Tswalu Kalahari

Overview

Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is an exclusive safari experience situated in 247,000 acres of pristine wilderness. Luxury accommodations like The Motse seamlessly blend into the landscape, providing comfort and immersion. Guests enjoy personalized service, gourmet cuisine, and top-notch amenities while supporting vital conservation efforts. Home to diverse fauna, including rare species like the African wild dog and Cape vulture, Tswalu offers tailored safari experiences such as game drives, walking safaris, and horseback riding. Knowledgeable rangers enrich the experience with insights into the Kalahari’s flora, fauna, and culture, while exclusive activities include stargazing, cultural interactions, and wellness activities. For those seeking opulence, adventure, and conservation rolled into one, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is an unique destination in the heart of South Africa.

Accommodation

Our top picks

A distinctive safari experience, blending modern comforts with the excitement of the African wilderness.

HIGHLIGHTS

Meerkat Experience

Private Chef

Private Safari Vehicle

Motse Camp can house 18 adults in nine legaes or suites, with gardens attracting wildlife, especially at the waterhole.

HIGHLIGHTS

Meerkat Experience

Sleeping Under the Stars

Horseback Safari

An exclusive private safari villa that offers luxury accommodation and personalized service.

HIGHLIGHTS

Meerkat Experience

Private Safari Vehicle

Junior Ranger’s Programme

Sleeping Under the Stars

Want to see more?

The above accommodation options are just a small sample of the 100’s we have for you to choose from. Get in touch for more amazing options, pricing and personalized itineraries!

Meet The Meerkats!

A visit to Tswalu’s habituated meerkats in the early morning and seeing them in their natural environment, is an indelible experience. Visitors can come within proximity to one of three familiar family groups, observing them as they emerge from their burrows, keep watch, groom, engage in playful interactions, bask in the sunlight, and search for food in the sand.

Learning the Ropes on the Junior Ranger Program

Crafted to entertain while also imparting conservation principles and practices to the upcoming generation, this program greets children with a backpack brimming with tools and guides. Following this, they engage with staff to discuss their interests and partake in traditional Kalahari activities like archery, crafting bow-and-arrows, bush walks encompassing tracking, and enjoying a picnic.

Cuisine in the Bush

Chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen has emerged as one of South Africa’s most notable culinary exports in recent years. He achieved the remarkable feat of becoming the first South African to earn a prestigious Michelin star for his restaurant JAN in Nice, France. Now the maestro, hailing from a farm upbringing, is set to launch Klein Jan (‘Little Jan’) at Tswalu. This new venture pledges to deliver world-class cuisine rooted in the culinary heritage of the Kalahari region.

Conservation Success

Tswalu, founded by South African diamond heir Nicky Oppenheimer, transformed a former hunting estate of 35 farms into a nature reserve. Hunting ceased, breeding programs were initiated, buildings razed, and additional farms were acquired to expand natural habitats. Established as a nature reserve in 2014, Tswalu thrives through eco-tourism, sustaining the local community with jobs and supporting conservation projects with visitor contributions.

Experiences

Meerkats Experience

Observe meerkats up close as they pop in and out of burrows, stand sentry, groom, play, and more.

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Ancient Rock Engravings

Discover various sites near Tswalu with ancient rock engravings intricately connected to water sources.

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Stargazing

Immerse yourself with the nighttime wildlife sounds and marvel at the starry sky from a ‘star bed’ at various camps.

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Walking Safari

Experience captivating walking safaris through the stunning Kalahari landscape, with its picturesque views and the chance to encounter a variety of wildlife.

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Photography Trips

Throughout the year, Tswalu’s dramatic Korannaberg Mountains, arid savannah, and iconic red dunes offer a prime setting for wildlife and landscape photography.

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Horseback Riding

Discover Tswalu’s wilderness on horseback, enjoying enchanting rides along game paths while pausing to observe activity at water holes.

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Seasons

Why travel at this time

Characterized by its dryness, the landscape transforms into a spectacle of dust devils swirling over the dunes, while cloudless nights offer exceptional stargazing opportunities. Nocturnal creatures alter their behavior, lured above ground by the warmth of the afternoon sun. This shift in routine makes winter an ideal time for spotting elusive species like the aardvark, aardwolf, and pangolin, adding to the allure of exploring the wilderness during this time.

Climate

The final rain of the Wet season typically occurs in April. As May approaches, the park gradually dries out as the dry season advances. June and July stand out as the coolest months, with temperatures beginning to climb again in August.

Low Temp: 12.8ºC / 54.6ºF
High Temp: 23ºC / 73.4ºF
19mm / 0.7in (pm)
Why travel at this time

In contrast to other regions, rainfall here is both rare and almost miraculous. Safari-goers are fortunate to witness the rapid transformation of the Kalahari into a vibrant landscape of golden flowers and lush greenery when it rains. Many species time their reproductive cycles with the return of the rains, leading to abundant new life, from young antelope to curious jackal pups. Migrating bird flocks also descend upon the reserve to enjoy the bounty of summer.

Climate

The arrival of the first rains brings a sense of relief as temperatures immediately cool down and the settling dust offers a respite. Afternoon thunderstorms and brief showers become the norm, maintaining a pattern throughout the season. Despite the rainfall, the weather remains hot, with afternoon temperatures hovering around 32°C/90°F, indicating that the heat persists despite the precipitation.

Low Temp: 22.8ºC / 73ºF
High Temp: 32ºC / 90ºF
91.4mm / 3.6in (pm)