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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 508 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

  • We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!

    The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).

    A few points:
    Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.

    Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
    They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.

    Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!

    The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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