Chapman Freeborn blog

Tswalu – the largest private game reserve in South Africa

Located in the Northern Cape, surrounding the Koranneberg Mountains on the southern edge of the Kalahari desert, Tswalu is the largest private game reserve in South Africa – covering 114,000 hectares.

Formerly a large collection of farms, Tswalu is part of the Diamond Route; a conservation, education, and environmental sustainability effort. Home to lions, antelope, giraffes, buffalos, zebras and black rhino, as well as the endangered African wild dog, Tsawalu offers a safari experience like no other.

The sprawling green landscape gives unique views of vast plains, and there are many ways to explore the wilderness. The sand dunes can be traversed on foot, while horseback riding allows deeper forays into the grasslands so that you can visit antelope, tsessebe, and mountain zebra, as well as the opportunity for up-close experiences with Kalahari black-maned lion, and human-friendly meerkats.

By day you can visit the archaeological sites and rock art left by ancient nomadic Bushmen, and at night, sleep under a bright canopy of stars.


Photo by Tswalu

A family-friendly safari destination, Tswalu offers an educational as well as wildlife-spotting opportunity. Tswalu only has two camps, and as such, there is a maximum of 28 guests at any one time. Coupled with the open spaces, you can choose to have a personal and private experience, with as much or as little luxury as you wish.


In the heart of the green Kalahari, Tswalu receives its fair share of rainfall, meaning wildlife is plentiful – with 240 bird, 80 mammal species, and more butterfly species than in the British Isles. The area is also home to dry savannah specialists, making it a prime location for a cheetah and antelope chase!


There is an abundance of ways to explore the area, including private game vehicles, helicopter, horseback, and bush walks – and because the land is private to Tswalu guests – your excursions can be tailored to how you want to explore, and are always uninterrupted.

The Motse and Tarkuni camps are built with organic materials, blending seamlessly into their surroundings while retaining all the luxury. A spa and gym are available at the Motse site, and you can dine on a Kalahari inspired menu, made with locally foraged ingredients from a Michelin star chef.

A complimentary child-minding service is available, as is the Tswalu Junior Ranger programme, teaching your children the crucial skills needed in the bush. You can also get involved in the Tswalu Foundation – an ongoing ecological research body – aimed at understanding and ultimately preserving the wildlife at Tswalu and the Kalahari.

For more information on how we can help you with your travel requirements to Phinda, contact +27(0)10 447 8844 or email