Tswalu's main property, the Motse, nestles at the foot of the Korannaberg mountains, facing westwards across the grasslands of the Kalahari. Motse means “village” in Tswana and our village consists of just nine spacious and secluded “legae” (another Tswana word, for “little house”) or suites.
These legaes are built of local stone, rich red clay and traditional Kalahari thatch. Recently redesigned by world-renowned Boyd Ferguson, our suites define an elegant, barefoot luxury. Writing in Conde Nast Traveller, Justin Cartwright describes their charm;
Each suite comprises a spacious bedroom with an open fire, a sumptuous en-suite bathroom with both indoor and outdoor shower, and a large dressing and study area. Your private sun deck overlooks a waterhole and the changing Kalahari animals it attracts.
Two legae have been designed especially for families. Each offers two separate bedroom suites with their own en-suite bathrooms, separated by an expansive living room again leading on to a shady, private terrace. These legae are each over 170 square metres in size and create the perfect environment for any family group.
The Motse accommodates no more than 20 guests at any one time to make for a truly intimate Kalahari safari experience. The main house is a spectacular space in which to meet, with its elevated decks and elegant lounges. An infinity pool offers an endless view over the savannahs and a secluded spa is designed to complete your total relaxation. The mezzanine library is equipped with satellite tv (the Motse also has full broadband Wi-Fi access throughout) and its museum cases display rare artefacts from the area. All profits from our exclusive Foundation Gift Shop go directly to fund important new research on the reserve.
· Tswalu falls within the arid savanna biome of southern Africa and has three main habitats – dunes, plains and Korannaberg mountains. The presence of these mountains form a huge basin which acts as a natural rainfall catchment. This provides a healthy water table and encourages a large, successful diversity of life - with about 80 species of mammals and 240 species of birds.
· The main focus of the Tswalu Kalahari tourism experience is to expose guests to the wonders of the Kalahari ecosystem. Our guides are encouraged to explore all aspects of this ecosystem including plant life, insects, birds, reptiles and the smaller mammals and to help our guests to understand the importance of conservation with particular reference to Tswalu’s vast and unique wilderness.
Rare and endangered species
· While Tswalu is home to most of the "charismatic" African big game species such as lion, cheetah, wild dog, desert black rhino and buffalo, Tswalu has developed into a vast area of unique biodiversity and natural beauty which offers safe haven to a number of rare and endangered species, including pangolin, aardvark, aardwolf, African wild dog, rare antelope such as roan, sable and tsessebe and endangered raptors.
· Guests are encouraged to experience a variety of game-viewing opportunities over and above the regular game drives in a 4X4 vehicle - from guided bush walks, leisurely horseback safaris, to spending time with our habituated meerkats.
· The Malori sleep-out deck offers couples or families the unique opportunity to sleep under the Kalahari night sky.
Privacy and flexibility
· For complete privacy and exclusivity of the safari experience, every booking receives a private vehicle, guide, and tracker. This allows for total flexibility and a personalised safari plan offering with no set game drive times.
· A customised safari plan means that Tswalu has no set meal times and therefore caters to guests at their pace without impacting on their safari experience.
· Guests are also able to experience a variety of dining options including boma feasts and bush dinners, sundowners, wine tastings, champagne breakfasts and dune picnics.
· Tswalu inspires a new sustainable way of life with its long term vision of restoring the wilderness for future generations. It's an inspirational legacy which redefines wilderness conservation, the safari and guest experiences, community engagement, and research.
· Being the largest private game reserve in South Africa – a pristine wildlife wilderness of over 11 2000 hectares (280 000 acres) Tswalu offers an authentic African wildlife experience.
· The limited number of beds (just 30 in total) ensures that a limited number of safari vehicles traverse the area at any one time. There is no need to queue for sightings or have limited time at sightings.
· The arid nature of the savannah means that game, although plentiful, is scattered across a huge expanse. Thus, as the periods between sightings of large game may be extended, guides are required to offer more than simply a view of big game, while the trackers work tirelessly in pursuit of memorable sightings.
· The unique, award-winning Tswalu Safari Spa offers indulgent treatments using plant-based emollient rich aromatic oils. Authentic signature massages are performed by local therapists.
· The Kalahari is the ancestral home of the San people and some of the oldest Bushman rock engravings can be seen at Tswalu.
· Tswalu is located in a malaria-free area eliminating the need for anti-malaria medication.
· Tswalu welcomes families. and actively encourages children to participate fully in the safari experience with a specially designed Junior Rangers Programme.
· Because of its unique landscape, wildlife and experience, Tswalu combines perfectly into any itinerary and provides the ideal partnership with other wilderness regions.