Serengeti Elephant Census

The Serengeti Elephant Census is part of a continent-wide endeavor to get a better idea of how many elephants remain in African.

Sunset on aircraft
Photograph by Felix Borner, FZS Pilot

The sun hits the horizon casting an orange glow across the wing struts. As the three planes touch down on the Seronera airstrip, they kick up a cloud of dust that, too, shimmers like gold in the sunset.


80 drums of aviation gasoline (16,000 litres) stand empty aside the hangars. The pilots and observers have flown over 260 hours all together, covering the entire Serengeti Ecosystem, over 30,000 square kilometres.


Their work is part of a continent-wide endeavor, the Pan African Elephant Aerial Survey – or “The Great Elephant Count.” The goal is to get a better idea of how many elephants remain on the continent.


As we await results, we look back at footage and photos from the three weeks of flying. This, alone, is enough to motivate us to protect elephants and the habitats where they still remain. The numbers will guide management decisions, but the photos of the area guide our hearts.  It is these wilderness areas that strike a chord in our soul and a desire to share them for years to come.


Follow our Facebook page and stay posted for results.

Check out photos from the count

Watch a clip from the Elephant Census