Editors' Picks

Tswalu: The Motse

Kalahari desert wilderness, Considered luxury, Conservation-centric

The Motse - Tswalu Kalahari Luxury Private Game Reserve

+27 21 469 2600

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At a Glance

One of three luxury safari camps in the largest private game reserve in South Africa, Motse Camp shares the untouched wilderness and wildlife of the southern Kalahari in elegant style.

Indagare Loves

  • A maximum of 40 guests sharing the entire private game reserve in the Kalahari Desert
  • Sleeping under the stars (kids too!) on the special Malori sleep deck
  • No schedule: private vehicles allow guests to choose to safari by jeep, on horseback, by foot or not at all
  • Its desert location, which happens to be a malaria-free zone


In South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, closer to the border of Botswana than Johannesburg, Motse Camp has six one-bedroom suites and three two-bedroom family suites designed with couples and families in mind. South African designer Boyd Ferguson is behind the successful mix of native architecture and 21st century furnishings in the Motse (“village”) that houses the main lodge and dining areas and the standalone “little houses.” Made from local stone, red clay and Kalahari thatch, each house measures around 1,800 square-feet, with open fireplaces, canopied beds with mosquito netting (though the region is malaria-free), ensuite bathrooms and dreamy outdoor showers with views of the sand dunes.

This corner of the Kalahari Desert is home to black desert rhino, 380,000-year-old cave drawings, precious colonies of meerkat and aardvark and dramatic Korannaberg Mountains. A maximum of 40 guests across the reserve's three camps share some 282,000 acres (this is the largest private game reserve in South Africa), and there are just 17 safari jeeps on the reserve, so a vehicle encounter is almost rarer than a black-maned Kalahari lion or native mountain zebra. The open savannah of the Kalahari Desert also makes a unique habitat for such animals as meerkat, spotted hyenas, desert black rhino and Kalahari lions.

Guests set their own schedule here: a pre-dawn game drive can be swapped for a Champagne breakfast in bed; horseback rides and walking safaris can include stops for picnic lunches prepared by the executive chef; and a relaxing dip in the lodge’s infinity pool could fill the time between a spa treatment or a meeting with the onsite ecologist. Youngsters are encouraged to join bush walks or take the Junior Rangers program, and complimentary babysitting is available 24 hours a day. This classic safari-style camp also has a gym, photographic studio and a small boutique called The Gallery.

Note: This is one of three camps set on this private game reserve and owned by the Oppenheimer family. The other two are Tarkuni, a five-suite, buyout-only homestead for up to 10 guests, and Loapi, the most exclusive and luxurious of the three.

Who Should Stay

Privacy-seekers who don’t want to see many other safari jeeps on game drives; adventurous families of all ages; big groups who could take over the entire lodge for special occasions; and serious animal lovers and conservationists

Written by Nicolas Hibbard

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