Stephen Boler was a prudent man; enough so as to amass a fortune in the first part of his life and then spend most of it creating Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, fashioned out of a vast tract of arid land depleted by game hunting and cattle ranching, out in the middle of nowhere in the Northern Cape.
Not only was he prudent, but canny too, because he willed it to the richest family in South Africa in the event of something untoward happening to him, which it did, prematurely so, but not before the re-establishment of the natural Kalahari ecosystem was set on course in the reserve.
Among the 90 mammal species found there are black-maned lions, cheetahs, black rhinos, roan, sable, tsessebe and Cape mountain zebra. The Motse nestles at the foot of the Korannaberg and looks out across a sea of khaki Kalahari grassland that a few decades ago was a sea of red Kalahari sand. Nowhere else has what's become known as 'Southern African safari chic' been accomplished with such finesse.
The malaria free, private game reserve has two luxury lodgings that together can accommodate a maximum of 28 guests. Near the centre of the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, there are nine freestanding thatch-and-stone suites cluster around the large main building. A heated pool looks out onto grasslands, and a sundeck overlooks a water hole. The second lodging, in its own section of the reserve, sleeps 8 to 12 and has four main bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, its own chef, Land Rover, and tracker, and a heated pool.