Tswalu Kalahari Reserve (Kalahari Desert, Northern Cape)
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
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
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
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
Accommodation Rates:- Please contact us for a
quote and suggested itinerary.