"Conservation of the environment, which we have inherited as custodians, is not only a subject of specialist and activist interest. It is an imperative for society to hand on a less distressed situation than we have caused. There is a growing public awareness in appreciating what we have and in doing what we can together, to ensure we do not continue to lose species on a daily basis. Each loss impacts on everyone and everything in some way." ~ Strilli Oppenheimer
Tswalu's passion for conservation
One of the things we love most about Tswalu is their unbelievable passion for conservation, which is no doubt down to the Oppenheimer’s hard work and influence. Research has become a vital part of what they do here, and continues to reveal fascinating aspects of the ecology. Indigenous animal species have been successfully (re)introduced and are thriving, including the elusive pangolin!
Conservation goals at Tswalu
They have three conservation goals, which are linked to the past, present and future of the southern Kalahari:
To restore the natural environment;
To re-establish and protect biodiversity; and
To maintain the Kalahari’s characteristic ecological processes.
The Tswalu Kalahari community
The team at Tswalu don’t just have wildlife at their heart. They are also people-people. The Tswalu community consists of their amazing staff members and their families, researchers, visiting doctors that support the healthcare centre, visiting artists in residence, and each of the lodge guests, alongside a wider community of neighbours, conservationists and everyone who cares about the restoration of the Kalahari. With this in mind, Tswalu have a whole host of facilities to cater to these amazing people.
The Tswalu School provides the ideal educational foundation for the Tswalu staff members’ children. More structured learning sessions are integrated with creative play and opportunities to explore their surroundings. They even have their Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) programmes which help their team members with literacy and gaining formal recognition for their skills and knowledge. In addition to the school, the Tswalu Healthcare Centre is a focal point for the community, providing vital medical services and health education to improve the quality of life for approximately 5000 people per year in the surrounding communities, as well as the lodges’ team members and their families.
All in all, we just love Tswalu Kalahari. In their words, it ‘lets you reconnect with the richness of the earth. It offers an escape to a place that’s governed by the ancient rhythms of the seasons, rather than the clock and the calendar. It offers a vision of hope that brings together conservation, research and unrivalled safari experience. Everything we do is centred around our creed: To leave our world better than how we found it’.