The problem we face is that at 220 individual elephants, the Tembe Elephant Reserve is currently at maximum carrying capacity. Already our breeding herds are limited by a contraception programme to prevent degradation of our sensitive sand forests. More space is required to allow our elephant numbers to grow, and reduce pressure on the Reserve ecosystem.

The Tembe Tribal Authority has partnered with us in finding a solution, with the magnificent donation of 5000ha of community land to expand the Reserve. But, this expanded area needs to be fenced and patrolled to protect the last stronghold of the Big Tusker gene pool in South Africa.

The Tembe Tusker Foundation was formed to raise funds to help make this possible. We’d like to appeal to you – if your Tembe experience has brought any of the wonder and majesty of Africa and its great grey giants to life for you, please help us secure their future.


Prof. Thandi Nzama


Prof. Thandi Nzama has a PhD in Geography, specialising in Tourism. Her passion lies in this field and that of Biodiversity Conservation. She has served on numerous boards that have afforded her the opportunity to make contributions in these two fields of her research interest. She has presented papers at many conferences and supervised numerous Masters and Doctoral students who are currently making significant contributions in Tourism development and Biodiversity conservation in southern Africa.

Inkosi Tembe

As leader of the Tembe Traditional Council and Executive Member of the KZN Provincial House of Traditional Leaders, Inkosi Tembe has played a key role in the history of the Tembe Elephant Park. His commitment to uplifting his people through conservation and protecting the natural heritage of the Tembe people for generations to come has been integral to the success of Tembe Elephant Park and the Lodge (which are co-owned and managed by the tribe) as a flagship community-based conservation initiative.


An ex-board member of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Inkosi Tembe is a keen supporter of anti-rhino poaching campaigns and other endangered species conservation initiatives in the region. He also leads community campaigns against gender -based violence, substance abuse and discrimination against people living with albinism while promoting the preservation of traditional Tembe culture in schools.

Owen Murray-Greene

With a BSc in Land Surveying from the University of Natal, Owen Murray Greene boasts over 36 years’ experience in the fields of Township Planning, Agricultural Planning, Cadastral and Engineering Surveying as well as Land Management.


He has served on numerous Provincial and National Government Committees and consulted extensively in the corporate and private sector. An ex-chairman of The Ingonyama Trust Board (which administers the over 3 million hectares of land held in trust for the Zulu clans by their King).


Owen brings to the Board an intimate knowledge of the Tembe region and the issues surrounding traditional land rights and management, land usage and tenureship.

Dr. Johan Marais

Johan qualified as a veterinary surgeon at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Onderstepoort, South Africa in 1991.  After spending 5 years in equine racing and mixed practice, he joined academia as a lecturer and researcher for the next 18 years. Johan obtained a BVSc Honours degree in 2001 and an MSc degree in Wildlife in 2007.


In 2012, Johan founded Saving the Survivors, an NPO specialising in the  treatment of endangered wildlife species like rhino, elephant, cheetah and wild dog. Johan and his team have pioneered treatments for facial injuries, gunshot wounds and fractures in injured rhino.


A noted wildlife photographer, Dr Marais has travelled extensively in search of Africa’s legendary great tusker elephants and has published two bestselling coffee table books, He also guides elephant safaris and workshops on these iconic animals.

Ernest Robbertse

Ernest was self-employed in variety of entrepreneurial business activities before establishing Ernest Robbertse & Associates, a private investigation agency, specialising in the fields of intellectual property and excise duty compliance.


From 1998 to the present date, Ernest has been involved as shareholder and director of Tembe Safari (Pty) Ltd who co-own and manage the Tembe Elephant Lodge, in partnership with the Tembe tribe.


His strong links with, and deep involvement in the Tembe community have helped turn the Tembe Elephant Park into one of southern Africa’s flagship community conservation initiatives, with the people benefitting directly from revenues generated by the Park, which also creates opportunity for employment, education and community upliftment in what was formerly one of the most impoverished areas of Southern Africa.


Nic Vaughan Jones

Management Consultant

Nic has a National Diploma in Nature Conservation and twenty years’ experience in Game Reserve, Game Lodge and Hospitality development and management in the public and private sector.

Starting with the then Natal Parks board, he has extensive experience in wildlife capture and translocation and the establishment of Big Five wildlife reserves on rehabilitated cattle and goat ranches.

Nic has been involved in numerous philanthropic community projects centred mainly around conservation initiatives across southern, central and eastern Africa that utilise the benefits of sustainable wildlife management to educate and uplift remote local communities.

Derek Whalley

Management Consultant

As an ex-game ranger (with experience in both Zimbabwe and South Africa), Derek is a committed champion of conservation in Africa. An accomplished wildlife photographer, he has been a long-time supporter of various Tembe projects and initiatives, while his Durban-based advertising agency has been the brand custodian of the Tembe Elephant Park for many years.