Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is first and foremost an ambitious conservation project. Our conservation goals are linked to the past, present and future of the southern Kalahari, namely to restore the natural environment, reestablish and protect biodiversity, and maintain the Kalahari’s characteristic ecological processes.
RESEARCH SUPPORTED BY THE TSWALU FOUNDATION
From Tswalu’s earliest days, there has been a recognition that we can only care for and conserve what we can understand. Research informs all major conservation decisions, playing a vital role in revealing fascinating aspects of the reserve’s ecology and its remarkable biodiversity. Tswalu is unique in that it has a foundation dedicated to scientific research. The Tswalu Foundation has supported numerous studies that have played a part in restoring the fragile Kalahari ecosystem, and continues to collaborate with academic institutions and conservationists across Africa.
Throughout the year, the Dedeben Research Centre hosts scientists and students from all over the world, sharing knowledge while gathering data for their projects. Our guests are invited to learn more about projects of interest directly from scientists and students when they are on site, adding an exciting dimension to their safari.
As a leader in the field of biodiversity conservation, Tswalu has several notable conservation success stories to share about iconic Kalahari species, including brown hyena, cheetah and ground pangolin. Other animal species indigenous to the Kalahari, including black-maned lions, black rhinos and wild dogs, have been successfully reintroduced and are thriving.
Our team of committed conservators, working behind the scenes, place emphasis on all species, for without the presence of seemingly insignificant keystone species the ecosystem would not be able to repair or remain in balance. From insects and mole-rats to reptiles and birds, everything within the ecosystem is inextricably linked.
Tswalu has adopted a holistic approach to correcting past mistakes, laying the groundwork for long-term ecological and economic viability, and creating a model of conservation supported by ecotourism that can be sustained indefinitely.
White-backed vulture conservation
Several breeding nests of white-backed vultures were recently discovered on the reserve for the first time, during BirdLife SA's first audit of Tswalu since becoming South Africa's first Vulture Safe Zone.
In conversation: 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.
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.
Conserving the Desert black rhino
Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is regarded as one of Africa’s great conservation stories, not only through the preservation of the southern Kalahari’s diverse habitats but also the protection of many rare and critically endangered species. One such species is the Desert black rhino.
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.
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.