by Tamlin Wightman on August 18, 2011
4 min read

“Closer to the land, closer to the people”

Tswalu. It’s South Africa’s largest private game reserve. It has a sleepout deck with a king size bed on which you can sleep. There. In the middle of 100,000 hectares of wilderness. In the Kalahari Desert. It’s too good to say no to. Like fluffy ricotta flapjacks slathered in chocolate honeycomb butter. Dig in…

Watch the video!

This sure is bed with a view!

The Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is a private game reserve situated in the southern Kalahari in the Northern Cape of South Africa, near the border between South Africa and Botswana on the transition zone between the Nama-Karoo and Kalahari biomes. You can stay in either the Tswalu TarkuniTswalu The Motse or the Malori Sleepout Deck.

Tswalu Tarkuni

Tarkuni is ideal for small groups and families and can accommodate up to 10 guests. There are five luxury bedrooms each with en-suite bathrooms and outdoor showers. An open plan lounge and dining room as well as a covered patio and a heated swimming pool complete the set. Exclusivity is ensured with a private game viewing vehicle and a dedicated chef.

You're surrounded by the vast Kalahari

Tswalu The Motse

The Motse accommodates 20 guests in eight individual suites, made from local desert sand and with thatch roofs. Each suite has an en-suite bathroom with walk-in shower, outside shower, open fireplace, separate dressing area, private sun deck, telephone, safe, wireless internet, mini bar and of course a stunning Kalahari view. There are lounge and dining areas, a small library and a traditional Boma for outside meals and evening fireside drinks. For relaxing there is the Sanctuary spa and gym, a sun deck and an outdoor heated swimming pool.

The Motse, Tswalu Kalahari

Malori Sleepout Deck

The newly launched Malori Sleepout Deck has a raised platform with thatched overhang. You can sleep completely in the open, surrounded by the calls of nocturnal animals, with nothing between you and the brilliant stars of the Kalahari night sky…. The suite has weather-proof blinds which can be rolled up or down according to preference. There’s a luxurious king-size bed, and a outdoor toilet, basin and shower a short distance away on a lighted walkway. You can chill out on the deck on the camping chairs and cushioned couch with panoramic views of the vast Green Kalahari plains and sunsets.

Sleep out in the wild of the Kalahari

Creatures big ‘n small

The southern Kalahari receives more rain than the central Kalahari, so you can expect to see a large diversity of life. Here you can see some of South Africa’s rarest and most extraordinary wildlife, including:

  • Desert black rhino – Twalu’s population represents one third of South Africa’s entire remaining desert black rhino
  • Black-maned Kalahari lions
  • Meerkats
  • Cheetah. Easily viewed in the open savannah
  • Significant populations of rare antelope such as roan, sable and tsessebe
  • Over 70 species of mammal and 230 species of birds (including endangered raptors)
  • Other sightings may include the elusive aardvark, aardwolf, caracal, pangolin and porcupine
Spot a wide variety of animals in the Tswalu environment Spot a mob meerkats in the wild Look out for the big cats

Tswalu is owned by the Oppenheimer family. Keen supporters of wildlife and conservation projects, Nicky and Strilli Oppenheimer have many won awards for their commitment to preserving the habitat and encouraging education in the field of conservation. They were presented with the prestigious World Wildlife Fund – Lonmin Award for environmental conservation. Tswalu is also part of Fair Trade Tourism South Africa and in 2009 it was voted as one of National Geographic Adventure Magazine’s Top 50 Eco-Lodges in the World.

Enjoy some spectacular views of the African landscape

Getting there

Tswalu Kalahari can be easily accessed by both road and air. Private scheduled charters offered daily flights from Johannesburg or Cape Town International Airports directly onto Tswalu Kalahari’s own private tarred airstrip.


The climate at Tswalu varies depending on the time of year you visit so please see our weather section for further details. It is however always advisable to pack sunscreen, a hat, and a good pair of walking shoes. In summer, light cool clothing is best with a light warm clothing item for early morning game drives. In winter, please remember a warm jacket and some cooler clothing for the afternoons.

For more information about Tswalu and to book your stay at this unique Kalahari destination, contact us. Plus, watch this space as we have a special Tswalu video coming soon!

MannaBay – Grootbos – Tswalu Special

Because we know you’re super keen to go now… we’ve arranged this special, which combines Tswalu with Cape Town and Grootbos:

Cape Town - Grootbos - Tswalu

SAVE 27% – PAY ONLY: ZAR 56,062/USD 8,284/EUR 5,799/GBP 5,073

With this special, you’ll be staying at the luxurious MannaBay in Cape Town, spotting the Marine 5 at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, AND enjoying an exclusive Big 5 safari at Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve in the Kalahari.

Valid for Travel Until 30 June 2012

Contact us to book this special now!