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African Wildlife Conservation

The Tanglewood Foundation supports various projects across Southern Africa aimed at Wildlife Conservation & Education.

African Wildlife Conservation: Programs
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Albany Thicket Biodiversity Corridor Restoration

The Tanglewood Foundation has helped enable the next stage in this conservation project and has been the catalyst in moving to upscale the restoration work, by making the donation that bought the property, land, and renovated the buildings of the new Tanglewood Research Area. The project is under the custodianship of Wilderness Foundation Africa, will be driven by the Conservation Landscapes Institute, with the restoration work designed by a team under Mike Powell at Rhodes University. Both Indalo and Buffalo Kloof are existing registered Protected Environments.

Tanglewood Conservation Area will be used to upscale the Albany Thicket restoration work of Rhodes University in Grahamstown. It will become the blueprint for restoration of biodiversity, community upliftment, and wildlife rehabilitation in an area of up to 350 000 hectares.

The big vision is to create an Albany Biodiversity Corridor, a connected landscape between Addo, and Great Fish Game Reserve, extending all the way towards the sea. An area where communities live and work in harmony with nature, and where we can once again have elephants and rhino roaming the landscape, with the ability to migrate along this huge landscape naturally, as they historically used to do, within 15 – 20 years. Now that is something worth getting excited about!

If we can achieve this in the Eastern Cape, one of the poorest, marginalised areas, overgrazed, and degraded landscapes, then we can set an example to implement this elsewhere as well.

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Elephants Alive Community Gardens (2020)

Tanglewood Foundation will fund this ambitious project where Elephants Alive will create community gardens complete with bee hives as a “proof of concept” to engage local communities to co-exist with Elephants in the communities around the parks and in future corridors between parks.

Elephants are deterred by the presence of bees so the beehives are attached to iconic trees and hung on wires around gardens so when Elephants come near they disturb the bees. When the bees become agitated, this encourages the Elephants to move on and find other food sources.

In this pilot, Elephants Alive will be collaborating with the Black Mamba Anti Poaching Unit (APU).

Benefits will include the following;

Proof of concept and knowledge for future rollout of this programme.

Education to avoid Human Elephant conflict.

Organic companion planting as an exemplar of the standard to help demonstrate permaculture principles.

Honey for sale under the Elephants Alive Brand.

Income for the community.

Organic healthy vegetables for sale to lodges and the community.


Mike Kendrick of Wild Shots Outreach has been a previous recipient of Tanglewood Funding via Elephants Alive in 2017.
2020 sees Tanglewood undertaking direct funding of Mike’s work. It is inspiring to see how Mike teaches local students from tough backgrounds to take pictures and tell stories with their camera’s. The skills, confidence and job prospects this work leads to is providing much needed opportunities.


Spekboom Regeneration

Tanglewood are looking to work with Dr Will Fowlds, the Indalo Properties of Eastern Cape and Wilderness Foundation on an ambitious scheme to rewild vast areas in the Eastern Cape to provide essential game corridors between the various EC Reserves. This is the home of Spekboom, often touted as a wonder plant for its ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere both during the day and at night. This drought resistant, fire resistant and edible plant is ideal for sustaining Rhino and Elephant along with other game when it is planted as part of the Albany thicket which is endemic to the EC area.

This project would have the following benefits that are hugely attractive to Tanglewood Foundation;

Sequestering carbon on a massive scale.

Increasing much needed safe habitat for Rhino and Elephants.

Community empowerment and employment in a desperately poor region of South Africa.

Potential redistribution of some restored land to the local communities to benefit from tourism derived income.

Restoring degraded farmland that has been hopelessly over grazed and now lies fallow.

Tanglewood is looking to fund much needed initial investigations for this project and potential carbon credit assessment.   

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Matsetso stars was started by Jane High, who lives in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe.  She received a letter from some youngsters who had tried to start their own football team. These kids lived in a traditional village known as Matsetso which was known as the poorest neighbourhood of Chimanimani town. Matsetso has a high proportion of disadvantaged kids and HIV orphans who live on the edges of the golf course in Chimanimani. 

They have a Youth Centre with library and computers and where they hold a weekly power point presentation on issues which affect them, in particular environmental issues such as Climate Change, fires, care of our Trees, soils and rivers. Jane believes sport teaches many valuable life lessons to children but her larger vision is that this Sports Program be used to teach them how valuable and how vulnerable their natural heritage in Chimanimani really is. With help from local tourism businesses and tourists, children who were previously unable to attend school receive school uniforms, supplementary feeding and their school fees paid.

Tanglewood Foundation is sponsoring one of their students, Tim to complete his birding training so that he can become a bird guide for tourists in the area.

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This is an innovative study run by Dr Lucy King which uses an in-depth understanding of elephant behaviour to reduce damage from crop-raiding elephants. Elephants are not fond of bees and therefore they avoid areas where there are bee hives. Lucy’s project strings a single strand of wire around the village crops and hangs beehives on this wire. When the elephants walk into the wire it disturbs the bees. The agitated bees then scare the elephants away. This not only provides protection for the crops but also provides the local communities with another form of income generation when they harvest the honey.  

As part of Carla’s Elephant Ignite Sponsorship, Tanglewood Foundation sponsored bee hives to set up two farmers Phelicia and Joshia.

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This epic expedition was a means to highlight in the world-wide media what is happening to these elephants on a grand scale. The expedition was plotted over 15,787 kilometres in the period of 100 days. This dynamic all-female crew left Durban on Women’s Day 9th August 2016 and proceeded to visit ten different countries, visiting 37 projects that work tirelessly to save the dwindling elephant populations. Tanglewood Foundation donated 20 000 educational booklets that were distributed along the route to these organisations.

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Rise of the Matriarch Expedition (2018)

50 days. 4 countries. 9000km. An all-women South African expedition will set out on a conservation mission in September 2018 to raise awareness about human-wildlife conflict. Headed by Durban/KZN environment warrior, humanitarian and adventurer, Carla Geyser, the Journeys with Purpose: Rise of the Matriarch expedition will see an all-women crew traversing South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe armed with purpose and passion.

The team will engage with local communities especially children on the human-wildlife issue and distribute 30 000 educational booklets donated by the Tanglewood Foundation, connect with anti-poaching groups, visit conservation groups and schools, and meet with incredible women who are doing remarkable things at a grassroots level to assist in conservation efforts. 

Along with donating the booklets, Tanglewood Foundation has also sponsored Lungile Dimba, Education Administrator at WESSA (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa), and Celokuhle "Smax" Biyela so that they can join the crew on the expedition.


Trees4KZN is aimed at increasing Kwa-Zulu Natal's tree count while also educating KZN’s youth about why it is important to plant and nurture our trees. Our goal is to plant 1000 trees in and around rural areas. Tanglewood Foundation has donated funds towards this incredible project.
During many expeditions through Africa, we have seen the negative impact of deforestation. It’s a massive problem. We need trees to survive. They provide us with oxygen, shade and beauty. What’s more, studies have shown that tree planting is a sustainable way to combat the effects of environmental pollution. So, planting more trees is crucial and we’d like to see more people involved around the world.


Somkhanda Game Reserve is owned by the Gumbi tribe as a result of a series of successful land claims and was handed over to the community in 1998. Somkhanda is 12000ha, which consists of 4 major properties that were previously either cattle or game farms. Of those farms claimed, one was previously known as Milimani Game Sanctuary which is where our lodge and camps are now based today.

Tanglewood Foundation donated to the Somkhanda to help run the reserve, as well as paying for the renovation of the Cottlands House. This was a run down house that had no use. The renovation of this house meant that the rhino monitors could live here on the reserve and ensure a 24/7 presence. 


Tanglewood Foundation has supported many projects that Phinda and others in the area have initiated to benefit the community surrounding their Game Reserve.  Neville Hawkey works with the local surrounding community and installed a borehole pump to help them grow vegetables. This initiative along with repairing the windmill for another pump help the local community feed itself helping prevent poaching in the nearby reserve. Each year Phinda run a campaign to help provide backpacks and essential stationary items for the new entrant school children at the nearby school. All of these things link the game reserve with the community to their mutual benefit.


Tanglewood Foundation has supported Dr Michelle Henley with her work in Africa. This includes the following projects;

Introducing the Elephants and Bees project established in Kenya by Dr Lucy King.

Collars and collaring operations for tracking Elephants in Southern Africa to obtain vital information around their range to help eliminate. Elephant-Human conflict.

New beehive design to test for honey production investment and equipment. 
Helped fund a Wildshots Educational Outreach Workshop.

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Nyandu Camp, Weenan Game Reserve 
KZN, South Africa

Frik and Chris Galliers approached the Tanglewood Foundation for funds to help refurbish and restart the community Education camp in the Weenan Game Reserve. The camp had deteriorated and needed rebuilding and also staff needed to be trained. This allows the camp to be used for educational purposes for school trips and club outings into the bush from the Guatang and KZN provinces as well as to give the local communities leaders access to enjoy the park that neighbours their property. This closer relationship with the local community is hoped to expand the park into local community land. Extending the range for the animals.


Tanglewood Foundation is supporting John Kahekwa of the Pole Pole Foundation in his vital work to save the Eastern Lowland Gorilla’s. John runs a variety of programs that are in desperate need of funding. These include the following;
Supporting the Rangers that work in the parks protecting the Gorilla’s.
Educating the locals about the need to protect the Gorilla’s and the link to tourism that brings the income to the area.
Planting Over 4 million trees that provide timber for building, charcoal and in the case of fruit trees, essential food to ensure the locals stay out of the parks.
Women’s empowerment programmes teaching them how to make and sell crafts, grow food and taking some of them to see the Gorilla’s.
Working with the Pygmies to teach them that cutting down the trees in the park is destructive and environmentally disastrous.

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