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Tswalu - Tarkuni

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 5

Highlights

- Family Friendly
- Incredible location
- Hot air balloon safari
- Great game to spot nearby

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Overview

Tsuwalu Tarkuni is an exclusive safari villa nestled amidst southern Kalahari mountain ranges in South Africa’s largest private game reserve. As the private residence of the Oppenheimer family, Tarkuni exudes comfort, class, and intimacy, and is a great place for families with young adventurers or couples seeking romantic sights.

Five resplendent suites are available for up to 10 guests, usually on an exclusive-use basis for groups of family and friends. There is also an outdoor pool surrounded by shady salas, two alfresco lounges with open fireplaces, and a private spa.

Each suite offers a king-sized bed, which can be set up outdoors on private raised terraces and an en-suite bathroom with both indoor and outdoor showers. One suite offers a hanging day bed. The interior is elegantly decorated with local materials and designs, including traditional Kalahari thatch and Kalahari curtains. The service guests can expect here is impeccable, with the friendly staff made up of personal hosts, experienced field guides and a dedicated chef.

Food here comprises of traditional boma fare, but any meal can be made on request. Guests also have all-day access to a gourmet bar and pantry and a full selection from an award-winning list of South African wines. For an upmarket tented camp experience, the Malori star-bed is highly recommended. This is a king-sized bed located on an isolated sleep-out deck, for a night directly under magnificent stars in the wilderness.

The 250,000-acre of private Tsuwalu reserve makes available sightings of the most elusive species, such as the African wild dog, desert black rhino, aardvark, and pangolin. It is also known for a high concentration of plains game, including two colonies of meerkats and the famous black-maned Kalahari lions. There is a maximum of 10 private vehicles in that vast area, and with its sister camp Motse, a maximum of 30 guests at any one time, which ensures a remote, undisturbed experience. Game drives in open four-by-four vehicles are tailored to each group, with a personal field guide and tracker. The Kalahari can also be explored on a guided bush walk, including to the rarest archaeological bushman sites, or on a horseback safari. A hot air balloon safari is also possible for additional cost.

The Tarkuni is especially well-suited for children and families, with child-minding services available, a children’s menu, and activities such as the Children's Junior Ranger programme, where children are given a backpack of guides and tools and are taught archery, spoor identification, casting and tracking. The malaria-free location is a further benefit.

Nearby Alternatives

Tswalu - The Motse

The Northwest Province

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 5

- Huge private game-viewing reserve
- Outstanding services
- Spectacular views of savannah
- Family friendly

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 494 reviews

(4.95/5)

  • The whole holiday start to finish was just fabulous, the accommodation was perfect and to a certain extent stunning at the Dar Hosnia in Marrakech.

    The transport, guides and staff at both locations were wonderful with a special mention to the Douar Samra team in Imlill. They were more than a bit special.

    The food at both locations was excellent and the ambience and fun we enjoyed in Douar Samra was beyond all expectations.

    We made many new friends whom I am sure we will keep in touch with way beyond this holiday.

    You put together a perfect package it was much more than just a great holiday it was a richly rewarding experience.

    Just finally to say a big thank you to you for organising one of the best trips we have had.

    Missingstuart w reviewing Boutique Marrakech & Atlas Mountains on 15 April 2019

  • Everything was fab, I especially loved Tuningi such a special place and my son got to see his favourite animal the cheetah (after a bit of time hunting about on foot!). Mauritius is lovely we saw quite a bit of the island in the end.

    MissingLaura L reviewing South Africa Safari and Mauritius on 12 December 2018

  • We had a wonderful trip to Morocco. What a fascinating country. Thank you so much for all of your help making things smooth and less stressful!

    Here are a few things we wanted to pass on:

    Dar Housnia was absolutely delightful. It was like an entire wing of a house to ourselves with perfect Moroccan decor. The private area where we ate was so cute, the riad staff so accommodating. I loved waking in the cozy space with our family and hearing both call to prayer as well as roosters. Just perfect.

    I was a little unclear how to ask what time we were being picked up etc, but your office promptly replied to my emails - even on weekends- when we had these questions about transport times. Once, we met our guide in Imlil these details we not problematic as our guide “Abraham” totally took care of us. Abraham was awesome. You should definitely request him again in the future. He was young (29)and energetic. He had a ton of hiking experience in Imlil as he was from there. He also seemed to know everything else about morocco, the desert, the culture, etc, etc. He was approachable, kind, patient, great with our kids and answered SO MANY of our questions.

    The hike was lovely - after rain the day prior in Marrakech - there was snow in the mountains. It was gorgeous. We may have been up for a longer hike up Mt Taboukel if I had known this was a realistic option for families ( I thought from reading that it was too technical for us). Yet not sure we had enough days for all these things always since getting in the desert was a priority.

    The mountain house, Dar adar, was just as described… very basic. The wifi was broken (which was a nice break when you have pre-teens addicted to phones, plus my husband called no wifi an amenity to not be available by email for his work!)). There was no heat and the fireplace helped a tad - but was so very cold in the rooms. My husband loved the rustic space, I may have gone up one step in niceness of mountain accommodation if I had to do it over again. Yet, meeting the other families in this Dar Adar (including another Tourdust family from England) made this house very memorable.

    We were then joined by our driver for the next several days, Jamal. What a fun guy and a perfect driver. He could joke with my kids, he had a fun smile, and he had worked with Abraham before so they were a great team. The drive to desert was long as I knew it would be. It was nice to have the stop on way there near Ait Ben Haddu. The drive back from desert was long. It was more near 10 hours of driving (plus 1 hour at lunch = 11 hours) but I wouldn’t have made any different choices.

    The luxury desert camp was far and away the highlight of our trip. The tents were adorable, I was sufficiently warm even at night inside the tent. We loved the camel riding, the ATV vehicles at a nearby camp, sunsets on the dunes, music around the camp fire, meals with others at the camp and more.

    The last night was at Riad Jona. This was so very very lovely. The food was amazing - such a good idea to eat here after our long drive back to Marrakech. They had a small dining pool plus a hot tub which was delightful. It was almost more of a boutique hotel as it had several rooms.

    MissingGwyneth R reviewing Luxury Family Desert Holiday on 11 December 2018

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