Tswalu Kalahari Joins National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World

Red Carpet & Luxury

Tswalu Kalahari Joins National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World

In early 2015, Tswalu Kalahari Private Game Reserve joined the ranks of other luxury lodges as part of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World.

Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve is located in the Kalahari Desert, South Africa, in one of the continent’s richest wildlife regions. The largest game reserve in South Africa, Tswalu features two lodges, Motse and Tarkuni. Whether you’re  looking for a short stay in the area or are fortunate to experience Tswalu Kalahari as part of an itinerary, Goway is proud to offer this malaria-free landscape as a luxury stay in South Africa.

Motse Lodge suite
Motse Lodge suite
Setting up for a Boma dinner at Tarkuni Lodge
Setting up for a Boma dinner at Tarkuni Lodge

Below is an article originally posted on January 8th, 2015 by Tswalu Kalahari, in regards to this fantastic achievement.


We’re thrilled to inform you that Tswalu Kalahari has become a founding member of National Geographic Society’s National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, launched 6 January 2015. The initial collection of 24 boutique properties in extraordinary places around the world shares a commitment to sustainability, authenticity and excellence.

Tswalu's private vehicle safari
Tswalu’s private vehicle safari

Members were selected through a rigorous evaluation process and each lodge property offers an outstanding guest experience while supporting the protection of cultural and natural heritage and embracing sustainable tourism practices. Properties were judged on the following criteria:

  • The Property — The design and character are unique and authentic and the property provides guests with a true sense of place by celebrating the surrounding landscape and cultural heritage.
  • Guest Experience and Quality of Service — Guests are offered top-quality service and exceptional and inspiring experiences — from activities that enable them to engage with local people to wildlife encounters with seasoned naturalists.
  • Sustainable Tourism Best Practices — The property demonstrates a commitment to conservation and green operations; it actively supports the protection of cultural heritage; and it provides tangible benefits to local communities.

Each potential member was visited by a National Geographic representative to evaluate operations, meet staff at all levels, scrutinize the lodge’s impact on the local environment and community and ensure that these criteria were met.

Tswalu Managing Director, Russel Binks, said that Tswalu was able to meet all criteria. “Our absolute priority is conservation, and our vision is to restore the Kalahari to itself.  We are focused on habitat restoration and wildlife conservation, and sustainability is an integral component of every decision made at Tswalu. We are confident that our association with the National Geographic brand, which is universally recognised for its commitment to exploring and protecting the planet, will be hugely beneficial for us.”

Male lion in the Kalahari
Male lion in the Kalahari

Lynn Cutter, National Geographic’s executive vice president for Travel believes that the National Geographic brand is uniquely positioned to unite and promote the exceptional member properties and set a new standard for tourism. “These lodges share the Society’s vision of preserving the planet for future generations and they demonstrate that sustainability and a world-class guest experience can go hand-in-hand.”

Of the 24 National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World charter members, six are located in Africa, and three in South Africa.


Suggested Itineraries:
3-Day Tswalu Kalahari Reserve
9-Day Luxurious Cape and Kalahari

National Geographic Lodges: About Tswalu Kalahari

Click here for original blog article.

Main pic: Motse pool deck | photo credit: Michael Poliza

Tarkuni Lodge exterior
Tarkuni Lodge exterior