Travel + Leisure is a US-based digital and print magazine that advises locals on the best places to stay, eat, see and explore. The magazine reaches more than 16 million travellers every month.
Klein JAN is a restaurant that takes guests on a journey of South African culture through food, telling a story of both the old and new. Chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen grew up on a farm in Mpumalanga, and felt a connection to the vastness of the Kalahari.
While running his Michelin-star restaurant JAN in Nice, he felt the need to return its spirit, and began creating Klein JAN as his homecoming project.
Van der Westhuizen was inspired by the Kalahari region’s underexplored ingredients, and felt the need to give Kalahari’s food a well-deserved global stage.
Travel + Leisure says, “the adventure begins en route to this one-of-a-kind dining destination, since wildlife and matchless landscapes encompass the drive in.
Combine a century-old farmhouse in the midst of the Kalahari Desert’s iconic orange sand, an awe-inspiring subterranean root cellar 13 feet (almost four metres) below, and a soaring dining room open to the wild, and you start to get the picture of Klein Jan. A transportive culinary experience created by Michelin-starred chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen for South Africa’s largest private safari reserve.
The surprises are endless and stupendous, both in the way diners physically move through the meal and the flavours, textures, and the stories packed into the delectable journey that is distinctly of the Kalahari. This is no passive lunch or dinner; it’s participatory, immersive, and wildly thrilling, mysteries unfolding with every exceptional bite.”
Tswalu Kalahari is located in the Savanna Biome and is South Africa’s largest private game reserve. The reserve has a low-impact, high-value approach to ecotourism, meaning that revenue flows directly back into conservation work.
Tswalu Kalahari has two camps – the Motse and Tarkuni – as well as a new addition opening in early 2023 – Loapi. The reserve accommodates just 40 people and has one of the lowest guest footprints in South Africa.
The reserve has a foundation dedicated to on-site research that helps inform every conservation decision taken. Guests are encouraged to interact with scientists and doctoral students in the field to understand the eco approach.
When choosing Tswalu Kalahari, guests can experience a luxurious stay but know that they are also contributing to the sustainable preservation of the southern Kalahari’s biodiversity for future generations.