Tswalu Tarkuni Lodge




  • Largest private game reserve in South Africa
  • Game-viewing in the Kalahari Desert
  • Visits to the meerkats
  • Malaria-free game reserve
  • Very child-friendly with children's activities & special treats

Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve in the Kalahari grasslands of the Northern Cape is the largest private game reserve in South Africa and the historical home of the Bushmen (San) people. The emphasis here is on exclusivity, which is why the entire reserve can accommodate no more than 30 people at a time. This spectacular malaria-free reserve offers a wealth of experiences - explore Tswalu Game Reserve by 4x4, on horseback or on foot. There's a sense of contentment that comes from being surrounded by so much space, the colours and textures, the myriad sounds and vast silences of the wilderness. You're sharing the environment just with springbok, buffalo, lion, kudu, bat-eared fox, hyena, meerkat and aardwolf. Wildebeest, cheetah, the majestic Roan and Sable Antelope can also be seen.


This elegant bush lodge was originally the private residence of the Oppenheimer family. The stunning five suite villa is now sold to a maximum of two separate bookings so that each group has a dedicated vehicle, guide and tracker.

Tarkuni Lodge has a natural bush camp feel with understated elegance and, above all, a sense of luxury, relaxation and tranquillity. The expansive living space includes a massive veranda, swimming pool and tsala. Indoors there is an airy sitting room with a double-sided fireplace, dining room and wine cellar. On the mezzanine level is a library and games room. A stunning spa suite offers the unique treatments of Tswalu’s award-winning safari spa experience.

Each suite has a king or twin beds with exquisite cotton linen, en suite bathroom with indoor and outdoor showers as well as comfortable seating and study areas. Sliding glass doors open to vistas of the savannah grasslands across to the Korannaberg Mountains. The sunny private decks each lead to a terrace with outdoor starbed if you’d like to experience the thrill of sleeping under the stars.


Activities at Tswalu are many and various include game drives and walks. Tswalu is unique in offering each group of guests their own vehicle, guide and tracker. Given that the reserve is over 100 000 hectares in size, this means that you will not see another vehicle on your game drive and that your game drives can be completely tailored to your interests. The ever popular bush walks focus on the kalahari vegetation, bush medicines, and hunting skills of the San people, as well as visiting the meerkat colonies to watch these engaging mammals start their day. Sundowners on the lantern-lit dunes or bush dining at Lekgaba Lookout completes the experience at Tswalu.

Other activities include horse-riding safaris, star-gazing, visiting rock paintings, enjoying a night out at the Tswalu Molori sleep-out or relaxing in the Tswalu Spa.

Families at Tswalu Tarkuni Lodge

Tswalu Game Reserve welcomes families at both The Motse Lodge and Tarkuni Lodge. The staff at Tswalu do everything possible to make sure not only mum and dad have a wonderful stay but that the children remember it as their best holiday ever! Special touches include a kid’s menu, earlier mealtimes for younger children, a children's game drive (if there are more than four children at the lodge), visiting the stables and going horse-riding, even rolling down a sand dune! There is a Junior Ranger Programme where children can try their hand at archery, learn how to identify spoor and track game on foot. In between activities the pool is always an attraction or they can decorate cup cakes or even cook their own bush dinner in the special children’s boma. The Kalahari is free of malaria so that’s an added bonus at Tswalu.

Tswalu Tarkuni Lodge on the map


Full Board & Game Activities (private guide, vehicle and tracker, walking safaris led by experienced field guides and trackers, horse-back safaris), all beverages and full selection from award winning wine-list, laundry and valet services, wireless access, children's Junior Ranger programme, baby-sitting, national telephone calls


Transfers to/from Tswalu, gift shop purchases, spa treatments, international telephone calls, Tswalu Foundation donations, gratuities

Family Suitability

Family-friendly all ages

Malaria Rating

Non-malarial area

Good For

Adventure, Big 5, Birding, Flora, Gourmet, Leisure, Nature, Relaxation, Star Gazing, Wildlife, Wine