Tswalu Kalahari 

 

General

Tswalu lets you reconnect with the richness of the earth. It offers an escape to a place that’s governed by the ancient rhythms of the seasons, rather than the clock and the calendar. The cool breeze carries both myths and promises – by making good on them we can fulfil our founding family’s vision of restoring the natural environment and empowering people.

Tswalu offers a vision of hope that brings together conservation, research and an unrivalled safari experience. Everything we do is centred around our creed: To leave our world better than how we found it.

No two Tswalu experiences are the same. That’s because the way you see and touch this magical place will be shaped by your particular interests and will happen at your own pace. Tswalu is a generous landscape and as the sun rises above the Korannaberg mountains each morning, new opportunities to learn, play and explore come to life.

With your own dedicated guide and vehicle, you can experience Tswalu exactly the way you want to. There are no fixed schedules or time limits at special sightings – during your stay, the dunes and grasslands are yours to explore the way you want to, and each wildlife encounter can unfold at its own pace.

In the shelter of the mountains – which also provide a dramatic backdrop to wildlife sightings – you can encounter Tswalu’s 240 kinds of bird and 80 mammal species, including Hartmann’s mountain zebra, wild dog, black maned lion, pangolin and aardvark.

As we learn more about Tswalu through research projects supported by the Tswalu Foundation, this amazing region continues to surprise. To date, more butterfly species have been recorded here than in the entire British Isles. By way of confounding stereotypes, Tswalu is even home to three species of amphibian.

Tswalu offers a fully inclusive guest experience:

  • Private game viewing vehicle with a dedicated guide and tracker for all bookings
  • Walking safaris
  • Nature walks, including traditional plant use interpretation
  • Habituated meerkats
  • Horse riding and bird watching
  • Some of the oldest bushman rock engravings in Africa
  • A visit to our community clinic and pre-school
  • The Tswalu Foundation research projects
  • Involvement in all wildlife project work currently on the property
  • Accommodation –  all meals including a variety of dining experiences from boma dinners to dune picnics
  • All beverages and full selection from our award-winning wine-list
  • In-suite tea and coffee making facilities
  • In-suite private bar and gourmet pantry
  • Laundry and valet services
  • Wireless internet access and national telephone calls
  • Children’s Junior Ranger programme and baby-sitting
Motse Legae ( 6 rooms )

A ‘village’ of just nine houses (three of which feature a second bedroom for children), The Motse captures the soul of the Kalahari in its design and materials. Private spaces flow effortlessly into waterhole views and beyond to the savannah.

The architecture of The Motse aligns beautifully with Nature to create moments of warmth and coolness, seclusion and shared memories. Bedrooms are illuminated by the sun rising over the ridge behind The Motse, and indigenous trees create pools of shadow. Each space at The Motse invites you in, just as Tswalu beckons you to explore and investigate your surroundings.

Motse Family Suite ( 3 rooms )

Luxury is a given when you are on safari at Tswalu. At The Motse, just 18 adults are accommodated in nine individual legae (suites) made from desert sand, rock and thatch, with every comfort imaginable – open fireplaces, outdoor showers, private sun decks, spacious living areas, separate dressing and study areas and wireless internet.

We have three family legae (suites) which have 2 en-suite bedrooms separated by a large lounge and deck.

At the main lodge elevated decks around the freeform pool, allow panoramic views of the surrounding Kalahari landscapes, and a waterhole popular with wildlife. A spacious lounge and dining area, library, spa, fully-equipped gym, impressive wine cellar and traditional boma complete the luxury facilities.

ACTIVITIES AT TSWALU

Your own private safari

With your own dedicated guide and vehicle, you can experience Tswalu exactly the way you want to. There are no fixed schedules or time limits at special sightings – during your stay, the dunes and grasslands are yours to explore the way you want to, and each wildlife encounter can unfold at its own pace.

Just like the sands of the Kalahari, we understand that your priorities can shift during your time at Tswalu. That’s why we’ll never try and shoehorn your experience into a fixed schedule.

Tswalu is unquestionably one of the best places in southern Africa to see cheetah in the wild – the vast open spaces and antelope herds of the Kalahari readily lend themselves to high-speed pursuits. Visiting Tswalu also gives you front-row seats for sightings of species that prove elusive elsewhere, from aardvark and pangolin to Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra.

Tswalu’s ecotourism ventures have a notably low ecological impact while also contributing significantly to the sustainability of the reserve and its achievement of its conservation and community upliftment goals. By remaining honest to our guiding principles, we can deliver a safari experience of startling authenticity.

Bush walks

Much of Tswalu’s beauty can be found in the smaller details: the ripples left by the wind on the crest a sand dune, a yellow flower opening to face the sun, or the tracks of a porcupine digging for roots. Walking at Tswalu gives you the opportunity to see these and other signs of the abundance of the southern Kalahari, as well as following the tracks of larger species.

Horseback riding

Another exciting game viewing option at Tswalu is a horseback ride

Horseback safaris allow guests to explore the dunes and savannahs on our well-schooled and well-mannered horses, which are suitable for all ages and all levels of experience.

There is no better way to get close to nature and the wildlife. On a horse safari in at Tswalu, you become part of the landscape and many of the animals react differently to your presence. No-one who experiences this kind of closeness with wildlife ever forgets it.

Our equestrian guides are well trained in the Kalahari ecology, and will lead you on a true safari where you can ride alongside antelope, buffalo, zebra and giraffe, or watch them from a distance without detection.

Children are welcome on horseback safaris. Both trail and English saddles are available and every piece of necessary equipment is provided, in every imaginable size.

Junior Ranger’s Programme

Children are welcome at Tswalu and the reserve is well equipped to cater for them. Tswalu believes that they too can be part of the conservation vision.

The youngsters will be introduced to the Junior Ranger programme and given a backpack with guides and tools to help them learn about the Kalahari. During their stay they will make their own bow and arrow for archery, learn how to identify spoor, and track game on foot.

In between game walks and drives there are activities at The Motse specially designed to occupy the kids while mom and dad relax. Tswalu’s stables will create a special “pony camp” for any child who shares their passion for horses. There is no malaria in this part of the Kalahari and the pool is a big attraction. They can chat to the rangers, decorate cup cakes and even cook their own bush dinner in the special children’s boma. A separate children’s menu caters for their individual tastes.

Babysitters can be arranged for younger children if parents want time alone.

Tswalu Spa

The Spa and Gym at The Motse provide both relaxation and stimulation for body and mind, with inspiration coming from the savannah views and the use of organic materials both in the construction of this space, and in the spa treatments.

Helicopter

Viewing Tswalu from the air is the best way to appreciate the sheer scale of the southern Kalahari. The folds in the land reveal themselves as you look down on mountain peaks where quite possibly no-one has ever walked and trace intertwined game paths that wind through the grasslands.

Flying at either end of the day reveals the fascinating interplay of light and shadow as the land glows warmly or slowly slips into darkness. Watching eland patiently file down to a waterhole, or the puffs of dust raised by the hooves of an oryx on the run are moments that will live with you forever.

Habituated meerkats

Join a group of habituated meerkats as they emerge from their burrows and warm themselves in the rising sun or meet up with them as they return home at the end of the day and groom and play at dusk.

Their gregarious nature and amusing antics (think early morning sunbathing and playing chicken with scorpions) have made meerkats extremely popular as subjects of wildlife documentaries. Our two habituated colonies have accepted the presence of humans without letting it disrupt the important business of grooming and foraging.

Meerkats are just one of the smaller predators which abound at Tswalu: aardwolf, African wild cat and caracal are also frequently seen.

The Malori starbed

Watching thousands of stars slowly spin through a black velvet sky as you fall asleep makes a night spent on our Malori sleep-out deck an unforgettable experience. Enjoy a glowing Kalahari sunset as you eat dinner, then see the world anew as birdsong and the strengthening light awaken you at dawn.

Dining

Every moment of every meal at Tswalu reflects the culinary heritage of South Africa and is carefully designed to be as inclusive as possible. Sustainability is key: we forage for Kalahari ingredients and work with local suppliers who share our low-impact ethos.

We believe that luxury is found in contextual, relevant flavours rather than wasteful over-abundance. Our food offering helps tell the story of Tswalu – it’s inspired by and captures the essence of the Kalahari.

 

 

 

 

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