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PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA (12/13/07) – The number “10” on the scale of perfection is the ideal way to describe the Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa.  And, now it has another 10 to celebrate.  On December 12th, for the tenth consecutive year, Shamwari was named the World’s Leading Safari and Game Reserve and the World’s Leading Conservation Company at the prestigious World Travel Awards in a gala ceremony in the Turks & Caicos in Caribbean. 

            The story of Shamwari is an extraordinary one.  It is the fulfillment of the vision of Adrian Gardiner, its founder, who believed that peace and understanding between man and animals and the land could be achieved in the Eastern Cape, a land that had been devastated after it was once one of the richest wildlife zones in Africa.  With the creation of Shamwari, the first major reserve in the area, he developed new jobs, rejuvenated the region, and helped increase the flow of foreign currency through tourism. 

            From the word-go, Adrian was consistent about ecological management.  He established a Conservation Department which includes a veterinary surgeon, an ecologist, an environment manager, and 38 in staff.  A highly trained anti-poaching unit, including an airplane and pilot, provides security for all the fauna and flora at the Reserve and a recycling system is in place for waste disposal as well as a water-recycling program.   A Breeding Centre, with a Wildlife Manager, on 2500 hectares enables certain species to breed in the absence of predators.  Also, at Shamwari, the Born Free Foundation Animal Rescue and Education Center has a special area to provide long term humane care for rescued African Cats who cannot be returned to the wild.

            Once Shamwari was established, Adrian pursued his quest in other parts of South Africa and the world with the establishment of the Mantis Collection.  Recently, he concluded an agreement between the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and Shamwari to work together and support one another on conservation projects.

Hailed by the Wall Street Journal as the “Travel industry’s equivalent to the Oscars,” the World Travel Awards are the most comprehensive and most prestigious awards program in the travel industry today.  Over 167,000 travel professionals worldwide voted for their favorites in all sectors of the travel industry.  The event was broadcast globally by BBC World and was covered by leading print publications.

On receiving these two awards, Adrian said: “We are very proud to have been recognized as the best by our industry partners worldwide for ten straight years.  When we began, conservation was a small part of tourism.  Today, we are very encouraged that more tourists are aware that we must sustain and preserve our environment for the generations to come.  It is our firm commitment that tourism should benefit all people, not just the few.”

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