Luxury Safaris in the Kalahari
Although termed a desert, this semi-arid sandy savannah supports more animal and plant life than what is typical and is, in fact, not a desert in the truest sense.
Annual rains produce blooming plains and grazing flora that attracts herds of herbivores which are followed by the big predators. One such area termed the ‘Green Kalahari’ is what makes up the vast Tswalu Private Game Reserve just north of Upington in the Northern Cape.
When to go
Every season in the Kalahari brings new and varied sights: Autumn (April-May) is the greenest time of the year after the rains. Spring (September-October) is when new life begins to appear, and November to March is Summer, and when wildlife thrives.
What to do
- Watch the wildest of nature unfold in front of you
Accommodation in The Kalahari
Here are some of our travel designers' favourite options
Tswalu Kalahari ReserveThe malaria free Tswalu Reserve, owned by the Oppenheimer family, consists of over 100,000 hectares of the ‘green’ Kalahari grasslands home to eighty mammal species and 340 varieties of bird. Furthermore, the reserve is not further divided up into concessions or reserves and the only accommodation is the Motse Camp and Tarkuni House, which only allow for a maximum of thirty guests at one time in the entire of Tswalu. If you are staying for three nights or more you’ll also get a complimentary private vehicle, guide and tracker to make this your very own private Kalahari. The motto is, if you see another Range Rover on your game drives, complain. And whilst you really couldn’t get any further from a package holiday, the accommodation at Tswalu truly does have it all ‘wrapped up’ as far as a five-star safari lodge goes, with more luxury, authenticity, exclusivity and conscientiousness than any other in Africa. Having won awards for both their spa and conservation work, you just have to see the efforts they make to look after the wildlife and support local communities to know the lengths they go to look after you.
Motse CampTswalu Kalahari Reserve’s main camp, Motse, sits at the foot of the Korannaberg mountains. The architecture is inspired by and reflects the landscape, fully enveloping you into the safari experience; local smoothed stone, red clay and traditional Kalahari thatch are surrounded and hung with natural textiles, thick linens and seagrass that contrast well with varying textures and woven patterns. The effect is authentic, earthy, neutral, yet with a luxuriously refined feel. Making your stay here even more special is the fact that the camp is fully committed to protecting the wildlife and environment and supporting the local community, as evidenced by their ongoing projects. There are eight small houses in the camp: six one-bedroom suites and two two-bedroom family suites. All have indoor and outdoor showers, en-suite bathrooms, fireplaces, WiFi and private sundecks where you can sink into your cushioned rattan armchairs to watch one of the stunning sunsets or stare at an ever-clear night sky.