"Tarkuni", a luxury Kalahari wildlife lodge in South Africa's largest private Game Reserve
Description from the manager
Set amid two rolling mountain ranges,Tarkuniis the Oppenheimer family's own personal retreat at Tswalu; the guests atTarkuniare privileged to be treated like the owners. Recently refurbished to the highest standards,Tarkuni offers an oasis of serenity with beguiling African views on every side.Tarkuniis ideal for smaller groups, from family parties to close friends. The villa accommodates a maximum of 10 guests with five luxurious bedrooms, each with en-suite bathrooms, a vast open-plan lounge and dining room, and an intimate library. A covered deck leads to a private sala and a swimming pool. Tarkuni comes complete with a private vehicle, dedicated guide and tracker. In addition, your personal chef creates the luxury of total flexibility in dining choices. An additional vehicle can be reserved for larger groups.
Your day's activities are created around your individual needs. A personal consultation upon arrival ensures that you select exactly what you want to do, from activities which include:
*Game drivesin open-sided canopied safari vehicles.The game drives are never standard, tailored instead to guests' interests.The expert rangers and trackers, certainly some of the best in the world, are specially trained in the unique Kalahari ecology
*Bush walks, allowing the chance to get closer to the land. For adult guests, night walks can be arranged that uncover the magic of the Kalahari after sunset. Even the tracking of desert black rhino on foot by day is possible
*Encounters with meerkat colonies; viewing these enchanting animals at close range is one of the delights of Tswalu
*Horse-riding safarisled by experienced guides, accompanied by grooms. Fifteen top quality horses can accommodate all levels of experience from the absolute beginner to the advanced equestrian; tuition in an enclosed arena can also be arranged and all riding equipment is supplied. Few experiences rival riding through a herd of unconcerned sable antelope on horseback.
*Star-gazingunder the Kalahari's “diamond skies”
* Exploring extraordinaryarchaeological sitesin the Korannaberg hills where the San rock art may date to 380,000 years ago
*Hot air ballooningover the endless savannahs can also be arranged; prior booking is essential
*Sleep under the stars- Tswalu’s Malori Sleepout Deck; Imagine sleeping in a luxury king-size bed on a raised deck in the middle of a game reserve, surrounded by the calls of nocturnal animals, with nothing between you and the brilliant stars of the Kalahari night sky…
Meal times are a delight at Tarkuni:
* Constantly changing venues for dinner
* An exquisite 5 course menu gourmand with wine pairing
* Private dining in the privacy of your own deck
* Traditional South African boma dinners
* Bush dinners, theme evenings, and sundowners on the dunes
* Tswalu's Kalahari Feast, a modern interpretation of the traditional boma dinner
* Tswalu's delightful continental breakfast picnic – enjoyed in solitude in the bush
* For those in between meals, the “all day menu” treats all guests all day
No other game reserve offers such flexibility. Your dedicated complement of field guides and butlers allow you to choose how you would like to spend your day – from breakfast in bed to a leisurely spa treatment in the comfort of your own deck overlooking the magnificence of the Kalahari. Thereafter enjoy a leisurely game drive, and indulge in a private gourmet picnic savouring the essence of Africa.
Emphasizing a sense of space, this vast and magical landscape takes conservation as its first priority; Nicky Oppenheimer's vision is to “restore the Kalahari to itself”.
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 (Tswalu's population represents one third of South Africa's entire remaining desert black rhino) * Black-maned Kalahari lions * Meerkats * Cheetah. Easily 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). Other sightings may include the elusive aardvark, aardwolf, pangolin and porcupine.
The Kalahari is the ancestral home of the San people (Bushmen). 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 the Tswalu Reserve will take only 30 guests in total. This represents the lowest imaginable density of visitors in an area of over 100,000 hectares (1,000 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.The emphasis here is on privacy and exclusivity – your own private Kalahari. Tswalu, being a malaria-free area, welcomes families and actively encourages children to participate fully in the safari experience. Because of its unique landscape, wildlife and experience, Tswalu combines perfectly into any itinerary and provides the ideal partnership with both the intensity of the lowveld or the glamour of Cape Town.
Tswalu's Executive Chef, Theresa Fehrsen, has a style which defines modern South African cuisine; her cooking emphasizes the quality of core ingredients, new takes on classic dishes and inspiration drawn from the Kalahari itself. Tswalu means “new beginnings” in Tswane, the local dialect.This inspired Theresa to embrace new ways of creating indigenous cuisine. Exceptional venison and the seasonal Kalahari black truffles are select tastings from this magical place.
What Mother Nature provides drives the creativity and ethos of her food – wholesome simplicity. Seasonality defines her menus, and guests define her inspiration.Theresa has spent considerable time developing her skilled team. Her natural inclination is to develop from within as the community are incredibly passionate, and willing to learn the skills to provide an exceptional dining experience.
ACCOLADES AND AWARDS
* Relais & Chateaux Member
* National Geographic Adventure Magazine's Top 50 Eco Lodges in 2009
* Gold Achiever nominee in AA Travel Guides Awards 2008
* Condé Nast Traveler World Saver Award 2007
* First Choice Responsible Tourism; Best Conservation of Endangered Species 2006
* Winner of prestigious Relais & Chateaux Global Environmental Trophy 2006
* Previous winner of the Andrew Harper Grand Annual Award
* Fair Trade in Tourism Accredited
Additional amenities include: games, computer available, guided tours/walks, suitable for children, full breakfast, coffeemaker, nice furniture, walking, breakfast bar, king bed, full board, safari, boutique hotel, wedding venue, TV(s), viewing deck, horseback riding....Read more
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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