April 23

A Tswalu Kalahari Safari is Simply Delicious


By Xinay De Vries on April 23, 2024

The juxtaposition of "desert" and "safari" in a sentence might initially seem odd. For most of us, encountering the word "desert" often triggers thoughts – or perhaps wishes – of "dessert" instead. The allure of chocolate soufflés, creamy crème brûlées, or a refreshing assortment of gelato, perhaps with a personal favourite like pistachio, or even the nostalgic pull of a South African milk tart, is undeniable. Just mentioning these treats makes you salivate. Well, just like this culinary indulgence is tantalisingly tempting, so is the super satisfying safari alternative, namely a Tswalu Kalahari safari. And it's got all the extra cherries on top you could desire! 

Tswalu Outdoor Picnic Kalahri safari

A Tswalu Kalahari safari is simply delectable, Image Credit: Tswalu Kalahari

The Ingredients of a Tswalu Kalahari Safari

A mouth-watering dessert naturally requires good ingredients but it's how you put them together that matters. And Tswalu has come up with a winning recipe. They started with a big cup of conservation mixed in with a dollop of sustainability before adding generous pours of luxury accommodation, exclusive experiences, and truly spectacular wildlife! 

Tswalu Kalahari Moste

Each layer of a Tswalu Kalahari safari makes it memorable, Image Credit: Tswalu Kalahari

Conservation and Sustainability

Tswalu stands as a beacon of conservation, blending sustainable eco-tourism with its core mission. Named "a new beginning", Tswalu has been at the forefront of restoring and conserving the southern Kalahari for nearly three decades. As the largest private game reserve in South Africa in a truly unique setting, they're setting the standards for a luxury-meet-conservation safari.

A pivotal aspect of their commitment lies in fostering creative partnerships, exemplified by initiatives like Prints for a Purpose and the Artists in Residence programmes.

Prints for a Purpose

Prints for a Purpose showcases the captivating beauty and rich biodiversity of Tswalu and the southern Kalahari through limited edition prints crafted by skilled wildlife photographers. These prints are not just stunning works of art – they serve a greater purpose by generating funds to support the research endeavours of the Tswalu Foundation.

The Artists in Residence Programme

Another brainchild of the Tswalu Foundation, this programme invites emerging South African artists to immerse themselves in the Kalahari's landscapes. Here, they utilise their artistic talents to depict the region's beauty and diversity. This dual-purpose initiative not only contributes to conservation research funding but also serves as a platform to empower and inspire talented South African artists.

African wild dogs at Tswalu

African wild dogs are endangered wildlife thriving at Tswalu, Image Credit: Tswalu Kalahari

Spectacular Sightings

Part of the allure of a safari is the chance to see the more elusive or intriguing animal species found in Africa – and Tswalu has these in spades! Spend your days on a privately guided safari vehicle in search of the Elusive 5, namely the pangolin, brown hyena, aardvark, aardwolf and bat-eared fox.

Perhaps you'll even have the opportunity to witness the desert-adapted Kalahari lions. While the same species as lions found elsewhere in Africa, these particular lions have much darker manes, creating a striking image against the red-dune-dotted landscape of the Kalahari. 

Tswalu is also, without a doubt, one of the best places to see the cheetah in the wild. These elegant big cats are amazing to watch. From high-speed pursuits to teaching their cubs how to survive, they provide a mesmerising viewing experience. 

Tswalu: Kalahari-Löwen mit dunkler Mähne

The Kalahari's dark-maned lions are a sight to behold, Image Credit: Tswalu Kalahari


Part of a Tswalu Kalahari safari's winning recipe is its accommodation and how it balances luxury with sustainability. Here's a taste of what to expect.

Loapi Tented Camp

Loapi Tented Camp has been infused with a nomadic spirit of camping. Loapi means "the space below the clouds" in the local language, Setswana. Each tented residence, crafted with sustainability and environmental consciousness in mind, is set within the folds of a valley amidst the Korannaberg mountains. 

Serene decks, shaded from the sun, offer day beds for unwinding alongside an eco-conscious plunge pool and a firepit perfect for enjoying sundowners and morning coffee. The bedrooms provide a sanctuary-like experience, enveloped in canvas, immersing guests in the natural ambience of the surroundings.

Loapi Tented Camp Tswalu Kalahari

Gather around the Loapi firepit at dusk, Image Credit: Tswalu Kalahari

Motse Lodge

Embraced by indigenous gardens, the Motse Lodge provides a haven for antelope and birds, while a nearby waterhole draws a variety of wildlife, especially in the dry season. You can kick back at the spacious indoor and outdoor areas, with covered verandas leading to swimming pools and a firepit for evening gatherings. 

The main lounge features a stone fireplace, a mezzanine library, and a wine cellar showcasing premium South African wines. Barbecue dinners under the stars create intimate memories in the boma. At the Motse, you can rejuvenate at the Tswalu Spa, work out at the gym, explore the Photographic Studio, or browse the curated selection at the gallery, offering art, jewellery, clothing, and souvenirs.

Tswalu Moste Lodge

Imagine lying on one of Motse's daybed and simply enjoying the view, Image Credit: Tswalu Kalahari

Tarkuni Homestead

The entire Tarkuni Homestead has been carefully redesigned with sustainability in mind. Each bedroom features ample bathrooms and private verandas. 

A spacious lounge and dining room centred around a striking back-to-back fireplace opens onto a shaded verandah overlooking a water-wise plunge pool and a sundowner firepit. An intimate boma invites guests to enjoy barbecue dinners under the stars, while a gazebo offers a serene spot for massages or afternoon naps. 

Tarkuni homestead Tswalu Kalahari

The Tarkuni Homestead is perfect for families, Image Credit: Tswalu Kalahari

Exclusive Experiences

The final element that makes a Tswalu Kalahari safari simply delicious is the exclusive and memorable experiences it offers. Here are a few you can look forward to.


Yearning for the pure tranquillity of nature, unspoiled and genuine? Spending a night under the stars in either the Naledi or Malori star beds will deepen your safari adventure. As the evening descends and darkness blankets the landscape, immerse yourself in the symphony of nocturnal wildlife and the mesmerising expanse of stars above. 

Whether you choose Naledi, an elevated, open-air platform in the south, or Malori, a safari tent with sweeping views of the savannah dunes to the west, prepare for an unforgettable encounter with the wilderness.

Tswalu Malori Sleepout

Spend the night amongst the sights and sounds of the Kalahari at the Malori Sleepout, Image Credit: Tswalu Kalahari

Meerkat Experiences

Embarking on an early morning journey to meet Tswalu's habituated meerkats will be one of your favourite memories. Guests are invited to approach within arm's reach of three distinct family groups, namely Mokala, Gosa, and Rockstar. 

Watch in awe as these charming creatures dart in and out of their burrows, take turns on sentry duty, engage in playful interactions, and bask in the warm sunlight. Delight as they scurry through the sand, hunting for delectable treats. It's an intimate encounter with these endearing creatures, offering a glimpse into their captivating lives in the wild.

Tswalu Meerkats

Spend a morning with a family of habituated meerkats, Image Credit: Tswalu Kalahari

Horse riding

Embarking on a horseback riding safari at Tswalu isn't just about observing from a distance. Instead, it's about immersing yourself in the heart of the wilderness. Guides always encourage guests to step out of the vehicle, inviting them to truly feel the pulse of nature

As you venture out, the world around you bursts to life – the melodic chorus of birds, the distant calls of animals, the earthy scent of the grass underfoot. Imagine the thrill of encountering a giraffe peering curiously over the treetops or witnessing the graceful dance of red Kalahari dust stirred by retreating wildlife. 

And what better way to experience this than on horseback? Riding along game paths, you're enveloped in the raw beauty of the landscape, pausing to witness the drama unfold at watering holes or the bustling activity of sociable weaver colonies.

A different vantage point of Tswalu's landscapes and wildlife, Image Credit: Tswalu Kalahari

Satisfy Your Sweet Safari Craving in the Kalahari

Indulge Tswalu Kalahari’s perfect safari recipe. Picture a blend of thrilling encounters with desert-adapted wildlife sprinkled with exclusive experiences, all infused with a generous dash of conservation and sustainability. It's the ultimate feast for your soul. 

So, if you're craving a sweet safari escape, savour every moment and book your unforgettable adventure now!

Featured Image Credit: Tswalu Private Game Reserve 

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About the author 

Xinay De Vries

Born and raised in South Africa, Xinay is no stranger to all the amazing possibilities Africa has to offer. She's a self-proclaimed bookworm and coffee addict with a yen for bubbles and rosé, so you'll often find her exploring the streets of Cape Town looking for the best cup of coffee or glass of wine. With a passion for travel and her home country, she's determined to get others to love Africa as much as she does!

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