Spanning an area of approximately 114,000 hectares, Tswalu is the largest private game reserve in all of South Africa. Since it can only accommodate a maximum of 30 guests at any one time, it’s able to offer an incredibly exclusive wilderness safari experience. While it’s in the southern part of the Kalahari Desert, it still has quite diverse landscapes, including arid savannahs, sweeping grasslands and rugged mountains.
For accommodation within the reserve itself there are two options. There’s The Motse, which offers nine spacious, secluded suites, each one of which comes with its own extensive viewing deck; most are standard suites, though a few of them are larger and are designed for families. There’s also Tarkuni, a peaceful five-suite lodge that’s well placed between two towering mountain ranges, offering stunning views of the peaks, as well as plenty of on-site amenities.
Climate: Spring lasts from September to October and has warm days with quite cool and often chilly evenings. From November all the way through to March it’s summer, with days hot and humid and afternoons occasionally experiencing short thunderstorms. In autumn, which runs from April to May, temperatures start to cool down, while from June to August, the area’s winter season, it’s the coolest and driest time of the year.
The reserve is home to over 80 mammal species and more than 240 bird species. Well known plains game such as the zebra, the antelope, the buffalo and the giraffe can often be spotted out on the plains. Many rarer animals, including the desert black rhino, the aardvark, the bat-eared fox and the pangolin are quite frequently sighted as well. Other notable species include the Kalahari lions, famed for their large black manes, and the meerkats, of which there are two separate colonies. Game drives are entirely personalised, with itineraries flexible and specially tailored to meet guests’ needs and wants. Horseback riding sessions and guided bush walks are also popular activities here.
Tswalu is located in South Africa's Northern Province, towards the border with Namibia, it is a long way North from Cape Town and most guests arrive by scheduled small aircraft flights from Cape Town or Johannesburg.