The article investigates the increasingly important connections between the private sector and nature conservation agencies. It looks specifically at the connections between two important philanthropists, the late Anton Rupert, a South African business tycoon, and the late Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands. Both have been highly successful in raising funds for nature conservation, and marketing the idea of transfrontier conservation. This paper explores the networks they formed and were part of to try and explain how they were able to do so. It also attempts to analyse how their donations and fund raising have shaped thinking about nature conservation in (southern) Africa. © 2010 The Authors Journal compilation © 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode.