- 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 ,
- Nearest airport:Cape Town Airport
Location and transfer
Two hours from Cape Town International Airport by light aircraft transfer.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.