News & Offers

Tswalu Introduces Rhino Conservation Experience


Tswalu, South Africa’s largest private game reserve, is introducing a conservation experience focusing on generic data collection of endangered rhino populations of the Southern Kalahari ecosystem.

From April to September, guests are welcomed to join the rhino notching initiative to analyze and support the genetic integrity of the protected rhino populations across South Africa after suffering a tragic decline over recent years.

During this intimate wildlife experience, trained trackers and veterinarians set out across the Kalahari to dart young rhinos, ideally between two and three years old. After marking and associating the rhino with a recorded number, the team plants a small microchip under the skin and horns for future identity and security purposes. DNA samples are then collected and later added into a global DNA database that helps track and prevent illegally traded rhino horns.

Image by Marcus Westberg

During this encounter, guests form part of the ground crew and are invited to take part of this microchipping experience that includes helping to monitor the rhinos body temperature and breathing. The private rhino notching experience is $7,265 for 2022-2023 and covers the costs of a wildlife veterinarian, the specialized drugs in the darts, and flying expenses. Guests can further participate in Tswalu’s rhino recovery initiatives by donating directly to the reserve; first and foremost an ambitious conservation project that funds numerous research projects, geared towards understanding and conserving key species within the Kalahari ecosystem. All funds directly contribute to a credible and imperative rhino conservation project to re-establish populations where they can be protected.

As one of the many wildlife conservation experiences, Tswalu practices low-impact, high-value approaches to sustainable ecotourism to help fund the critical conservation work for future generations. Tswalu’s conservation goals focus on restoring the natural environment, re-establishing and protecting biodiversity, and maintaining the Kalahari’s characteristic ecological processes, all carried out through environmental research supported by the Tswalu Foundation. The Tswalu Foundation is a world leader in the field of environmental research within the southern Kalahari. However, the benefits of the targeted research extend beyond Tswalu, adding to a collective knowledge base that has already assisted conservationists in wilderness areas in other parts of Africa as well as those working in academic fields.

Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest privately-owned reserve, set in the green Kalahari. Its low-impact, high-value approach to ecotourism ensures that revenue flows directly back into conservation work. With only two camps, The Motse and Tarkuni, Tswalu accommodates just 30 people and has the lowest guest footprint in South Africa. The property is unique in that it has a foundation dedicated to research. Research informs every conservation decision taken and is a vital part of what Tswalu is all about. Guests are encouraged to interact with scientists and doctoral students in the field, should they have a keen interest in a specific subject. Those who choose Tswalu contribute to the sustainability of our commitment to preserving the southern Kalahari’s biodiversity for future generations.

Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

Read more posts by Mark Bibby Jackson →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *