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“Big Game and Luxury in the Kalahari Desert”

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Tswalu Kalahari Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 26, 2010

What a place: in the middle of the desert, with more lions, rhinos, giraffes that you can dream of, all in luxury with impeccable service.
Rush there: the rumor is that the owners like it so much, they will keep it for themselves... Can't blame them...

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Philippe47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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366 - 372 of 412 reviews

Reviewed January 9, 2010

We stayed in Tarkuni Lodge, which is magnificently situated in its own valley in the Korannaberg Mountains looking out over the Kalahari dune fields. We were wonderfully looked after by the manager, chefs, waiters and safari guides. Food, drinks, rooms and facilities were top drawer - and everything was inclusive - including an outride on the reserve's horses. The lodge staff had also gone to great effort to make the whole experience as child friendly as possible as there were 3 toddlers in our party.

The staff were great, but it is Tswalu itself which was the star attraction. The landscape really does look like the impressive photos on their website. At 100 000 hectares it is the largest private game reserve in South Africa, and we had great sightings of the extremely rare and endangered Roan Antelope, Sable Antelope and the desert sub-species of the Black Rhinoceros - which were all firsts for me. Not to forget the majestic Gemsbok, cute Meerkats and the magnificent prides of Kalahari lions. All in all a superlative experience.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank CIVUH5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2009

We are a couple of early UK retirees liking to travel and stay in unostentatious interesting luxury and we spent 3 nights at Tswalu and loved it. Other guests were interesting and fun and from various countries. Food was good, service was very well organised and wonderfully friendly, although if you wanted to be hyper-critical you might think it was tending to the complacent. Very relaxing atmosphere. Our bungalow was superbly equipped and visited each day by various antelope and warthog which doesn’t usually happen at home in the UK. Being in the Southern Kalahari it is not the bush and the animals are more visible. Also, because they have two separate enormous tracts of land – one with lions and one without – the non-predator tract has lots of all kinds of beasts trotting around everywhere happily and visibly together. Our young ranger Frank was absolutely excellent. Not only a sociable friendly chap but also a walking encyclopaedia of interesting facts about every animal and bird. We went to the Augrabie falls on day 2 of our stay (there are only so many times I want to sit in a Land Rover at 05.45 in the morning). Not wildly exciting but the flight over and down the Orange river and the waterfall & gorge itself were vaguely interesting (although the midges were pretty awful) but it was different and a good break from the routine. If we go back to SA we will probably go back to Tswalu especially if we could do the game drives with Frank.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank GLx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2007

This rates as one of the most memorable travel experiences we have every had. The lodge and accomodations, not to mention the food and staff, are as good as it gets. There is plenty of game viewing to make it interesting. The desert setting is stunning and the guides are knowledgable and engaging. This was the first lodge we stayed at during our 3-week trip to S. Africa and was the most memorable. There is more game viewing at other camps, but the total experience (including horse back riding!) was second to none. I feel like this place is a best-kept-secret, and I am hoping it stays special but others should have a chance to discover its charms as well!

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank africa_phile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
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Reviewed February 5, 2005

This was our first stop on our safari honeymoon Oct- Nov 2004 and really could not be beaten.

Everything surpassed our expectations.

The rooms are beautiful, your own chalet with sundeck and views over the water hole. OUtside and inside bathroom, shower under the stars. Open fire in front of the bed. sitting area and bar.

The food is out of this world. They will prepare you any meal you desire wherever you want to eat it whenever- in the boma, on your deck, inside by the roaring fire. They have a magnificent wine cellar which you can work your way through - and it is all included.

Clinton was our guide. He was very knowledgable but also fun. He works out what sort of things you will like doing and tailors the trip to your needs.

The pool area is beautiful and right by the water hole so antelope wander by as you are drying off.

It is right in the middle of the Kalahari desert. Complete isolation, very romantic (not really suitable for families) red earth, spectacular sunsets and moon rises.

Terrific game viewing, we got up close and personal with a few rhino including a mum and baby and a more irriatble old male.

The only negative is there are no elephant, it is too dry for them. and we got quite fat from all the lovely food

In short we absolutely loved it and would highly recommend it to anyone

14  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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Reviewed 5 days ago
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  • Stayed: September 2017, traveled with family
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Thank T T
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Reviewed May 23, 2017
Google Translation

Room Tip: Es sind alle bestens
  • Stayed: January 2017, traveled as a couple
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Thank brueggerh
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Dahejeri-Tswalu, Sales & Marketing at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded May 25, 2017

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Additional Information about Tswalu Kalahari Reserve

Address: Southern Kalahari | Kuruman, Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve 8460, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Northern Cape > Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve
Price Range: $2,226 - $3,624 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Tswalu Kalahari Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the luxury and beauty of this magnificent malaria free 100,000ha private game reserve, the focus is on flexibility and privacy, outstanding game viewing, gourmet cuisine, indulgent spa treatments, and getting to do the things you've only ever dreamed about.The uniqueness of the safari experience begins with a flexible itinerary, which allows you to dictate your own programme of games drives, bush walks and horseback safaris; and continues with the interactive game experience. With a dedicated vehicle, tracker and guide, you can tailor your Tswalu safari to include whatever appeals to you.Bond with the meerkats before they go foraging or spend the morning tracking the desert black rhino. Witness the sheer size and power of the Kalahari black maned lion. Experience the magic of star gazing and the thrill of sleeping under the night sky. Indulge in boma feasts and bush dinners, sundowners, wine tastings and dune picnics. And whatever you do, make sure you have enough time to experience it all. ... more   less 
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