With a guaranteed private vehicle and guiding team assigned to each booking, days on the reserve are entirely your own and unfold at your own pace. Sightings of cheetah, Kalahari black-maned lion, desert black rhino and other rare and endangered species are often a highlight here. Tswalu is also one of the best places in South Africa to photograph elusive species, such as aardvark, pangolin, bat-eared fox, brown hyena and aardwolf.
Guided 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.
Another exciting game viewing option at Tswalu is a horseback safari.
Horseback safaris allow guests to explore the dunes and savannahs on our well-schooled and well-mannered horses, which are suitable for all ages and all levels of experience.
There is no better way to get close to nature and the wildlife. On a horse safari in at Tswalu, you become part of the landscape and many of the animals react differently to your presence. No-one who experiences this kind of closeness with wildlife ever forgets it.
Our equestrian guides are well trained in the Kalahari ecology, and will lead you on a true safari where you can ride alongside antelope, buffalo, zebra and giraffe, or watch them from a distance without detection.
Children are welcome on horseback safaris. Both trail and English saddles are available and every piece of necessary equipment is provided, in every imaginable size.
Junior Ranger's Programme
Children are welcome at Tswalu and the reserve is well equipped to cater for them. Tswalu believes that they too can be part of the conservation vision.
The youngsters will be introduced to the Junior Ranger programme and given a backpack with guides and tools to help them learn about the Kalahari. During their stay they will make their own bow and arrow for archery, learn how to identify spoor, and track game on foot.
In between game walks and drives there are activities at The Motse specially designed to occupy the kids while mom and dad relax. Tswalu’s stables will create a special “pony camp” for any child who shares their passion for horses. There is no malaria in this part of the Kalahari and the pool is a big attraction. They can chat to the rangers, decorate cup cakes and even cook their own bush dinner in the special children’s boma. A separate children’s menu caters for their individual tastes.
Babysitters can be arranged for younger children if parents want time alone.
Tswalu's Spa is a combination of sensual spaces which combine to create one of the most unusual spa experiences in Africa.
Designed to enhance the natural beauty of the Kalahari and take advantage of the superb climate, the outdoor treatment area is within an indigenous spa garden where guests may find the occasional antelope grazing alongside them and be lulled into a deep state of relaxation by the sound of birdsong.
The indoor spa area is a natural extension of the earth, inspired by nature and the splendour of the Kalahari, with natural finishes and fabrics and simple spaces which together create a sense of tranquility and barefoot elegance.
Guests may also choose to have their treatments at an outdoor tsala, where a rustic structure protects one from the elements and is positioned to give a bird’s eye view of the open grasslands of the reserve against the backdrop of the Korannaberg Mountain range.
Treatments at Tswalu Spa include exfoliation treatments using fine red Kalahari dune sand or desert mineral crystals from the natural mineral rich salt pans of the Kalahari, infused with plant-based emollient rich aromatic oils. Authentic signature massages are performed by local therapists.
Join your guide in trying to puzzle out the hidden meanings in millennia-old rock engravings of animals, birds and abstract shapes. Today, no one knows whether they were created as memories, prayers or maps, but their beauty and mystery endure
The Malori sleep out
Watching thousands of stars slowly spin through a black velvet sky as you fall asleep makes a night spent on our Malori sleep-out deck an unforgettable experience. Enjoy a glowing Kalahari sunset as you eat dinner, then see the world anew as birdsong and the strengthening light awaken you at dawn.
The Naledi sleepout
Naledi, which means ‘star’ in the local Tswana language, is Tswalu’s back-to-nature star bed experience in the Korannaberg mountains. 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. Spending a night in a star bed, with nothing between you and the night sky, has become increasingly sought after as travellers search for authentic, unfiltered experiences immersed in nature. Naledi has purposely been kept very simple so as not to detract from its private and remote setting in the southern reaches of the reserve. Sleeping in the open, under the stars, is as old as time.
Join a group of habituated meerkats as they emerge from their burrows and warm themselves in the rising sun or meet up with them as they return home at the end of the day and groom and play at dusk.
The Tswalu Foundation - research
Spending time with one of the many researchers whose studies are supported by the Tswalu Foundation provides additional insights into the finely balanced Kalahari ecosystem, and lets you see cutting-edge conservation at work.