Tswalu Tarkuni / Tswalu Kalahari
Tarkuni - Exclusive private villa - A World Apart
Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest private game reserve, covering an area of over 100,000 hectares. Owned by the Oppenheimer family, Tswalu takes conservation as its absolute priority; our vision is simply ‘to restore the Kalahari to itself’. No more than thirty guests at a time can discover the beauty of this landscape, its diverse wildlife, and the serenity of what may well be South Africa’s last great wilderness.
Set amidst two rolling mountain ranges, Tarkuni is the Oppenheimer family’s own personal villa here at Tswalu and the ultimate private sanctuary.
Recently redesigned to uncompromising standards of comfort and elegance, Tarkuni is an exceptional choice for families or groups of great friends. Its five luxurious suites, each with a magnificent en-suite bathroom, accommodate a maximum of 10 guests.
Tarkuni creates an oasis of serenity in the desert. The lodge has its own dedicated team including a host and private chef to ensure a completely personal service. A private vehicle, personal field guide and tracker ensure an equally bespoke safari experience.
Tarkuni’s quiet pool and shady salas offer calm and contemplation. Its own traditional boma has seen many celebrations. And its beguiling charm has led many guests to return to what becomes their home in the Kalahari.
The Kalahari is the ancestral home of the San people (Bushman). Some of their ancient engravings can be seen at Tswalu; current research suggests these may be amongst the oldest art on Earth.
At maximum capacity Tswalu will take only 30 guests in total. This represents the lowest imaginable density of visitors. The emphasis here is on privacy and exclusivity – your own private Kalahari.
Tswalu is located in a malaria-free area, welcomes families and actively encourages children to participate fully in the safari experience.Because of its unique landscape, wildlife and experience, Tswalu combines perfectly into any itinerary and provides the ideal partnership with both the intensity of the Lowveld or the glamour of Cape Town.
Exclusive private villa with 5 individual suites
Accommodates 1-10 guests
Tranquil poolside deck
Private game viewing vehicle
Indoor & outdoor walk-in showers
2 lounges with open fireplaces
Outdoor swimming pool
The Executive Chef, Theresa Fehrsen, has a style which defines modern South African cuisine. Tswalu is proud to be a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux and to meet its exacting standards. But here you will enjoy food you will never see anywhere else in the world.
With an emphasis on the qualities of individual ingredients, Theresa creates new interpretations of classic South African dishes such as charkalaka or koeksisters. Elsewhere inspiration comes directly from the Kalahari and treasures such as the rare Kalahari truffle. Sometimes local colour creates a simple accent, such as a hollandaise made with inkomasi, the traditional buttermilk of the Tswana.
As our menus change, so do our venues. Sundowners are followed by dune dinners and spectacular sunsets. Tswalu’s Kalahari Feast is a modern reworking of the traditional “boma” braai. Breakfasts may take place with panoramic views of the waterhole where our Southern Pride of black-maned lions may also start their day. At any time, you may choose a romantic supper in the privacy of your own deck, with a vintage wine and a telescope to gaze at a thousand stars.
The service aims to be gentle yet meticulous. As Justin Cartwright wrote in Conde Nast Traveller, “this unobtrusive professionalism is the special quality of Tswalu.”
Luxury full board accommodation
Two daily game drives in open safari vehicles
Walking safaris led by experienced Field Guides and Trackers
All local beverages
Horse riding accompanied by an equestrian guide
Laundry and valet services
Private vehicle with personal Field Guide and Tracker (Available from R2600 per day)
Transfers to and from Tswalu
Tswalu gift shop purchases
Any additional transfers and activities
Spa and Massage treatments
Selected premier wines and all cigars
Hot air ballooning
A Tswalu Kalahari Safari experience is very different.
African Safaris at Tswalu Kalahari
Bush walks are encouraged at Tswalu
Tswalu offers unrivalled privacy in a vast, pristine wilderness. We have a maximum of six vehicles in over 100,000 hectares. As Nicky Oppenheimer says, “If you see another Land Rover, complain!”
Our expert Field Guides have been specially trained in Kalahari wildlife and each contributes personally to the constant programme of research and conservation on our reserve. Game drives at Tswalu Kalahari will be completely tailored to your own interests. As well as discovering many rare and endangered species for the first time, every guest leaves with a deep appreciation of the beauty of this entire eco-system.
Bush walks are encouraged at Tswalu. We want people to get even closer to the land. To touch the unique vegetation (and learn about some plants’ extraordinary properties). To inspect nests and burrows. To examine the smallest insect. A morning can begin by walking to a meerkat colony and watching these engaging mammals warm themselves in the sunshine before they scamper off to forage. Night walks are now also possible, offering the chance of exceptional sightings such as aardvark, aardwolf, porcupine or brown hyena at even closer range.
And for a Kalahari safari experience unlike any other, our guests can explore the dunes and savannahs on our African Horseback Safaris. Few moments can rival gently walking through a herd of sable antelope on horseback, sharing the magical stillness that defines the Kalahari.
Tswalu lies in the southern Kalahari, in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province Tswalu Kalahari is:
560km west of Johannesburg
850km north of Cape Town
180km north east of Upington270km north west of Kimberley