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Tswalu to me means a vast open area of restored Kalahari landscapes, where conservation and preservation of rare and critically endangered species takes on a top priority. It is a place of opportunity where we are still learning about the intricate and delicate relationships between the biggest and smallest creatures on the reserve and where we are given the chance to participate in this groundbreaking effort and make a difference. It is truly a place of new beginnings for all that wish to experience it.
The silence, the views. the vastness and the beauty of Tswalu. The extremes of hot and cold, dry and wet. The opportunity to see a Desert black Rhino or a huge black maned Kalahari lion to the little barking gecko’s. These differences and contrasts in landscape and wild life are the reason I love Tswalu.
For me, Tswalu is a place where you reach your peak as a guide. Due to its is sheer size and biodiversity, Tswalu is unlike anywhere else in the country. 28 guests, over 100000 hectares (a quarter of a million acres) – need I say more?
Tswalu to me is large open spaces, big skies, vast landscapes and distant horizons. Viewing typical Kalahari species such as meerkats, springbok, gemsbok, lion and the sub species desert black rhino, and many other fantastic plains game and rare game such as roan, sable, tsessebe and disease-free buffalo. It’s enjoying beautiful sunrises and equally beautiful sunsets and fleeting moments of a pangolin crossing the road, or watching aardvark walking through a sea of grass.
The best part of working at Tswalu is being able to just enjoy myself and be in the company of knowledgeable and well-travelled guests. I also really enjoy working with professional people, and viewing the splendour of the smaller, rarer animals (pangolin, aardvark, brown hyena and so on) and the abundance of grassveld birds. To me Tswalu means conservation in the Kalahari at its highest standard. It also means a place of happiness and unity. Tswalu really is a great place and I am truly blessed to be apart of this lodge and the Kalahari.
Rebirth, Awakening. The essence of the word Tswalu is apt in so many ways. I have been privileged to work and guide in many different environments of South Africa thus far. They all ignite special memories as well as amazing experiences. It must therefore sound very strange to hear that the first time I had ever felt ‘freedom’ was when I drove out into the western duneveld with Marco Tonoli. An incredible feeling of humility, understanding, passion and energy flows throw my veins each and every time I am out here in this vast field…be it on a game-drive, on a bushwalk, or standing on Namakwari dune in the midst of admiring a sunset.
What never ceases to amaze me is that flicker of emotion, that spark of bewilderment that I always see in every guest’s eye at some point during their stay. What I know now is that our lifestyle out here is an incredibly selfish one; many guides will never get to experience this place… And for that I feel truly humbled and privileged.
Tswalu is one of those unique and exclusive places on earth where you can spend your days tracking down some of the world’s most rare and elusive animals, in complete privacy – very often without seeing another human soul on your outing.
Very little study has been done on the ecosystem here and we have an incredible opportunity to discover new truths about the harsh extremes of the Kalahari and the incredible adaptations of its inhabitants.
Being the largest private game reserve in Southern Africa, the vistas are endless and the feeling of space and freedom is unparalleled anywhere in the world.