Tswalu was supposed to be a once in a lifetime experience for us. Having travelled all over the world and being totally fascinated by wildlife, but repulsed by the idea of sitting in noisy safari vehicles for hours watching fenced in animals and seeing other noisy safari vehicles, where the focus was mainly on being in a dining room 3 times a day with everyone else, scheduled to keep the hotel’s organisation in order. We needed to find something that wasn’t all about luxurious consumption, but was luxurious – and something that wasn’t all about ticking off the animals, but was all about the animals. We decided we’d find the very best safari we could do, and just go for it. We did have a couple of requirements: it needed to be really safe, in a spectacular area of natural beauty and nil risk of malaria. And if at all possible, it needed to be in the magnificent Kalahari desert.

We found Tswalu, and I have to say, our once in a lifetime experience was so amazing we ended up going back 6 months later. Not only was that not what we expected, we have never done that before in our lives – after all the world demands exploration, and return journeys are often thought about but there’s always something else to do first. But with Tswalu, the pull was undeniable.

tswalu kalahari canopyWe first went to Tswalu in April. We loved it as we were fussed over in their dedicated lounge in Johannesburg but the wonderful Nettie, after our long flight from the UK. We thought we were really lucky as we flew over the deep red terrain and landed at an airstrip with a thatched welcome hut that had been entirely colonised by sociable weavers. But we knew we were in the right place when the staff welcomed us, we met our incredible guide and headed off to Motse where we were staying because as we drove Christo said – “now this is not a game drive. This is just a drive to Motse.” But we could tell that was irrelevant because the whole place was alive. The red of the earth and the blue of the sky framed it all. The grasses were long, and heavily scented; the birds were incredible, their various nests a feat of engineering; and oh yes, we started to see the animals. But more about that later.

Enchanted by Amy’s description of Tswalu so far? We have a fantastic offer: book 4 nights at Tswalu with Turquoise and receive a complimentary 3 night stay at Kensington Place in Cape Town, plus complimentary flights to and from Tswalu Kalahari and a complimentary shuttle to or from Kensington Place to the Execujet Hangar in Cape Town.

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