Find inspiration and learn more about Tswalu through our stories, written by members of our community as well as guest contributors. Browse by category to read all about our luxury safari camps, what to do and see on the reserve, how your stay positively impacts our sustainability journey, and much more. For seasonal updates and wildlife sightings from our guiding team, don’t miss the Tswalu Wildlife Journal.
MEET TSWALU KALAHARI’S NEW HEAD WAITER
A young man with a natural flair for service and an excellent memory for guest preferences, Freddy Ntoalang is proud to be Tswalu Kalahari’s first head waiter.
IN CONVERSATION WITH RINA STUTZER
Rina Stutzer took many walks from Dedeben and beyond to familiarise herself with the landscape. In this Q&A, she talks about methodology, inspiration and the wisdom of trees.
DUM SPIRO – ‘WHILST I BREATHE’
Artist Angus Taylor completed a six-month residency at Tswalu as a guest of the Tswalu Foundation. His notes from the field provide a deeper understanding of the artworks he exhibited at Everard Read.
A PARALLEL WORLD OF SLOWNESS AND LIGHT
As part of the artists in residence programme, Rina Stutzer spent six months at Tswalu. Her field notes reveal her fascination with the iconic boscia trees.
BRINGING SUSTAINABLE WASTE MANAGEMENT HOME
Waste management bins, made from old, discarded farm infrastructure, are making recycling in Tswalu’s staff villages easier for all, while teaching young and old the importance of becoming more conscious consumers.
CELEBRATING TSWALU’S LIVING HERITAGE
Heritage Day is an opportunity for the greater Tswalu community to acknowledge our shared, living heritage and our responsibility towards conserving one of southern Africa’s most enigmatic wilderness areas for future generations.
UNDERSTANDING ROCK ENGRAVINGS
Klipbak, Steenkamp and Picnic Valley are just a few of the documented rock engraving sites at Tswalu. Rock engravings are usually associated with water, such as natural springs and depressions in the rock where water collects.
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
Anthony West, a regular guest with his wife, Sue, saw his first black rhino on his first safari to Tswalu. Before that, the black rhino was a creature that existed only in his imagination.
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.