Tarkuni Tswalu
Tarkuni terrace Tarkuni suite
Tarkuni terrace
Tarkuni suite

Tarkuni Tswalu

Set amidst two rolling mountain ranges, Tarkuni is the Oppenheimer family’s own personal home here at Tswalu and the ultimate private sanctuary.



South Africa


Tarkuni creates an oasis of serenity in the desert. The home has its own dedicated team including a host and private chef to ensure a completely personal service. A private vehicle, personal field guide and tracker ensure an equally bespoke safari experience.

Need to Know

The word ‘Tswalu’ means ‘a new beginning’ and Tswalu Kalahari is driven by two ambitions: to create an inspirational experience for its guests; and a conservation vision, to restore the Kalahari to itself. These two goals sit in perfect equilibrium with each guest contributing directly to the sustainability of the reserve in a true model of eco-tourism.

Tswalu guests are in search of rarity, adventure, privacy, and inspirational travel, and this extraordinary property provides all of these and more. 


Guests are encouraged to experience a variety of game-viewing opportunities over and above the regular game drives in a 4X4 vehicle - from guided bush walks, leisurely horseback safaris, to spending time with our habituated meerkats

Wildlife HighlightsWildlife Highlights

While Tswalu is home to most of the "charismatic" African big game species such as lion, cheetah, wild dog, desert black rhino and buffalo, Tswalu has developed into a vast area of unique biodiversity and natural beauty which offers safe haven to a number of rare and endangered species, including pangolin, aardvark, aardwolf, African wild dog, rare antelope such as roan, sable and tsessebe and endangered raptors.

Local ActivitiesLocal Activities



At Tswalu, itineraries are planned around our guests' individual needs and a personal consultation on arrival allows guests to choose their daily activities, which include:


·              Game drives in open-sided canopied safari vehicles

               Our game drives are never standard, but tailored to guests' interests

               Our expert rangers and trackers are specially trained in the unique Kalahari ecology


·              Bush walks -the chance to get closer to the land

For adult guests, we can also arrange night walks which uncover the magic of the Kalahari after sunset


·              Encounters with meerkat colonies

               Spend time viewing these enchanting animals at close range


·              Horseback safaris for all ages are led by experienced guides, and accompanied by grooms.

We have a variety of horses ranging from 14.2HH to 17.1HH.  The breeds include Boerperd cross, Quarter Horse cross, Thoroughbred, Shire, Appaloosa cross, Arab cross and Saddler cross breeds.  An experienced horse guide and backup rider accompany all rides, equipped with radio and comprehensive first aid kit.  We accommodate from first time riders to experienced equestrians.  We also accommodate children on the rides.  Younger and nervous children, depending on riding experience, may be put on lead ropes.  An outdoor arena provides kids and more nervous adult riders with a chance to ride in a protected environment. 


The most novice rider sets the pace.  We can however split the group up for a canter and rejoin the group later as we take two guides on rides.  We supply hard hats, short and long chaps, gloves and boots.  Hard hats are compulsory for children under 18 years of age and strongly recommended for all other riders.

In summer the morning rides are a maximum of 2 hours (depending on heat) and winter we can go for longer rides.  The weight limit is 100kg.  We use Trail saddles, but also have a few English saddles available for those guests that prefer them. 


·              Star-gazing under the Kalahari's “diamond skies”


·              Exploring extraordinary archaeological sites in the Korannaberg hills where the San rock art

               dates back 380,000 years


·              Tswalu Kalahari Spa is a combination of sensual spaces and treatments which combine to

create what must be one of the most unusual spa experiences in Africa. Surrounded by endless blue skies and the unique vegetation of the Green Kalahari, guests who indulge in the authentic signature massages will discover the Spa's philosophy of “nature above man...




  • Exclusive private home with 5 individual suites
  • Accommodates 1-10 guests
  • Dedicated chef
  • Tranquil poolside deck
  • Private game viewing vehicle
  • Outdoor walk-in showers
  • 2 lounges with open fireplaces
  • Outdoor swimming pool


Recently redesigned to uncompromising standards of comfort and elegance, Tarkuni is an exceptional choice for families or groups of great friends. Its five luxurious suites, each with a magnificent en-suite bathroom, accommodate a maximum of 10 guests.


  • 2016: We Are Africa Innovation Awards - Conserve Africa award
  • 2016: Trending African Safari Camps (selected by Leora Rothschild)
  • 2016: British Airways Highlife - 5 of the Best Safari Lodges
  • 2016: Nominated for the Virtuoso Best of the Best Award - Sustainable Tourism Leadership
  • 2016: 2015, 2014, 2013 & 2012: TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
  • 2015: Town&Country – The T&C Travel 100: The Best Hotels in the World
  • 2015: Andrew Harper - Readers' Choice 2015: Top 20 Safari Lodges and Camps
  • 2015: Safari Awards - Best Ecologically Responsible Safari Property: Best Location
  • 2014 & 2011: Les Nouvelles Esthétiques Spa Awards - Best Safari Spa Award




Spring: September – October

The weather starts to warm up and days are very pleasant with some cool evenings in Septemb.er 

·Some cold fronts can still sweep through and it is best to pack some warm clothing just in case

·In the bush, blackthorn and honeybush are in blossom, scenting the evening air

·“Dry storms” may start forming on the horizon, heralding the approach of the rainy season

·Barking geckos start calling for mates with a cacophony unique to the Kalahari

·The three thorn thickets blossom with soft tissue-like flowers

·Meerkat pups begin emerging from their dens in anticipation of the rain


Summer: November – March

Days are hot and evenings mild with occasional afternoon thunderstorms.

·Migrant birds arrive making birding rewarding and exciting

·Many of the antelope calve early in summer and signs of new life abound

·Jackals and foxes bring their pups above ground after the first rains to enjoy the suddenly prolific insect life

·Rain is always unpredictable in the Kalahari, and if you are fortunate enough to experience it, the rapid transformation will astound you as the desert turns into a lush green spectacle with carpets of golden flowers


Autumn: April – May

Mild days and cooler evenings. There may even be some late season rain.

·This is the greenest time of the year. The savannahs take on a beautifully silky appearance as the grass produces seeds which are blown away by the gentle autumn breeze

·May is the season where most of Tswalu's hands-on wildlife work is done (such as translocations)

·Autumn is the time of the rut; a frenzied time when antelope are in their best physical condition. They begin fighting to establish territories and seek mates

·Animals which hibernate through the short winter (such as leguaans and tortoises) become very active, eating as much as they can before the first frost

·Many of the Kalahari fruits ripen and provide food for birds departing on their long migrations


Winter: June– August

Daytime temperatures are cool and evenings become cold

·The first frost falls and night-time temperatures can drop below freezing

·Conditions become very dry as humidity falls

·As the grass and bushes dry, sightings of rarer, smaller mammals, such as aardvark, aardwolf and pangolin increase. These shy nocturnal animals emerge in the daylight to enjoy the late afternoon sunshine

·Raptors begin building nests

·Large flocks of sandgrouse begin accumulating around the dwindling waterholes in the mornings

·The clear evening skies offer a star-gazing spectacle

·Dust devils (small swirling dust storms) drift across the sand dunes


Average StayAverage Stay

4 nights

Average PriceAverage Room Prices

(per person per night unless otherwise stated)

ZAR 115 500 exclusive use (maximum 10 people)

Children PolicyChild Policy



Part of our mission is to involve the whole family in our conservation vision, and Tswalu Kalahari is an extraordinary place for children.


·Tswalu is located in a malaria-free area


·There are child-friendly swimming pools at both camps


·Children under 12 stay absolutely free with their parents in a suite at The Motse (maximum two)


·Three specially designed family suites easily accommodate larger families with younger children


·There is a children's menu, and any individual meal preferences are catered for


·Flexible dining times and venues for families


·Complimentary babysitting to allow parents to enjoy more formal or private evenings


·On arrival children receive a backpack which includes Tswalu's Junior Ranger training guide


·An exciting programme of special activities for children includes:

               o Archery and making bows and arrows

               o Spoor identification and casting

               o Children's bush walks

               o Tracking wildlife on foot and with technology

               o Picnics, special children's boma meals,

               o Baking


·Guided horse trails


·Unlike many reserves, we happily include younger children on private game drives

Contact and Social Media

To find out more call us on +44 (0)1865 982290 or email us at enquiries at safariawards.com.

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