The Motse at Tswalu: Information from the owner
- Safari Lodge
- No. of rooms
- Check-in time
- Check-out time
About this information
All the information on this page is supplied to us directly from the lodge owner and reflects their view, not ours.
For Expert Africa's view, see our own full report on The Motse at Tswalu, which contains our own observations and views.
- Last updated by Owner
- 3 Apr 2023
Facilities at The Motse at Tswalu
- Property facilities
- 24-hour Security, Bar, Gym, Internet Access (Complimentary), Kiddies Club, Laundry Service (Complimentary), Library, Malaria Free, Mobile Connectivity, Pool, Private Vehicle Available, Restaurant, Spa
- Room facilities
- Air Conditioning, Balcony / Deck, Bath, Complimentary Wi-Fi, Disabled Rooms, Dressing Gowns, En-Suite, Fan, Fireplace, Fridge, Hair Dryer, Heated Towel Rails, Internet Access (Complimentary), Laundry Service (Available), Laundry Service (Complimentary), Lounge Area, Mini Bar, Mini Bar (Complimentary), Mosquito Nets, Outside Shower, Pure Cotton Linen, Safe, Sala, Shower, Tea / Coffee, Verandah
- Activities on site
- Bird Watching, Game Drives, Game Viewing, Game Walks, Gourmet Picnic, Helicopter Scenic Flights, High Tea, Horse Riding, Massages, Night Drives, Safaris, Sleep Outs, Walks (Guided)
- Nearby activities
- Bird Watching, Fine Dining, Game Drives, Game Viewing, Game Walks, Horse Riding, Massages, Safaris
- English, French, German
Room types at The Motse at Tswalu
Motse Family Suite
Luxury is a given when you are on safari at Tswalu. At The Motse, just 18 adults are accommodated in nine individual legae (suites) made from desert sand, rock and thatch, with every comfort imaginable – open fireplaces, outdoor showers, private sun decks, spacious living areas, separate dressing and study areas and wireless internet.
We have three family legae (suites) which have 2 en-suite bedrooms separated by a large lounge and deck.
A ‘village’ of just nine houses (three of which feature a second bedroom for children), The Motse captures the soul of the Kalahari in its design and materials. Private spaces flow effortlessly into waterhole views and beyond to the savannah.
The architecture of The Motse aligns beautifully with Nature to create moments of warmth and coolness, seclusion and shared memories. Bedrooms are illuminated by the sun rising over the ridge behind The Motse, and indigenous trees create pools of shadow. Each space at The Motse invites you in, just as Tswalu beckons you to explore and investigate your surroundings.
Activities at The Motse at Tswalu
Much of Tswalu’s beauty can be found in the smaller details: the ripples left by the wind on the crest a sand dune, a yellow flower opening to face the sun, or the tracks of a porcupine digging for roots. Walking at Tswalu gives you the opportunity to see these and other signs of the abundance of the southern Kalahari, as well as following the tracks of larger species.
As well as being an incredible community of flora and fauna, Tswalu is also an extended human family of people from the Kalahari and beyond. We find strength in our diversity, and because we all share the same vision for the future of Tswalu, we can combine our energies and passion to make Tswalu’s vision a reality.
The Tswalu community consists of our staff members and their families, researchers, visiting doctors that support the healthcare centre, visiting artists in residence, and each of our guests, alongside a wider community of neighbours, conservationists and everyone who cares about the restoration of the Kalahari.
Every moment of every meal at Tswalu reflects the culinary heritage of South Africa and is carefully designed to be as inclusive as possible. Sustainability is key: we forage for Kalahari ingredients and work with local suppliers who share our low-impact ethos.
We believe that luxury is found in contextual, relevant flavours rather than wasteful over-abundance. Our food offering helps tell the story of Tswalu – it’s inspired by and captures the essence of the Kalahari.
Join a group of habituated meerkats as they emerge from their burrows and warm themselves in the rising sun or meet up with them as they return home at the end of the day and groom and play at dusk.
Their gregarious nature and amusing antics (think early morning sunbathing and playing chicken with scorpions) have made meerkats extremely popular as subjects of wildlife documentaries. Our two habituated colonies have accepted the presence of humans without letting it disrupt the important business of grooming and foraging.
Meerkats are just one of the smaller predators which abound at Tswalu: aardwolf, African wild cat and caracal are also frequently seen.
Another exciting game viewing option at Tswalu is a horseback ride
Horseback safaris allow guests to explore the dunes and savannahs on our well-schooled and well-mannered horses, which are suitable for all ages and all levels of experience.
There is no better way to get close to nature and the wildlife. On a horse safari in at Tswalu, you become part of the landscape and many of the animals react differently to your presence. No-one who experiences this kind of closeness with wildlife ever forgets it.
Our equestrian guides are well trained in the Kalahari ecology, and will lead you on a true safari where you can ride alongside antelope, buffalo, zebra and giraffe, or watch them from a distance without detection.
Children are welcome on horseback safaris. Both trail and English saddles are available and every piece of necessary equipment is provided, in every imaginable size.
Junior Ranger's Programme
Children are welcome at Tswalu and the reserve is well equipped to cater for them. Tswalu believes that they too can be part of the conservation vision.
The youngsters will be introduced to the Junior Ranger programme and given a backpack with guides and tools to help them learn about the Kalahari. During their stay they will make their own bow and arrow for archery, learn how to identify spoor, and track game on foot.
In between game walks and drives there are activities at The Motse specially designed to occupy the kids while mom and dad relax. Tswalu’s stables will create a special “pony camp” for any child who shares their passion for horses. There is no malaria in this part of the Kalahari and the pool is a big attraction. They can chat to the rangers, decorate cup cakes and even cook their own bush dinner in the special children’s boma. A separate children’s menu caters for their individual tastes.
Babysitters can be arranged for younger children if parents want time alone.
Join your guide in trying to puzzle out the hidden meanings in millennia-old rock engravings of animals, birds and abstract shapes. Today, no one knows whether they were created as memories, prayers or maps, but their beauty and mystery endure.
A balmy summer night is a perfect time to sleep under the stars in the middle of the Kalahari. The Malori is Tswalu’s under canvas experience with comfortable beds, an open-air bathroom and a spacious deck area for dining, dreaming and stargazing.
Whether reserved for romance or for family bonding time, a Malori sleep-out is about tuning out so that you can soak up the solitude, tune into the silence and count shooting stars. With comfortable beds, an open-air bathroom and a spacious deck area for dining, dreaming and stargazing, the tent is perfect for two but spacious enough to invite the family. The Malori sleep-out is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences you will never forget.
A night at Malori needs to be booked in advance, carries an additional cost, and is offered subject to availability and prevailing weather conditions.
The Naledi sleepout
Naledi, which means ‘star’ in the local Tswana language, is Tswalu’s back-to-nature star bed experience in the Korannaberg mountains. Elevated above a valley with wraparound views, Naledi is for the true adventurer who yearns to sleep beneath the southern Kalahari’s brilliant blanket of stars in safety and seclusion. Spending a night in a star bed, with nothing between you and the night sky, has become increasingly sought after as travellers search for authentic, unfiltered experiences immersed in nature. Naledi has purposely been kept very simple so as not to detract from its private and remote setting in the southern reaches of the reserve. Sleeping in the open, under the stars, is as old as time.
The Tswalu Foundation
The Tswalu Foundation exists primarily to support ecological research at Tswalu. Through accumulating a growing body of quality output on the fauna, flora and the unique habitat of the southern Kalahari we have been able to make informed conservation management decisions to better support our shared vision.
This information has been made freely available to our neighbours and other interested parties so that, as we seek to add to our shared understanding of this rich and diverse landscape, they too can care for their land in the best long-term interests of the wildlife and people of the Kalahari.
During your stay at Tswalu, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with researchers studying both iconic and more obscure species and witness scientific conservation in progress.
The Spa and Gym at The Motse provide both relaxation and stimulation for body and mind, with inspiration coming from the savannah views and the use of organic materials both in the construction of this space, and in the spa treatments.
Your own private safari
With your own dedicated guide and vehicle, you can experience Tswalu exactly the way you want to. There are no fixed schedules or time limits at special sightings – during your stay, the dunes and grasslands are yours to explore the way you want to, and each wildlife encounter can unfold at its own pace.
Just like the sands of the Kalahari, we understand that your priorities can shift during your time at Tswalu. That’s why we’ll never try and shoehorn your experience into a fixed schedule.
Tswalu is unquestionably one of the best places in southern Africa to see cheetah in the wild – the vast open spaces and antelope herds of the Kalahari readily lend themselves to high-speed pursuits. Visiting Tswalu also gives you front-row seats for sightings of species that prove elusive elsewhere, from aardvark and pangolin to Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra.
Tswalu’s ecotourism ventures have a notably low ecological impact while also contributing significantly to the sustainability of the reserve and its achievement of its conservation and community upliftment goals. By remaining honest to our guiding principles, we can deliver a safari experience of startling authenticity.
Other lodges in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
The Kgalagadi's largest restcamp, Twee Rivieren is the centre for the park's administration, and an obvious stop for food and fuel for self-driving visitors.
Kalahari Tented Camp
Kalahari Tented Camp, with self-catering accommodation, is an unusual and well positioned base for exploration of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Ta Shebube Rooiputs
One of just three private lodges in the Kgalagadi, Ta Shebube Rooiputs offers a well-appointed base from where you can explore this delightful National Park.
Mata Mata Rest Camp
On the western border of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Mata Mata Restcamp offers camping and simple self-catering chalets, great for adventurous travellers on self-drive explorations of this park.
Gharagab Wilderness Camp is located in a remote corner of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which is wonderful if you like wilderness areas. However, access takes time - so it's not the best base for exploring the park.
Nossob Rest Camp
A basic but very well positioned rest camp within the heart of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Simple self-catering accommodation is available as well as camping options
!Xaus Lodge mixes guided wildlife safaris with very good community interactions, suiting those who prefer not to drive and cater for themselves.
Bitterpan is a basic self-catering camp in the Kgalagadi's central dune-field; it suits experienced self-drivers comfortable with remote travel.
Grootkolk Wilderness Camp has quirky sand-bag self-catering accommodation and simple amenities, offering a comfortable place to stay while exploring the north western Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Ta Shebube Polentswa
Although accessed via South Africa, Ta Shebube Polentswa is situated just across the border, in a private concession on the Botswana side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Urikaruus is one of the most popular wilderness camps in the Kgalagadi National Park with lovely riverside cabins set high up on stilts overlooking the Auob riverbed.
Kielie Krankie Camp
Perched high atop a huge red sand dune, the small Kielie Krankie wilderness camp it is well positioned for accessing both east and west sides of the Kgalagadi National Park.
Less than an hours' drive from the Kgalagadi, this makes a good base near to the park if you're arriving late in the afternoon.