating the people about a well functioning coexistence.

Over 1250 people have been volunteers with EHRA in Namibia. The volunteer project is dirty work, but very rewarding.  You will see the difference your hard work makes to elephant conservation. Volunteers protect the water points the elephants damage and spend a week tracking and collecting data on the local herds, sleeping wild under the stars in the Namibian desert!

EHRA's wildlife volunteer program is structured in 2-week rotations, but you can repeat for a maximum of 12 weeks. A volunteer group has a maximum of 14 people, of all ages and from all walks of life who join the program and come to Namibia to experience life in the African bush! Minimum age is 17 years old and there is no maximum age limit.

Social Impact

Elephant Human Relations Aid (EHRA) provides realistic and practical solutions to Elephant-Human Conflict. Our solutions include the Water Point Protection Project, an Elephant ID and Movement Database, The PEACE Project, which is an educational project aimed at empowering people with knowledge on elephants for a well-functioning coexistence, and lastly we run a Schools Partnership Project where we assist schools in elephant areas with safety advise and renovation work.

Elephant Human Relations Aid enables volunteers to Africa to contribute to elephant conservation by joining our volunteer project, which aims to reduce conflict between elephants and humans through:

Elephant Movement and ID Database

Tracking and monitoring the desert elephant in the southern Kunene Region of Namibia in Africa are important functions EHRA performs with the help of the volunteer project teams, enabling us to compile identikits of all elephants and to map their movement patterns. Data collected is entered on our online database which links GPS positions to Google Earth maps.  From this information, we can ascertain which farms and homesteads require protection and where the elephants roam during different seasons.

As the desert-dwelling elephants of Namibia are still adapting to the end of poaching and over-hunting and the vast areas of land now open to them, their movements and habits are still transient and largely unknown. Elephant Human Relations Aid believes accurate data on elephant numbers and movements, the ability to identify each elephant, and knowledge of individual elephant personalities are paramount to effective conservation management in Africa.

Water point Protection Programme

In their search for water, elephants can cause extensive damage to valuable water sources, often rendering communities in Namibia without water for what can be years.  

The EHRA elephant conservation volunteer project works directly with local communities to protect vulnerable structures from damage with walls which allow the elephants to drink but prevent access to the windmills, water storage tanks or pumps. 

Our conservation volunteer project provides valuable manpower for the construction of protection walls and also provides funding for twice monthly vehicle-based patrols of the area, when the volunteer groups assist EHRA staff monitoring the elephants and the status of walls built previously. Namibia is a beautiful area of Africa and volunteer groups can expect to see some of the most stunning areas Namibia has to offer.


Elephant Human Relations Aid believes education is an important tool in safe-guarding the future and conservation of the desert-dwelling elephants in Namibia.  EHRA's PEACE (People and Elephants Amicably Co-Existing) Project focuses on empowering community members (including school learners) with knowledge on elephant behaviour so they can live without fear of the desert elephants.   

EHRA also helps in supporting local schools with volunteer efforts ranging from a project rebuilding classrooms, dormitories or toilets and showers to building a computer network from donated computers and installing a library.  EHRA has also set up a partnership programme between overseas schools and schools in Namibia.

NPO Status
Yes, registered non-profit organisation
Foundation Year
Contact Person
Rachel Harris
Where can you volunteer?
What can you do?
Typical volunteer team With the community Build week! Pupils from our partner school Baby! Cooking on the fire Looking for elephants Elephant bull Typical patrol camp Elephant herd Elephant road sign! EHRA base camp Elephant calf and mother Elephants in the wetlands EHRA

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