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.

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.

In conversation with Marcus Westberg

Marcus Westberg, a renowned photojournalist with a passion for storytelling, recently spent several weeks at Tswalu documenting his day-to-day experiences.

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 Naledi

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.  

Helicopter excursions at Tswalu

One of the most exciting activities which guests can book at Tswalu is a helicopter excursion. Take a trip to a nearby point of interest or historical landmark, indulge in a mountain top picnic or book a conservation educational.

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.

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