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.
TWO CHEFS, ONE MISSION – SUSTAINABLE DINING
Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen talks to us about finding inspiration in nature and community, and sharing the Klein JAN kitchen with Wolfgat’s Kobus van der Merwe for a once-off Kalahari-themed dinner.
NATURE’S HEALING POWER
The human disconnect from the healing power of nature has been a long time coming, made worse by our overwhelming reliance on technology. We need to carve out time in nature, suggests Marcus Westberg.
A DESTINATION TO DISCOVER IN THE SOUTHERN KALAHARI
A destination in its own right, Tswalu is South Africa’s largest private reserve. To explore its dramatically scaled landscapes and fascinating fauna and flora demands a deep dive and longer stay.
FINDING PETROGLYPHS ON BUSHMAN HILL
Climbing Bushman Hill has many unexpected rewards, as travel writer Jane Broughton discovered on a winter’s day packed with petroglyphs, up-close kudu and Hartmann's mountain zebra sightings and a surprise element or two.
THE BEST OF BOTH (SAFARI) WORLDS
Adding both the Motse and Loapi to your Tswalu itinerary not only ensures a deeper understanding of this place of contrasts but also mitigates your carbon footprint and has a positive impact on sustainable conservation.
OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE NATURAL WORLD
Photographer Marcus Westberg writes about our role in the natural world and the value of human intervention in nature, such as wildlife conservation management, so that wild places and creatures can be protected.
THE PAST AND FUTURE OF FOOD AT KLEIN JAN
At Restaurant Klein JAN, head chef Etienne Wessels is telling the culinary story of the Kalahari with a modern, multi-course menu showcasing locally sourced ingredients.
SAFARI IN THE SOUTHERN KALAHARI
The southern Kalahari’s wildlife diversity astounded Shirley Sword, a Tswalu guest who appreciated the time and space to track and observe so many unusual animals.
TSWALU, A DESTINATION SAFARI
Did you know that Tswalu is one of Africa’s largest intact arid savannahs? Here are 10 facts about Tswalu, a wonderfully remote yet easily accessible safari destination.
SCAVENGING BROWN HYENA
Lucien Beaumont recently spent a few days on the reserve with guests. One of the highlights of their safari was a brown hyena sighting involving a pair of cheetahs and a stolen kill.
SAFARI PHOTOGRAPHY 101
There are many reasons why some photos turn out great while others seem to lack a certain something. Photographer Marcus Westberg provides invaluable tips to take your safari images to the next level.
SUMMER, AN UNPREDICTABLE SEASON IN THE KALAHARI
Tswalu is a place to appreciate that the smallest things may actually be the biggest, to be patient, stay calm and safari at your own pace!
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.
DINING SUSTAINABLY AT RESTAURANT KLEIN JAN
Restaurant Klein JAN was recently named International Hidden Gem in the La Liste 2022 Awards, putting Tswalu Kalahari Reserve and the Northern Cape province of South Africa on the global culinary map.
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.
A JOURNEY OF RESTORATION
The reward of getting to grips with the southern Kalahari’s profound sense of place is a reawakening of the senses and a longing to reconnect with nature and benefit from its healing power.
SOUTH AFRICA’S MOST IMMERSIVE SAFARI
Tswalu has always been a year-round destination, each season offering unique and memorable sightings along with the freedom to explore the reserve’s vast reaches in complete privacy and at your own pace.
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.
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.
TARKUNI – SUSTAINABLY REINVENTED
Tarkuni offers the ultimate escape at any time of the year, providing opportunities to stop and appreciate the silence and the immense sense of space that defines Tswalu Kalahari.
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!
SLEEPING UNDER THE STARS AT NALENDI
Elevated above a valley with wraparound views, Naledi is for the true adventurer who yearns to sleep beneath the southern Kalahari’s brilliant blanket of stars in safety and seclusion.
TAKE A PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI
While Tswalu guarantees a private vehicle and dedicated, experienced guiding team with every booking, those who are really serious about taking wildlife photos will appreciate the introduction of a fully equipped photographic safari vehicle and specialist guide.
FINDING TSWALU’S ELUSIVE SPECIES
Tswalu is one of the best places on the continent to see five of the most elusive species in Africa, namely aardvark, pangolin, brown hyena, aardwolf and bat-eared fox. Game drives here provide up-close sightings of species that prove highly elusive elsewhere.
SAFARI IN PRIVATE AT TSWALU KALAHARI
Freedom to explore wide, open spaces has long drawn those seeking a deeply layered, immersive safari to these dramatic landscapes, from the ancient, quartzite Korannaberg mountains and savannah grasslands to the red sand dunes rippling away to the horizon.
WALKING SAFARIS FOR BIRDERS
Whether wandering over rocky hills, strolling through grassy plains, cresting a red sand dune or just waiting it out at a watering hole or pan while sipping on coffee, birding on foot is always a rewarding way to spend a morning on the reserve.
MAKING FRIENDS WITH MEERKATS
Veronique Venter has devoted the past four years to habituating meerkat families, spending many hours in their presence to build their trust, so that our guests can view them in their natural environment.
BIRDING AT TSWALU KALAHARI
When one views Tswalu from a birding perspective, there would be few places comparable in the region. With a total list running in the region of 260 species there is plenty to be gained from spending a few solid hours at least trying to find some of the more iconic Kalahari species.
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
FIVE BIRDS TO TICK OFF AT TSWALU
Are you interested in birding, but perhaps have no idea where to start? My interest in birding began when I started working as a field guide, and once I’d grasped their entertainment value I quickly became hooked. Learning bird calls...
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.
A FAMILY’S SAFARI MEMORIES
David and Sarah Townsend first came on a family safari to Tswalu in 2008, when their daughter, India, was three years old and son, Theo, was just four months old.
TSWALU – A PHOTOGRAPHER’S PARADISE
With your own private vehicle, breath-taking landscapes, and diversity of wildlife, Tswalu offers both the novice and the experienced photographer the opportunity of a lifetime to capture some memorable moments
PACKING FOR YOUR SAFARI AT TSWALU
If you’ve never been on safari before, here are some useful tips on what to pack for your holiday at Tswalu.
BEDTIME STORIES FOR TSWALU GUESTS
Every night at Tswalu when guests retire to their suites, they will find a ‘good night’ box with a treat from The Motse kitchen and a printed folklore story to read before they turn in.
AN EVENING AT JAN INNOVATION STUDIO
Last week Tswalu hosted a group of industry friends to an evening at Chef Jan Hendrik’s recently opened Innovation Studio in Cape Town. It was a wonderful evening with great food and wine and delightful company.
JAN HENDRIK’S INNOVATION STUDIO OPENS
Chef Jan Hendrik’s Innovation Studio has opened its doors at 87 Kloof Street in Cape Town after many months of meticulous crafting and refinement.
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.
FIVE REASONS TO VISIT TSWALU
A great read by guest blogger James Bainbridge from SafariBookings.com. A major draw of Tswalu Kalahari is that it is a malaria-free reserve; five other top reasons to visit are listed here.
SEASONS OF TSWALU
Tswalu is, as we tell people, “big country” with boundaries beyond horizons. It provides a stunning backdrop to the dramatic changes that accompany each new season.
THE TSWALU SPA
The Tswalu Spa is an integral component of the overall guest experience. A combination of cool, tranquil spaces creates a quiet oasis in the Kalahari where guests can indulge in some well-deserved pampering and relaxation.
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.
STARGAZING AT TSWALU
Tswalu a stargazer’s dream and all Tswalu guides are trained to guide guests across the night sky with a telescope, the naked eye or low magnification binoculars.
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.