Tswalu is 100 000ha (240 000 acres) of pristine Kalahari wilderness. Owned by the Oppenheimer family, this is the largest private game reserve in southern Africa and bares testament to the family's commitment to authentic conservation and opulent luxury. Motse Lodge sleeps just 24 people in ultimate comfort while Tarkuni is a stunning ten bed villa. Out in the wild, the game viewing is breathtaking be it from the back of a 4 X 4 safari vehicle, the saddle of an impeccably behaved horse or on foot. Tswalu is the ultimate luxury safari destination in the heart of the magical Kalahari.
Nestled at the base of the Korannaberg
Motse Lodge rests at the foot of the Korannaberg mountains with views of the Kalahari plains stretching out endlessly to the west. The expansive decking, sumptuous lounge and well-stocked mezzanine library offer spaces for quiet contemplation and reading after a day out in the wild. The large infinity pool is an excellent place to sip a gin and tonic in the midday sun while the drama of the Kalahari unfolds all around.
The lodge sleeps just 24 guests. Each secluded stone and thatch bungalow is a testament to taste and elegance with antique furniture and rare African artefacts. The suites boast huge bedrooms with fireplaces for chilly desert nights; vast bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers; elegant dressing rooms and spacious study areas. The warm hues reflect the beautiful shades of the wilderness outside encouraging you to feel totally relaxed and at one with the environment. The private sundeck with views of the camp waterhole are magnificent spaces to soak up the peace of the Kalahari.
There are three bungalows specifically designed for families. Each of these sports two large en suite bathrooms separated by a generous lounge area.
Most of the staff at Motse have been there for over 15 years and so know just how to make your experience just that much more special. Whether its by making a glorious fire for you in your room, treating you to an unforgettable massage or treating you to the exclusive “Mocha-choca-rula” on your early morning game drive they will do just this. They take great pride in their work and in sharing their love for the Kalahari with their guests.
Make sure you go on at least one day’s horse safari, ask for a “Dune Dinner” (a special culinary treat in the middle of the bushveld) or for a night’s stay at the Malori Star-Bed the exclusive, private suite that lets you sleep under the stars!
This sumptuous villa is the personal home of the Oppenheimer family when they are in residence. Tarkuni lies in a secluded valley for ultimate seclusion in this vast wilderness. The home boasts five magnificent, individually decorated suites and stunning lounge and dining areas with cosy fires for cold nights – this is the ideal retreat for large families or groups. The shaded pool and sala are perfect spaces from which to appreciate the magic of the Kalahari.
Tarkuni comes with a personalised and exclusive butler, chef, guide and tracker – you can tailor your safari experience according to the whims of your group. It really is built for pure family bliss.
The award-winning Tswalu Kalahari Spa boasts a tranquil indigenous garden, a yoga sala and a gym for the more energetic. Exercise or enjoy a relaxing treatment under the gentle hands of one of Tswalu’s remarkable therapists.
Vast, untrammelled wilderness
100 000ha is a vast swathe of magnificent wilderness and, unless you are staying for more than a month, you will experience just a fraction of what this incredible piece of the Kalahari has to offer. Traditional safari vehicles offer the chance to explore large areas of the reserve and a full day out in the winter, with a delicious picnic, is an excellent way to travel to some of the further flung regions. The stables house horses for every level of rider and game viewing on horseback is a unique opportunity for the adventurous. Possibly the ultimate wilderness activity at Tswalu is tracking a black rhino on foot – the Kalahari vegetation facilitates a safe and awe-inspiring experience with your highly-trained guide.
The Kalahari boasts many unique species of animals and in fact has large populations of some that sadly in other areas have been almost eradicated. Endangered desert black rhino, roan, sable, tsesebe, mountain zebra, aardvark, and pangolin are among these and another 70 species of mammals can be seen. Predators include the world-famous Kalahari lions and their huge black manes. Cheetah sightings are excellent and it is possible to see leopard, wild dog and both spotted and brown hyena. You don’t go more than a few minutes on a game-drive here withouth seeing something incredible and lots of it – the quantity of game is unfathomable.
If you are interested in our origins as human beings, Tswalu is home to some of the oldest artefacts and engravings from the San Bushman.
The endless panoramas and unique suites of animals, the plains, the mountains, the rocks, the sun, the moon and the stars offer photographers an endless palate of delightful opportunities. The colours of the Kalahari are completely unique and make for incredible photos . With the deep reds of the sand, the yellows and greens of the savanna and the cobalt blue skies you can’t go wrong!
Travelling to Tswalu
The best way to arrive at this Kalahari paradise is on a one of the daily charter flight from Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport or Cape Town International Airport. If you want to drive to Tswalu, Iconic Africa will recommend the best route and vehicles for your needs.
The centre of so much more
Iconic Africa recommends that Tswalu form part of a larger tailor-made African experience. Why not start your trip with the awe-inspiring beauty and adventure of the Victoria Falls (in Zimbabwe or Zambia) before moving on to a luxury safari in the Kruger National Park. From there Tswalu is the next logical step. Round off your trip at the tip of the continent in cosmopolitan Cape Town, Atlantic Hermanus or the scenic and viticultural splendour of the Franschhoek Valley.
- 100 000ha of glorious wilderness.
- Ultimate seclusion. Experience the magic of the Kalahari all to yourself.
- Horses, 4 X 4 and walking safaris.
- World-beating spa experience.
- Stay a night at Malori and sleep under the stars on your very own piece of African bushveld.