Tswalu Kalahari Reserve (Kalahari Desert, Northern Cape) South Africa
Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest private game reserve, covering an area of over 100,000 hectares. Owned by the Oppenheimer family, Tswalu takes conservation as its absolute priority; our vision is simply ‘to restore the Kalahari to itself’. No more than thirty guests at a time can discover the beauty of this landscape, its diverse wildlife, and the serenity of what may well be South Africa’s last great wilderness.
Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is an exclusive, luxury, private, malaria-free game reserve situated in the heart of South Africa's Northern Cape Province. The Reserve offers the ultimate safari experience and the surroundings are elegantly simple, with its luxury swimming pool opening to the remarkable scene of animals drinking at a nearby watering hole. A trip to Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is unique in many ways, offering an exclusive, tailor-made experience. The Reserve is situated at the foot of the Korannaberg Mountains, some 300 kilometers north west of Kimberley. The nearest town is Kurume, famous as the Mission from which Dr. Livingston set off into what was then darkest Africa. Close to the border with Botswana, Tswalu's African village doors open onto the splendor and serenity of the awesome Kalahari.
Accommodation at Tswalu epitomizes the stylish yet rustic elegance typical of luxury game reserve accommodation. Indeed, no creature comfort has been spared for guests at this quintessentially African dwelling.
From the indoor and outdoor heated shower in every suite (the outdoor version looks out across the Kalahari plain) to the private suite sundecks and a library, this is the essence of modern luxury with an African feel. The emphasis at Tswalu is on exclusivity, which is why the entire reserve can accommodate no more than 30 people at a time.
Tswalu offers two separate accommodations on the Reserve:
The Motse, nestles at the foot of the Korannaberg mountains, facing westwards across the grasslands of the Kalahari. Motse means “village” in Tswana and our village consists of just eight spacious and secluded “legae” (another Tswana word, for “little house”) or suites. These legaes are built of local stone, rich red clay and traditional Kalahari thatch. Recently redesigned by world-renowned Boyd Ferguson, our suites define an elegant, barefoot luxury. Writing in Conde Nast Traveller, Justin Cartwright describes their charm;
“A style has evolved in southern Africa of safari chic, which involves a fusion of African artifacts and art with very contemporary furniture. Nowhere I have seen does it as well as Tswalu.” - Conde Nast Traveller, December 2009
Each suite comprises a spacious bedroom with an open fire, a sumptuous en-suite bathroom with both indoor and outdoor shower, and a large dressing and study area. Your private sun deck overlooks a waterhole and the changing Kalahari animals it attracts.
Two legae have been designed especially for families. Each offers two separate bedroom suites with their own en-suite bathrooms, separated by an expansive living room again leading on to a shady, private terrace. These legae are each over 170 square meters in size and create the perfect environment for any family group.
The Motse accommodates no more than 20 guests at any one time to make for a truly intimate Kalahari safari experience. The main house is a spectacular space in which to meet, with its elevated decks and elegant lounges.
An infinity pool offers an endless view over the savannahs and a secluded spa is designed to complete your total relaxation. The mezzanine library is equipped with satellite tv (the Motse also has full broadband Wi-Fi access throughout) and its museum cases display rare artifacts from the area. All profits from our exclusive Foundation Gift Shop go directly to fund important new research on the reserve.
Tarkuni is the Oppenheimer family’s own personal home here at Tswalu and the ultimate private sanctuary.
Recently redesigned to uncompromising standards of comfort and elegance, Tarkuni is an exceptional choice for families or groups of great friends. Its five luxurious suites, each with a magnificent en-suite bathroom, accommodate a maximum of 10 guests.
Tarkuni creates an oasis of serenity in the desert. The home has its own dedicated team including a host and private chef to ensure a completely personal service. A private vehicle, personal field guide and tracker ensure an equally bespoke safari experience.
Facilities at Tswalu include: • a lounge and dining area • library • traditional African boma • gift shop "Dimpho" • Gym • wine cellar • sun deck • outdoor heated swimming pool • telephone • safe and mini bar in each room • dedicated chef • private game viewing vehicle • high powered telescope with which to explore the night sky • private plane • tarred landing strip and daily shuttle to the reserve • laundry and valet services • massage treatments - booking essential • hot air ballooning - booking essential.
Activities / Wildlife
At Tswalu, the game-viewing opportunities are unparalleled in terms of South African safaris. Guided walks meander across silent red dunes. Drives in open-sided safari vehicles traverse the Kalahari wilderness and stop at the most scenic spots to allow visitors to enjoy an impressive sunset or splendid bush dinner.
Bird-watching, star-gazing and exciting visits to the habituated meerkat dens of Tswalu are just some of the activities on offer at Tswalu.
Optional horseback trails, with a qualified guide, enable guests to become one with nature and to experience close encounters with wildlife.
In addition, South African safaris such as those offered at Tswalu allow guests the opportunity of visiting archaeological sites and viewing rock engravings in and around the reserve. Special-interest courses in archaeology, ethno-botany and photography, as well as golfing at the nearby Sishen Golf Course are also available on request.
The incredible beauty of the surroundings and the great variety of wildlife make South African safaris such as these an unforgettable experience. Safaris at Tswalu are the perfect opportunity to observe many endangered animals in their natural habitat and see a variety of birds, insects and desert vegetation. Tswalu is justly proud of the success of its ongoing conservation projects, with the founder population of 7 000 animals having grown to more than 12 000 in the space of five years.
Children at Tswalu
Unlike most luxury African reserves, Tswalu welcomes children. This can be the most brilliant and stimulating place for families. An important part of our mission is to excite the next generation about our conservation vision.
Learning about nature at first hand There is no malaria in this part of the Kalahari to concern you. Both properties create an ideal open environment for play; our pools are centrally located. At the Motse, two specially designed family suites easily accommodate larger or older families at attractive rates.
Tswalu’s Junior Ranger programme has been carefully designed to meet the enthusiasms of a broad age range. Activities include archery (where you will make your own bow and arrow), spoor identification and casting, as well as tracking on foot. Children’s bush walks are hugely educational without ever feeling like it (adults can come too). Every child is welcomed with a backpack full of guides and tools, as well as their own opportunity to chat with our hospitality staff about what they would like to do.
Our children’s menu caters for any individual likes. And our special children’s boma allows them to cook their own bush dinner. Free babysitting is also available around the clock. Above all, unlike most, we are happy to include younger children on private game drives. This is their Kalahari too.
Accommodation Rates:- Please contact us for a
quote and suggested itinerary.