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Oppenheimers win World Wide Fund for Nature award for environmental conservation efforts

Diamonds are forever, but time is running out for our planet, which is why De Beers heir Nicky Oppenheimer and his wife Strilli work tirelessly to conserve the environment.

The owners of the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, Nicky and Strilli Oppenheimer, were recently awarded the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) prestigious Lonmin Award for environmental conservation.

The Lonmin Award was given for Oppenheimer’s active and involved support of conservation projects with the goal of fostering the biodiversity of the county’s mammals, birds, invertebrates (insects), fish and reptiles, and vegetation. He highlighted the establishment last May of the Diamond Birding Trail in the many conservation areas surrounding De Beers mines and on Oppenheimer properties in South Africa.

The Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, an exclusive malaria-free luxury private reserve located in the heart of the Northern Cape, is included on the Diamond Birding Route. Tswalu offers the ultimate safari experience in elegantly simple surroundings with the pool open to the extraordinary scene of animals drinking at a nearby watering hole.

The Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve includes lions, leopards, hyenas, kudu, nyala, antelope, buffalo, bushbuck, tssesebe, wildebeest, kudu, impala, black and white rhino, zebra, cheetah and many more.

Stargazing is big in Tswalu, as is hot air ballooning, but the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is known the world over as an excellent spot for bird watching with over 200 species of birds, some indigenous to the arid zone, which are found in the different habitats of the reserve. Birds of prey and particularly vultures are very well represented. The most abundant species are the White-backed Vulture and the Lappet-faced Vulture.

Tswalu provides a shelter and suitable habitat for vultures and attracts more and more birds to the area. The game reserve participates in the Kalahari Raptor Project monitoring program which was established because raptor numbers in this part of the country were declining due to conflict between farmers and raptors. Over the last decade the Kalahari Raptor Project has been successful and the Kalahari area has become a major destination for bird watchers who want to observe these magnificent birds in their natural habitat in the Kalahari.

Presenting the award to Nicky and Strilli Oppenheimer, Dr Rob Little, Executive Director of WWF South Africa, said: “This award is fitting recognition of the outstanding contribution that the Oppenheimer family and De Beers have made to conserving the environment. in our beautiful country.

Strilli Oppenheimer, in thanking Lonmin and WWF for recognizing the hundreds of people who did so much to do the conservation work that was being recognized responded; ‚ÄúChanges in the environment are beginning to affect us all. Finally, the conservation of the environment that we have inherited as custodians is not a matter of interest only for specialists and activists, but rather it is an imperative for society as a whole to transmit to a less afflicted population the situation that we have caused”.

The Diamond Birding Route [http://www.diamondbirdingroute.co.za] is a partnership between BirdLife South Africa, De Beers and the Oppenheimer family business, it serves as a collective and related brand for all of these unique and different birding conservation areas, dedicated to biodiversity, environmental conservation and the ecotourism it supports the development of communities.

Nine De Beers and Oppenheimer properties, located in Gauteng, the Northern Cape and the Limpopo province, have opened some 250,000 hectares of ecologically rich and diverse protected areas to the public. The Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is included on the Diamond Birding Route and is part of the Kalahari Raptor Project.

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