Tswalu Kalahari – complimentary flights

Tswalu Kalahari - dining in the desertWhen people think of game reserves in South Africa, they think of the Kruger, the Sabi Sands, or perhaps Phinda. Yet there is one game reserve which stands out from all the rest, unique and evocative of the South African landscape like no other… Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest private game reserve covering over 100,000 hectares (or almost a quarter of a million acres!) Just to put that into perspective, that’s twice the size of the Pilanesberg and larger than Madikwe – both no midgets on the size front. As its name suggests, Tswalu Kalahari is positioned in the heart of South Africa in the Kalahari Desert. Owned by the Oppenheimer family (South Africa’s equivalent to the Kennedys), this vast and magical landscape makes conservation its first priority. The aim is to “restore the Kalaharito itself”

That’s all very laudable. But why should YOU visit? What will you get from the experience? The Malaria-free Tswalu Game Reserve offers superlative game-viewing with the wildlife easily viewed in the open savanna landscape. Black-mained Kalahari lions, cheetah, rare antelope such as roan, sable and tsessebe abound. Tswalu also has over a third of South Africa’s remaining desert black rhino population. Other sightings may include the elusive aardvark, aardwolf, pangolin and porcupine.

One of Tswalu’s drawcards is its flexibility. Tswalu only takes 30 guests – an incredibly low density of visitors with an emphasis on privacy and exclusivity. No other game reserve offers this. Most game reserves have a very clear structure: rise early, early morning game drive, breakfast, relax or perhaps do a bush walk, lunch, rest or sleep, afternoon game drive.

However Tswalu doesn’t follow that enforced plan. The high ranger to guest ratio means that you can choose how you want to spend your day: walk early or late, go on a game drive or perhaps enjoy a horse-ride across the savanna, sample a spa treatment on your own suite’s deck or enjoy a private gourmet picnic savouring the essence of Africa. Another attractive aspect of Tswalu is that it welcomes families and welcomes children to participate fully in the safari experience.

Here’s a video showcasing Tswalu Kalahari…

All this doesn’t come cheap – and in the past part of Tswalu’s attraction had its disadvantages. Tswalu is a long way from anywhere so you need to fly in and out from either Johannesburg or CapeTown.

Tswalu’s complimentary flight offer

Now Tswalu Kalahari has made it much easier to visit. Stay 4 nights and the flights in and out are complimentary. (Alternatively stay 4 nights and pay only for 3 nights…)

As the Oppenheimer private charter hangar is adjacent to Federal Air Charters (which services the Kruger reserves) you can seamlessly combine a safari in the Sabi Sands, for example, with Tswalu Kalahari without needing to overnight in Johannesburg. You can then fly onto Cape Town….

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Kate Bergh is co-founder of Cedarberg African Travel, a specialist tour operator for Southern and East Africa.

She heads up the South African office, having lived in South Africa since 1993. Her home looks up to the Cedarberg Mountains, where she enjoys hiking and cycling, when she’s not out discovering new places to visit, with her three children in tow. Kate has travelled extensively throughout the region to Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well as most areas of South Africa. She also loves history, meeting people and a good thriller...


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