Experience Tswalu

Our Stories

We invite you to find inspiration and learn more about Tswalu through our stories, or blog posts, written by members of our community as well as guest contributors. Browse by category to read about our luxury camps, guest experiences, scientific research projects, sustainability journey, culinary heritage, conservation successes and much, much more.

When a pangolin sniffed my boot

One of the tagged pangolins became a central character in Leonie’s story. On her very first night, after several hours of following the pangolin’s tracks with the researchers through the dunes to its burrow, she had a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

In conversation with Thomas Peschak

Thomas Peschak’s assignments for National Geographic have taken him all over the world. Several months spent with the Tswalu Foundation led to a story for the iconic magazine about the impact of climate change on biodiversity in an arid savannah.

In conversation with Valery Phakoago

PhD candidate Valery Phakoago is studying population densities, habitat preference, diet and activity patterns of aardvarks and Temminck’s ground pangolins at Tswalu Kalahari, a project which falls under the KEEP climate-change programme.

In conversation with Wendy Panaino

PhD candidate Wendy Panaino is Tswalu’s resident ground pangolin expert and project manager for the Kalahari Endangered Ecosystem Project (KEEP), which aims to understand the responses of multiple Kalahari organisms to climate change.

Boscia trees and butterflies

Current research has confirmed that Tswalu Kalahari is distinctly a source area for the butterfly migration, thanks to the large number of Boscia albitrunca trees on both sides of the Korannaberg mountains.

Secret pollinators of Nerine laticoma

Since Nerine species generally tend to have only one or two pollinators, the glorious proliferation of pollinators of this particular species is fascinating and has led to more questions.

Unearthing the Kalahari’s long human history

Until recently there had been little systematic archaeological research within the expansive, protected area of Tswalu. However, there is clear evidence of human activity extending back in time to at least 500,000 years ago.

Highly adaptive brown hyena

The hierarchy of the brown hyena is quite complex, with aggressive rituals dominating relationships. Clans are incredibly territorial, and may cover an area of up to 500 square kilometres.

The secret life of pangolins

While pangolins are known to be threatened by the illegal wildlife trade, electrocution by electric fences, habitat loss, and road mortalities, very little attention has been focused on how climate change will affect their welfare.

The impact of climate change

There are few, and possibly no other, studies that have aimed to understand responses of multiple species with an entire ecosystem, making KEEP a unique, ground-breaking project.

Researching butterfly diversity

It is extraordinary to think that 77 butterfly species have been identified at Tswalu, a semi-arid zone that receives on average less than 400 millimeters of rain annually.

Clever Kalahari tree skinks

The Kalahari tree skink is a tree-dwelling lizard commonly found on a camel thorn or shepherd’s tree, especially common if the tree contains a sociable weaver colony.

Sociable weaver’s nests – Kalahari icons

The Kalahari invokes many vivid images, but none more so than a silhouetted camelthorn tree complete with sociable weaver's nest in a red sunset.

Vulture conservation

Three of South Africa’s nine vulture species, including the once-prolific White-backed vulture, have declined to such an extent that they are regarded as Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Elusive aardvark, ecosystem engineer

Aardvarks are strange animals. They look like a bizarre hybrid between a kangaroo, pig and vacuum cleaner. They are mostly active at night, smell odd, and live most of their lives in solitude.

Thermal ecology of Cape cobras

Even though Cape cobras are quite conspicuous snakes (they are large, with colours ranging from bright yellow through speckled brown to almost black), there is still much that is not known about their ecology.

What defines Tswalu Kalahari

The wide, open spaces of Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa’s largest, privately owned reserve, have long drawn travellers seeking a deeply layered, immersive safari.

World Pangolin Day

On World Pangolin Day we are reminded that all species of pangolin are threatened by illegal trade, which persists and is escalating.

Kalahari Endangered Ecosystem Project

The KEEP (Kalahari Endangered Ecosystem Project) project has been formed to try to answer some of the pressing issues related specifically to climate change effects in the Southern Kalahari region.

Pangolin research at Tswalu

The ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii) is a charismatic but threatened mammal found on Tswalu. It also happens to be the subject of some fascinating research.

Drag
Scroll