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Tswalu Kalahari

Kalahari , South Africa

Tswalu Kalahari: Deck and Pool Area

Tswalu Kalahari: Deck and Pool Area

Tswalu Kalahari: Deck and Pool Area Tswalu Kalahari: Meerkat Tswalu Kalahari: Motse Lagae Tswalu Kalahari: Suites Exterior Tswalu Kalahari: Motse Lounge Tswalu Kalahari: Children at Tswalu Kalahari
Tswalu Kalahari: Malori - Sleepout Bed Tswalu Kalahari: Spa Treatment Tswalu Kalahari: Tarkuni Suite Tswalu Kalahari: Dining Tswalu Kalahari: Tarkuni Loft


With over 100,000 hectares, Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest private game reserve. Here, in this malaria-free wilderness, the focus is on flexibility and privacy, outstanding game-viewing, gourmet cuisine and indulgent spa treatments. The uniqueness of the safari experience begins with a flexible itinerary, which allows guests to dictate their own programme of activities, including games-drives, bush walks and horse-riding safaris, and tailor their Tswalu safaris to include whatever interactive experience appeals to them - bonding with meerkats before they go foraging, spending the morning tracking the Desert Black Rhino or experiencing the magic of star-gazing and the thrill of sleeping under the night sky. The main house features a heated outdoor swimming pool, the Tswalu Kalahari Spa and Gym, a walk-in wine cellar, a mezzanine library with a satellite television and a small gift shop, while indulgent boma feasts and bush dinners, sundowners, wine-tastings and dune picnics are enjoyed against the Kalahari backdrop. Children are made very welcome at Tswalu and the reserve offers activities specially designed to occupy them while their mums and dads relax. Tswalu Kalahari believes that everyone can be part of its conservation vision.

  • Type:Lodge
  • Summary:South Africa's largest private game reserve
  • Feature:Award-winning safari spa
  • Rooms:8 suites at The Motse & 5 suites at Tarkuni Private Villa
  • Location:Kalahari , South Africa
  • Nearest airport:Cape Town Airport
Tswalu Kalahari
Location and transfer

Two hours from Cape Town International Airport by light aircraft transfer.

Holiday Enquiry

There are two properties, The Motse, which comprises eight small traditional houses that, between them, accommodate up to twenty guests, and the five-suite Tarkuni, which is the Oppenheimer’s personal home and offers its own swimming pool and a dedicated team of staff. Tarkuni accommodates up to ten guests.

All guest suites feature air-conditioning, satellite televisions, mini-bars, wi-fi, direct-dial telephones and maid service.

Motse Legae:+
  • Rooms: 8
  • Room View: Waterhole views
  • Facilities: There are just eight freestanding Legaes (small houses) at The Motse, made out of local stone, red clay and thatch, and each one features a spacious bedroom with an open fireplace, a luxury en suite bathroom, a large study and dressing area, and a private sun deck with an outdoor shower. Two of the eight Legaes are 170m² and have been designed specially for families or would suit a small group of friends. Each one comprises two bedroom suites with their own en suite bathrooms, a spacious lounge and a shady private terrace.
  • Room View: Mountain and desert views
  • Facilities: Tarkuni is the recently redesigned private residence of the owners of Tswalu Kalahari, the Oppenheimer family. It boasts five luxurious guest suites, each one with an en suite bathroom, along with two lounges featuring open fireplaces, an outdoor swimming pool, furnished poolside deck area with a boma, shady salas and outdoor walk-in showers, a private game vehicle and a dedicated team of staff, including a Host, private Chef, Ranger and Field Guide.

Dine in the bush, the boma or in the privacy of your guest suite. Sundowners may be enjoyed in the dunes and gourmet picnic breakfasts may be ordered for early-morning game-drives.

Tswalu Kalahari Dining:+
  • Cuisine: Globally influenced cuisine
  • Setting: Guests are able to dine in a variety of locations, such as in the privacy of their suite, at the boma and in the dunes, for an unforgettable al fresco experience.
  • Dress Code: Casual
  • Children's Menu: Yes
  • Vegetarian Menu: Yes

With no malaria in this part of the Kalahari, Tswalu is a great family destination. At The Motse, there are two specially designed Family Suites that will easily accommodate large families or families with older children, while both properties offer an ideal environment for leisure, with pools located close to the main public areas.

Upon arrival, every child is welcomed with a backpack full of guides and tools and an opportunity to chat with the hospitality staff about what they would like to see and do. Tswalu’s Junior Ranger programme offers activities, including archery, spoor identification and casting and tracking on foot. The hugely popular bush walks are educational and adults are welcome too.

Children’s menus cater for individual tastes and there is a special children’s boma where children can cook their own bush dinners.

Health & Fitness

A place of peace and tranquillity, the award-winning Tswalu Kalahari Spa features reed ceilings, dry-stone walls and wooden frames and doors; colours are cool and neutral throughout, providing a soothing respite from the Kalahari sun. The spa boasts a welcoming lounge, two beautiful therapy suites with en-suite sensation showers featuring overhead colour therapy lights and a private garden complete with a labyrinth, outdoor treatment areas and a yoga tsala. Treatments and authentic signature experiences are inspired by the endless blue skies and unique vegetation of the Green Kalahari. A short walk from the spa, there is a state-of-the-art gym featuring Technogym® equipment, including a Spaczio Forma treadmill, Forma bike, Unica multi-function strength trainer and a rowing machine.

Tswalu’s yoga classes are suitable for all levels of experience and yoga mats are provided.

In Addition

When to Visit

In spring (September to October) the weather begins to warm up, although some cold fronts can still sweep inland from the Cape. Blackthorn and honeybush blossom scent the evening air and barking geckos call for mates in a cacophony unique to the Kalahari.

Many of the antelopes calf in the early summer (November to March) and signs of new life abound. Hot days and mild evenings and the occasional afternoon thunderstorm are to be expected. Migrant birds arrive, such as cuckoos and Lanner Falcons, making bird-watching particularly exciting.

Rain is always unpredictable in the desert, but if you are fortunate enough to experience it, you will be rewarded, as the desert turns into a lush green spectacle, glittering with golden flowers.

Autumn’s milder days and occasional late-season rains (April to May) bring a beautiful silkiness to the savannah. This is the time of the rut, when antelope and impala fight to establish their territories and claim their mates.

During the winter (June to August), the grasses and bushes dry out, so there are more opportunities to see smaller mammals and the shyer nocturnal creatures, such as the aardvark, aardwolf and pangolin, emerge in daylight. The clear evenings offer the best star-gazing under the breathtaking ‘diamond' skies.

On Safari

Activities centre around the guests’ preferences and bush walks, 4x4 safaris, star-gazing, sleeping beneath the stars, photography and walks to archaeological sites can all be arranged.

Horse-riding Safaris
From atop a horse, the world of the Kalahari looks completely different – its silence and vastness are more striking and many of the animals react differently to your presence – it’s as if you were seeing Africa for the very first time. Tswalu’s team of horses (suited to absolute beginners and advanced equestrians, alike) provide a unique way to experience this natural wilderness. Nobody who encounters this kind of closeness with wildlife ever forgets it.

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