Fittingly named, the Jwaneng Diamond Mine – the richest diamond mine in the world – is situated in south-central Botswana, on the fringes of the Kgalagadi, approximately 80 kms west of Kanye. Jwaneng means ‘a place of small stones.’

Owned and operated by Debswana, a partnership between the diamond mining magnate DeBeers and the Botswana Government, Jwaneng has been in operation since 1982, and has consistently contributed a large share of Botswana’s total ore output. In 2007, the mine produced approximately 13.5 million carats from 10.3 million tonnes of ore.

The mine’s accompanying township (population, 15,000) is an open one, and tourists can drive through the township and make use of its facilities, such as petrol stations, restaurants or guest houses.

The mine has established and supports the nearby Jwana Game Park, which is home to a number of indigenous wildlife species, excluding the large predators. There is, however, a Cheetah Conservation Botswana field unit in the park. And in 2007, two white rhinos were introduced into the park from the Khama Rhino Sanctuary.

Members of the public are welcome to visit the game park, and tours of the diamond mine can be booked through the Jwaneng Mine Public Relations Office, tel: +267 588-4245.