An oasis of luxury in the striking southern reaches of the Kalahari desert. Tswalu Kalahari is set on the largest private game reserve in South Africa, bordering Botswana, and offers one of the most exclusive safaris in Africa. This outstanding wilderness is shared between just two lodges, Tswalu Motse and Tswalu Tarkuni. Undulating dunes and savannah grasslands lie between dramatic mountain ranges, explored on horseback, 4x4 or on foot.
An oasis of luxury in the striking southern reaches of the Kalahari desert. Tswalu Kalahari is set on the largest private game reserve in South Africa, bordering Botswana, and offers one of the most exclusive safaris in Africa. This outstanding wilderness is shared between just two lodges, Tswalu Motse and Tswalu Tarkuni. Undulating dunes and savannah grasslands lie between dramatic mountain ranges, explored on horseback, 4×4 or on foot.
Lying in the remote Northern Cape region of South Africa, bordering the Kgalagadi National Park and Botswana, Tswalu offers a truly unique desert experience. Those who make the effort to travel here are rewarded with spectacular landscapes, extraordinary experiences and incredible exclusivity. This vast reserve is over 1,000 sq km and shared by just two small lodges and a maximum of 28 people at any given time. All guests have their own private guide ensuring ultimate privacy and flexibility.
Tswalu Kalahari consists of two beautiful lodges. Tswalu Motse is the main lodge with 9 rooms and Tswalu Tarkuni, a private house, with 5 rooms. The house once belonged to the Oppenheimer family- now it is available for friends and family to book exclusively, your own luxury desert retreat. Boundless unspoiled landscapes are the backdrop to these luxurious eco- lodges, designed to blend seamlessly with the surrounding environment and reconnect your soul with the pulse of Africa.
Experience the striking seasonal changes of the Kalahari and its fascinating desert – adapted wildlife. Wildlife in the area is diverse and species to look out for include the Kalahaari black maned lion, cheetah, antelope, Hartmann’s zebra, aardvark, pangolin, bat – eared fox, desert – adapted reptiles, several amphibian species, meerkats termite -eating aardwolf and a variety of birdlife.
Game viewing activities with a private guide and tracker are always interesting here, the guides bringing the desert to life with their expert knowledge and tracking. But Tswalu is much more than the traditional 4×4 game drives. A large range of safari adventures are on offer, including interpretative nature walks, lessons on traditional and medicinal plant use, visits to a community of habituated meerkats, horse riding, helicopter safaris over the arid landscape and birding. Ancient bushman rock paintings make for an interesting visit.
Motse sits at the foot of the scenic Korannaberg mountains with a view over the vast grasslands of the southern Kalahari. The lodge is designed using natural organic materials and consists of nine houses, three of which are suitable for families with children. Motse offers all the comforts associated with a luxury lodge – air-conditioned rooms, romantic open fireplaces, outdoor showers, private sun decks, spacious living areas and access to wireless internet. Surrounded by indigenous trees, three of the suites have two en-suite bedrooms separated by a large lounge and deck – ideal for families.
A nearby waterhole frequently attracts wildlife and the elevated decks designed around the natural pool boast picturesque Kalahari views. A generous lounge area, library and luxurious spa facility are available as well as a fully equipped gym. Meals are enjoyed in the spacious dining room or alternatively in the traditional boma under an open sky of stars. Picnics in the dunes make for special memories, accompanied by a bottle of wine from an award -winning wine list straight out of Motse’s own remarkable cellar. Cuisine at Motse is inspired by Kalahari flavours and locally sourced ingredients.
The Malori sleepout deck invites guests to revel in the unforgettable experience of indulging in a Kalahari sunset dinner and then sleeping the night away under an African sky of stars. (Additional cost please enquire at time of booking).
Tswalu Kalahari is a fantastic option for families. Welcoming children of all ages, this the perfect desert home from which to indulge in a remarkable desert safari. Motse’s Junior Ranger programme is designed to keep the children busy while providing an educational background on the Kalahari and its basic conservation principles. Backpacks with guides and tools to help them learn about the Kalahari are provided and kids have the opportunity to make their own bows and arrows for archery, learn how to identify spoor, and how to track game on foot. Tswalu’s stables offer tailor-made “pony camps”. The ranger interaction at Motse is incredible and a specially facilitated children’s boma adds to the excitement of creating their own bush dinner. Dietary requirements are catered for.
Formerly recognised as the Oppenheimer family home at Tswalu, Tarkuni Homestead with 5 individual suites now caters for guests providing a natural welcoming bush camp “home’’. Elegant and secluded, Tarkuni epitomizes tranquillity and an idyllic sense of space.
Enjoy the luxury of services provided by your own private chef and guide during your safari when staying at Tarkuni. Secluded stone-walled generous suites and deluxe en-suite bathrooms incorporate elements of the Kalahari in their design with al fresco showers and outdoor suite decks with inviting daybeds added to maximise guests’ relaxation and enjoyment. A complimentary bar, tea & coffee, home-made gourmet snack pantry, access to the spa therapy suite, swimming pool, library and traditional boma all come together to make this the most extraordinary of safaris imaginable.
Tswalu aims to conserve the awe-inspiring Kalahari wilderness for future generations.
Tswalu also invites guests to discover the goings on behind the community clinic and pre-school supported by the Tswalu Foundation. Guides give fascinating insight on the ongoing wildlife research projects in the region and guests are encouraged to participate.
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