Experience Tswalu

Our Stories

We invite you to find inspiration and learn more about Tswalu through our stories, or blog posts, written by members of our community as well as guest contributors. Browse by category to read about our luxury camps, guest experiences, scientific research projects, sustainability journey, culinary heritage, conservation successes and much, much more.

OBSERVING NATURE AT TSWALU

In an unusual year for tourism, characterised by travel bans and fewer guests, wildlife photography became field guide Barry Peiser’s focus while living and working on the reserve during SA's lockdown.

MEET TSWALU’S FIRST SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER

As a fellow member of The Long Run, Tswalu is working towards improving its sustainability goals with the help of a full-time sustainability officer, Prince Ngomane.

COMING HOME TO TSWALU

Research by Dr Bryan Maritz into reptile ecology aims to understand which species occur at Tswalu and how those different species interact with their environment.

RICHARD SATEKGE’S 20-YEAR JOURNEY WITH TSWALU

Conservator Richard Satekge has witnessed the steady rehabilitation of Tswalu through the removal of old farming infrastructure and the restoration of natural habitat.

STARS ARE SMALL, DARK THINGS

For the San people, stars were sites of cultural meaning in both the earth-bound world and in the sky. Pippa Skotnes explains the value of the stars to the San.

PEOPLE WERE ONCE SPRINGBOKS

Gordon Cumming described how he stood on the fore chest of his wagon, watching the springboks pass like the flood of some great river, with nothing but springboks as far as the eye could see.

In the kitchen: Springbok, Samp and Beans

In this delicious dish, springbok loin is teamed with an African staple, samp and beans, bringing together South Africa’s rich culinary heritage but with a modern twist.

In conversation with Melissa Biggs Bradley

Tswalu Kalahari is one of 21 hand-picked safari properties across Africa that made the final cut for Melissa Biggs Bradley’s new book, Safari Style - Exceptional African Lodges and Camps.

In the kitchen: Playing with pistachios

The Motse's pastry chefs recently played around with new dessert ideas using these fresh, local pistachios. The result, pistachio frangipane tart, is served as a dessert with Chantilly cream.

In the kitchen: Baking bread

Bread baking is taken seriously in Tswalu’s kitchens, and around 10 different types of bread are produced daily, from breakfast through to dinner. Potbrood, baked in a cast-iron pot over the coals, is a boma dinner favourite.

Upington Slaghuis, a family affair

In the Northern Cape town of Upington is the third-generation family business, Upington Slaghuis, or butchery, which supplies the kitchens of the Motse, Tarkuni and Restaurant Klein JAN with local, ethically sourced, quality meat.

Tswalu’s Sustainability Champions

Over the past year, Tswalu has sought to enhance its sustainable usage of all resources while reducing the production of waste. Overseeing the sustainability journey on the ground are our Sustainability Champions.

The art of cheesemaking

Cheese, like any craft worth pursuing, is a commitment, but it can be an extremely rewarding one when approached with a patient enthusiasm.

Tswalu’s chocolatier extraordinaire

I started making chocolates in 2015, but developed a new love for it when I started working at Tswalu.

In conversation with Marnus Scholly

At Tswalu, food is part of almost every experience – whether out on a game drive, having a picnic, enjoying lunch on your private veranda or dune dining under the stars.

In the kitchen: Bobotie spring rolls

South Africa’s melting pot of cultures finds perfect expression in these bobotie-filled spring rolls, a delicious twist on a traditional recipe that is always a popular choice when it appears on the Motse’s lunch menu.

Klein JAN: Root cellar tour

Arriving in the Kalahari for the first time, it’s not uncommon to expect scarcity, but where life finds a challenge, it finds a way, and the Kalahari is anything but a barren wasteland. Quite the opposite. It is a place of cultural and culinary abundance!

Unearthing the Kalahari’s long human history

Until recently there had been little systematic archaeological research within the expansive, protected area of Tswalu. However, there is clear evidence of human activity extending back in time to at least 500,000 years ago.

Conflict, dread and imagining in the Southern Kalahari

The southern Kalahari has been both home and refuge for many groups of people over an extended period of time: hunter-gatherers from at least the Middle Stone Age; Later Stone Age ancestors of N|uu speakers as well as seasonal visitors, and pastoralists from about 500AD.

Sustainability – the journey continues

To help Tswalu measure and assess its sustainability goals, Tswalu retains the services of an independent sustainability officer, Julie Cheetham. This is the first of what we hope will become regular, thought-provoking contributions by Julie, tracking Tswalu’s journey towards greater...

Primary health care for all

Tswalu’s health care centre provides free primary health care services not only to all staff and their families on the reserve but to anyone in need in the remote, rural communities surrounding the property.

From conservation student to conservator

Conservator Prince Ngomane’s dream to protect the natural environment and to work at the cutting edge of conservation is coming true at Tswalu Kalahari. ‘It doesn’t matter where you start in life. Never give up on your dreams,’ believes Prince.

Introducing Nigel Pace, Head of Hospitality

Pace is well-known in the travel industry through his long association with benchmark boutique properties across Africa. His international training as a hotelier and intimate knowledge of the niche luxury travel market, while working for some of the most respected...

Women in Conservation

Guests spend more time in the company of their guide than in camp, and one of Deirdre Opie’s roles as Tswalu’s new safari manager is to mentor and motivate her team to turn exceptional experiences into life-changing ones

Tswalu joins The Long Run

As part of its commitment towards greater sustainability, Tswalu Kalahari has applied and successfully been accepted as a fellow member of the internationally recognised conservation organisation, The Long Run

Bruce Backhouse, Artist in Residence

Landscape artist Bruce Backhouse described his experience of being an artist in residence at Tswalu Kalahari as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity. It was a chance to paint for days on end without interruption. ‘For an artist, the most amazing gift is...

What defines Tswalu Kalahari

The wide, open spaces of Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa’s largest, privately owned reserve, have long drawn travellers seeking a deeply layered, immersive safari.

Tracker Academy at Tswalu Kalahari

They say an experienced tracker can read the earth like a book. Successful tracking demands experience, knowledge, patience, physical endurance, and mental focus, often under challenging environmental conditions over extended periods. Tracking involves the interpretation of signs of the wild,...

Tswalu Gallery opens

The Tswalu Gallery, which opened on the private game reserve this week, is a beautiful space in the main building of the newly renovated Motse camp.

The vision behind Tswalu’s new logo

As the face of Tswalu, our logo is an important part of our brand, and impacts much of the perception our audience has of us. It’s also the first thing our guests see when they arrive at the Tswalu airstrip to begin their safari.

Marnus Scholly appointed Executive Chef at Tswalu

Says Marnus: “I am looking forward to working with Chef Jan Hendrik in defining the Tswalu culinary vision. We are focussing on a specific area of produce, working closely with local farmers, and we understand the unique challenges of the Kalahari region.

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