Profile: Tswalu Kalahari

October 13, 2012  By: Gretchen

The name Kalahari is derived from the Tswana work “Kgala”, meaning the great thirst, or “Kgalagadi”, meaning the waterless place.  It has been inhabited by the hunter-gatherer Bushman for 20,000 years; they have lived in a harmonious relationship with the environment until the influx of African and European man. However, due to its harsh environment, modern day man found its unfavorable conditions unsuitable to develop. Even with the introduction of well water, farming of livestock was a difficult pursuit. It is for this reason that man has had almost no impact on the land, and the Kalahari has remained a true wilderness area.

The southern Kalahari, due to its location and local climatic conditions, receives somewhat more rain than the central Kalahari, allowing it to support a large diversity of life. It is for this reason that the southern Kalahari is frequently referred to as the “Green Kalahari” – and it is the home of the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve.

  • Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest private game reserve, covering an area of over 100,000 hectares (1000 sq km or almost a quarter of a million acres). For comparison, this is twice the size of Pilanesberg National Park and bigger than the entire Madikwe reserve
  • Tswalu is MALARIA FREE and has superlative game and offers sightings of some of South Africa’s rarest and most extraordinary wildlife, including:
    • Desert black rhino (Diceros bicornis). Twalu’s population represents one third of South Africa’s entire remaining desert black rhino
    • Black-maned Kalahari lions
    • Meerkats
    • Cheetah – frequently viewed in the open savannah
    • Rare antelope such as roan, sable and tsessebe; Tswalu has significant populations of all three
    • Diversity. Over 70 species of mammal and 230 species of birds (including endangered raptors).
  • The Kalahari is the ancestral home of the San people (Bushman). Some of their ancient engravings can be seen at Tswalu; current research suggests these may be amongst the oldest art on Earth
  • At maximum capacity Tswalu will take only 30 guests in total. This represents the lowest imaginable density of visitors. The emphasis here is on privacy and exclusivity – your own private Kalahari
  • Tswalu is located in a malaria-free area, welcomes families and actively encourages children to participate fully in the safari experience
Facts courtesy Tswalu Kalahari