For local residents, it's a challenging process. The elephants are often hungry, and happy to decimate any crops they come across. But the gentle giants also bring prosperity - attracting more tourists to the region.
A month-long operation in May recovered thousands of animals and tons of timber from smugglers and illegal loggers. The operation involved police, customs and wildlife authorities in 92 countries.
Driving across Namibia can be tricky, but the reward is inspiring landscapes. With environmental protection written into its constitution, Namibia is an ideal destination in the UN's year of sustainable tourism.
Tanzania's government still wants a hydroelectric dam built in a key wildlife reserve despite mounting appeals from UNESCO. The WWF conservation group says the project also threatens the livelihoods of 200,000 residents.
The former first lady of Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe, is suspected by wildlife officials of having smuggled ivory worth millions of dollars. The wife of ex-President Robert Mugabe was once tipped to lead the country.
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