The ultimate private sanctuary deep in the ‘green’ Kalahari of South Africa’s malaria-free Northern Cape, Tarkuni is a luxurious exclusive use lodge at Tswalu, the vast private game reserve of the Oppenheimer family. Their dedicated conservation programmes have created a pristine wilderness where many rare and endangered species flourish, including the black-maned lion, desert black rhino, aardvark and pangolin. Tarkuni comes with its own dedicated chef, host, guide and tracker for a bespoke safari experience, where guests choose from a beguiling list of activities including bush walks, horseback safaris, sleep-outs under the stars, spa treatments and gourmet bush picnics as well as game drives.

Five luxurious suites with additional outdoor showers share two large lounges with open fireplaces, a tranquil deck and sparkling swimming pool. Gourmet cuisine is cooked to taste and served wherever the fancy suggests, from dining al fresco watching the sun set over a waterhole as the animals drink, to cosy meals by a roaring fire on cooler nights. Excellent South African wines from the well-stocked cellar accompany the sumptuous feasts and there are freshly baked pastries for breakfast despite the remoteness of the location. To get even closer to nature a sleep-out under the stars at the Malori raised platform is an incredible experience.

The vast landscapes of the Kalahari are the draw-card, with a unique wildlife adapted to this dry inhospitable terrain. While there aren’t the huge herds and the Big Five of the Kruger and Serengeti, there is a fascinating diversity of mammals and Twalu’s conservation programme brings many experts to research here. The well-informed guides tailor game drives to guests’ interests, whether you want to seek out the elusive aardvark at night or visit the enchanting meerkat colony early in the morning. As well as taking part in the family game drives, kids enjoy a range of activities to suit their ages and friendly staff are always happy to entertain them.

Indulgent spa treatments, lounging beside the swimming pool or visiting bushman rock art sites complete this exclusive, away from it all experience of a unique and entrancing part of Africa.