THE BEST OF BOTH (SAFARI) WORLDS
In seeking to reconnect with nature, the remoteness of the southern Kalahari has become more appealing than ever before. Tswalu offers the most sought-after luxuries of modern travel – unparalleled privacy and the freedom and space to explore. With the guarantee of a private safari vehicle, guide and tracker with every booking, days are flexible and completely unscripted. Many of the activities that are included in your stay are unique to the destination, including rock engraving sites, habituated meerkat encounters and being able to engage with research projects and artists in residence supported by the Tswalu Foundation. Whether on game drives, nature walks or on horseback, there is time to pause and appreciate the vastness of Tswalu’s landscapes as well as the privilege of having exclusive access to South Africa’s biggest private reserve.
The same holds true for our luxury camps, which work separately or in combination to provide the ultimate private safari experience. Inspired by a new mood of carefree, nomadic living, Loapi (opening soon) features six individual safari homes that evoke the impermanent, light-footprint spirit of camping and a return to a true wilderness experience. Meaning ‘the space below the clouds’ in Setswana, the design of these private retreats is a conscious departure from the established, grounded permanence of the Motse with its thatched roofs, organic curves and earthy interiors.
The positioning of Loapi’s tented homes was led by the landscape. To ensure privacy, there are at least 50 metres (165 feet) between each private abode.
Images by Marcus Westberg.
Located in secluded Bruwer Valley, Loapi’s private, tented homes all have views south over swaying grasslands. Ever-shifting light enhances the richness in the sparseness, especially when the setting sun is reflected in the distant hills. Sustainably designed and environmentally sensitive, each home accommodates two or four guests and operates as a self-contained, mini safari camp. Tucked into the contours of the valley, there are at least 50 metres (165 feet) between each private abode to ensure unimpeded views and complete solitude. Personal service throughout your stay is provided by a dedicated homathi, or private butler, and meals are all prepared by your chef in an interactive kitchen. Modular in style, glass and steel pavilions form the heart of each home. The ensuite bedrooms are under canvas. With endless views from every angle and effortless indoor-outdoor flow, Loapi is a place to live in synch with nature, waking with the sunrise and stargazing deep into the night.
From the Motse there are sweeping views across the vastness of the reserve towards the western horizon – expect spectacular sunsets.
By comparison the Motse faces west, and theatrical sunsets are a highlight of staying here. A contemporary take on a traditional safari camp, the Motse has nine legae, or suites, strategically positioned for privacy and seclusion. Shared guest areas include indoor-outdoor lounging and dining spaces, an intimate boma, wine cellar, gallery, gym and spa. There are plenty of opportunities for private dining in and around the camp, as well as in-suite dining and spa treatments. As Tswalu’s original camp, the Motse provides an authentic home-from-home ambience defined by great attention to detail and personal service.
Top row, left to right: Sundowners; Meerkat experience; Dune dinner. Bottom row, left to right: Brown hyena sighting; Rhino sighting, by Marcus Westberg; Nature walk and rock art experience.
Extending your stay to include both the Motse and Loapi, to experience the thoughtful locations, generous hospitality and incredible views that are unique to each camp, not only ensures a deeper understanding of this place of contrasts but also mitigates your carbon footprint and has a positive impact on the sustainability of this noble conservation project.
Tswalu has always been a year-round safari destination where the absence or presence of rain triggers dramatic transformations to the diverse habitats and photogenic landscapes of this extraordinary place, often referred to as the Green Kalahari. Seasonal changes determine and influence wildlife sightings so that each time you return to explore the vast reaches of this semi-arid wonderland, it feels like you are scratching the surface or about to discover something new. Finding animals like brown hyena or aardvark, which often prove elusive elsewhere in southern Africa, and enjoying exclusivity at every sighting are the sort of safari memories that make Tswalu unique.
Days on safari are unscripted. Instead of an afternoon game drive, ride out on horseback into the dunes for sunset drinks. Image by Marcus Westberg.
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.