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Tswalu Tarkuni

When To Visit Tswalu Kalahari:
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"Tarkuni offers a five-bedroom exclusive-use lodge in the unique Tswalu Private Game Reserve. Tswalu is all about the unique wildlife and the rarer finds rather than spotting the Big Five, so it’s perfect for guests looking for something a little different from your standard safari."


Owned by the conservation-minded Oppenheimer family, Tarkuni is one of just two camps situated within the private Tswalu Kalahari Reserve. The other camp is Motse , and both offer truly unique experiences in vast open wilderness! Accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, game drives, bush walks, horseback rides, children’s activities, national telephone calls, laundry and valet services, child care, and Wi-Fi. Guests also enjoy the expertise of a private tracker and guide.


The camp is accessed via brief road transfer from the reserve’s own runway. Flights into Tswalu are available from a range of locations including Johannesburg and Cape Town. Tarkuni has a superb setting, between two rolling mountain ranges on the border of Botswana and South Africa!


There are just five suites, accommodating a maximum of ten guests. All occupy structures made out of timber, stone, thatch, and glass, and the interiors are exquisitely appointed. The bedroom space contains a double bed or twin beds, bedside tables and lighting, a writing desk and chair, a couple of easy chairs, and ample storage furniture. En-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, twin washbasins, and bathtub with shower attachment. The décor is generally neutral tones, creating a contemporary fresh feel and providing no distraction from the colours of nature around you. Sliding doors from the bedroom lead out onto a private deck, where you’ll find both lounge and dining furniture, and a walk-in shower. Each suite offers a star-bed too, where you can fall asleep under the star-studded skies!

The communal lodge at Tarkuni is constructed from the same materials as the guest accommodation. Inside, it too has a mainly neutral palette, but there are a few subtle splashes of pink and orange, which add a homely warmth to the interiors. In the main lounge, well-cushioned sofas and armchairs surround chunky coffee tables strewn with interesting local artefacts, and during the chillier months a welcoming fire burns in the cosy hearth. Numerous lamps provide light for reading, and a beautiful chandelier hangs from timber beams. In places, almost complete tree trunks support the roof, so the space really feels like an extension of the reserve. The lodge also contains a library, great for a little quiet time, and a secondary lounge with widescreen television. The dining room is open plan to the larger lounge, and it features one long table where everyone eats together. Tarkuni’s bar provides a good selection of drinks, and guests can tuck in to meals outside too, on the lodge’s spacious deck. Anyone in need of a pampering session can head to the spa, for massages, mani-pedis, facials, and more. And the swimming pool, flanked by sunloungers, is the perfect place to relax while enjoying the scenery!


Tarkuni offers an exhilarating assortment of activities.

  • Tailored game drives, available during the morning and the afternoon, present exciting opportunities to explore the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve and to observe its wildlife.
  • Covering over 110,000 hectares of savanna, sand dunes, and mountains, this is the largest private reserve in South Africa! It’s home to approximately 80 mammal species, among them predators such as the famous Kalahari black-maned lions, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena, jackals, wild dog, and herbivores including white rhino, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, and lots of antelopes.
  • There are also about 240 types of bird, not least some endangered raptors and specials such as orange river partridge.
  • Guests aged 16 and older can take part in bush walks, which involve close scrutiny of the reserve’s birds as well as its insects and plant life. Usually walks take place during the morning, but you can set off at night to observe nocturnal species – aardvark, aardwolf, porcupine, and pangolin, for example.
  • Safarists of all ages can enjoy visits to local meerkat colonies and horseback rides around the reserve.
  • Keen archaeologists will relish excursions into the nearby Korannaberg Hills to look at the 380,000-years-old San rock art.
  • Stargazing at the lodge is available too, and all guests are eligible to spend a night on the Malori sleep-out deck, an experience that includes a delicious evening meal!
  • Child care is offered, and there are plenty of things to do for the little ones – mini bush walks, wildlife tracking, and archery.

*This property is unfenced and located in a wildlife area, so large and potentially dangerous animals do pass through. If you opt to stay here, always be alert when walking around the camp and request for a member of staff to escort you if you have any concerns. Any guest is escorted after dark as a matter of course.

Tswalu Kalahari

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