The Private Tswalu Kalahari Experience
Tswalu is one of South Africa's last truly wild places, offering the ultimate exclusive safari experience. At this malaria-free private game reserve conservation is lived and the unique Kalahari environment is cherished.
Tswalu Reserve is a diverse land of open Kalahari savannahs, semi-arid grasslands and red dunes, flanked by the scenic Korannaberg Mountains.
Tswalu Kalahari Highlights:
- One of Southern Africa's most child-friendly reserves, offering special activities for kids
- Stunning photographic opportunities of contrasting red dunes, blue skies and wild animals
- Excellent sightings of the striking gemsbok and sparse vegetation ideal for game spotting
- Remote and vast - escape the crowds in one of Africa's biggest private reserves
- Home to rare and unusual creatures, from sable antelope to desert black rhino
- Only a handful of vehicles are exclusively allowed to explore this huge reserve
- Spectacular sunsets, untamed bush and stunning natural surroundings
Wildlife of Tswalu Kalahari:
- Considered one of the best places in Africa to see rhinos (black and white), this private reserve was originally established to protect and breed endangered desert rhinos.
- Tswalu Kalahari hosts the famous Kalahari lion with its distinctive black mane, as well as hyena, buffalo and giraffe.
- Tswalu offers excellent cheetah sightings and is also home to endangered wild dogs.
- Black wildebeest and mountain zebra are among the rare herbivores found here, as well as roan, tsessebe and sable antelopes.
- Silver and bat-eared foxes, lynx, honey badger and small spotted gene are some of the unusual carnivores roaming the reserve.
- Distinctive antelopes typical of the Kalahari inhabit the bush, from red hartebeest and springbok to eland and the iconic gemsbok with its striking appearance.
- Nocturnal animals that even come out during the day in winter, include aardvark, aardwolf and pangolin.
- Tswalu Kalahari is an outstanding place for observing meerkats at close range, as there are two breeding colonies that have been habituated to humans.
- This 100 000 hectare malaria-free game reserve is home to some 230 species of birds and more than 70 species of mammals, with a total of about 12000 animals.
Tswalu Game Reserve is located in the southern Kalahari, an area which receives more rain the central Kalahari in Botswana. More rains mean that this part of the Kalahari is less barren with robust vegetation in turn supporting a large variety of creatures, great and small.
Tswalu Kalahari Size and Location:
- South Africa’s largest private game reserve covering around 900 km² of the southern Kalahari
- 300 km northwest of Kimberley and 270 km northeast from Upington
- 650 km drive west from Johannesburg, taking about 7 hours
- North of Kuruman, near the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the Northern Cape Province
Tswalu Kalahari Lodges
As a Relais & Chateaux member owned by the Oppenheimer family, the two luxurious lodges offer exclusive accommodation of the highest standards. The vision at Tswalu, which means 'new beginning', is to restore the Kalahari to itself.
The elegant lodges have been constructed to fit in seamlessly with the tranquil Kalahari landscape's soft green and golden hues. Welcoming fireplaces add to the sumptuous ambience on cold winter nights while sparkling swimming pools complete the oasis setting during the long summers. In spring blossoms scent the still evenings and gecko calls fill the quiet nights. Winter sees the profound silence of the Kalahari deepen and the clear night skies shining even more brightly.
In the 100 000 hectare Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve you share your luxury safari experience with at most thirty people.
Guests are spoilt to exceptional cuisine, pampering treatments in the award-winning spa and warm Kalahari hospitality. The game viewing activities are conducted at guests' preferred times, providing maximum flexibility with the dedicated team of experienced field guides conducting private game drives tailored to particular interests. Butlers complete the professional team of friendly staff that ensure that a stay at Tswalu Kalahari leaves nothing wanting.
One of the most exquisite features at Tswalu is the open sleepout deck in the middle of the bush, called The Malori. Camping beds can be added to this remote 'suite' so that children can sleep out under the glittering stars with adults.
The main Tswalu lodge consists of stone, red-clay and thatch suites scattered along the lower slopes of the Korannaberg mountains, overlooking the wide-open Kalahari landscape. The eight elegant freestanding suites are nestled around the central lodge area, each featuring an opulent en suite with indoor and al fresco showers.
Facilities include a heated infinity pool that blends in with the golden surroundings and the lavish Sanctuary Spa for soothing and refreshing treatments.
- Two family suites and a children's play room
- Tailor-made activities for children and adults alike
- Offers babysitting services and nannies
Experience your own private Tswalu adventure in this exclusive guesthouse located within a private part of the reserve. Equally as luxurious as the elegant Motse Lodge, Tarkuni is ideal for families and small groups.
Your every need is catered for by a private chef, dedicated host, guide and tracker. Tarkuni's bespoke safari stay is perfect for families with children, offering personalised game viewing activities, bunk beds for the kids and a nanny's quarters.
Tswalu - the Family-Friendly Safari Option
As a malaria-free safari destination, it is safe for children under the age of 12 to visit Tswalu Kalahari.
- Children under twelve stay for free
- Children over twelve stay at discounted rates
- Family suites accommodate children with adults
The lodges offer childrens' activities, welcoming their young guests and catering for them in true Tswalu style.
Activities at Tswalu Kalahari
- Horse riding through the endless veld-covered dunes
- Game drives with a personal ranger and tracker
- Sundowners on lantern-lit dunes strewn with plush rugs and cushions
- Dinners in the reed boma to the rhythm of African drums
- Get up close to a family of meerkats that has become used to people
- Track wildlife on exhilarating walking safaris by day or night
- Ride through the bush on a traditional donkey cart
- Take to the skies on a hot-air balloon trip over the Kalahari
- Sleep under the star-studded Kalahari Desert skies
- Visit some of the world's oldest San (bushman) rock engravings
Our Kalahari Family Experience offers an exclusive malaria-free, family-friendly safari in Tswalu Kalahari Reserve.
* Some of the images used in this post are from the Tswalu Kalahari website.