Conservation | Sep 2023


Walking safari at Tswalu Kalahari

Tswalu’s annual impact statement was developed in collaboration with The Long Run in response to a growing interest from travellers for credible data related to the environment and sustainable travel. Based on The Long Run’s 4C framework, namely Conservation, Community, Commerce and Culture, the report provides a snapshot of how nature-based tourism positively impacts planet and people, particularly conservation and community initiatives in the safari context.


Information about ‘where the money goes’ had not been readily available before the launch of this economic nutrition label. Tswalu’s annual impact statements are based on actual achievements, rather than projected figures, making it more accurate and therefore more credible. It demonstrates how a significant percentage of the cost of a guest’s stay contributes to our long-term goal of protecting the Kalahari ecosystem and restoring Africa’s greatest tourism asset – biodiversity.


Biodiversity at Tswalu


Climate focus has raised awareness around sustainability, including the negative and positive impact of travel. Research shows that travellers are becoming more mindful of the impact of their spend and that they are also willing to invest more to travel sustainably. According to The Long Run’s Executive Director, Delphine Malleret-King, the urgency of the climate crisis coupled with the proliferation of sustainability marketing claims makes accountability and transparency in the conservation space more critical than ever before.

Of significance is that the total number of beds across Tswalu’s three safari camps represents the lowest ratio of guests to space in a privately protected reserve in South Africa. Rather than being just about accommodation, meals and activities, our nightly rates need to be considered in the context of the private wilderness experience and privileged access they provide. By choosing Tswalu, our guests contribute to our regenerative conservation vision to leave the world better than how we found it.


Tswalu guest experiences


By staying with us in 2022, our guests helped conserve 114,000 hectares and impact the lives of 282 staff members and their families. In addition, nature-based tourism helped us provide essential health care to 5711 patients through the health care centre, a community service that is provided free of charge to anyone living within a 100-kilometre radius of the reserve. In total, Tswalu invested US$ 5,136,000 in nature and people in 2022.

By continuing to be transparent about the allocation of funds generated by nature-based tourism, we hope to provide our guests with a clearer understanding of the cost of conservation and what it takes to operate more sustainably and extend our positive impact.


Loapi landscape


View our annual Impact Statements:


Images by Marcus Westberg, Dook and Don Heyneke Photography