Tswalu, South Africa’s largest privately owned game reserve, is most certainly a destination worth experiencing at least once in your lifetime. Your first stop is Boscia House, named after the deep-rooted Boscia tree (or Shepherd’s tree) that inspired architect Adrian Davidson’s daring subterranean design. This original farmstead is over 100 years old, and beautifully preserved (so much so that it feels as if you’re walking back in time to the 1930s).
Then it’s time to wander over to the famous Klein JAN restaurant. The entrance is in a water barrel and the experience of walking 3.5 meters underground into a deep root cellar sets the perfect tone for the extraordinary culinary experience that awaits you.
Chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen was the first South African chef to achieve a Michelin star for his namesake restaurant in Nice, France. Klein JAN is the chef’s first restaurant on home soil and the cuisine, all sourced from the greater Kalahari, echoes Tswalu’s commitment to celebrating local provenance, heritage and culture, and greater sustainability.
Expect to dine on food cooked in the original stove that chef Jan’s grandmother cooked on: think corn bread, spekboom chutney, lemon and carrot marmalade, cucumber that is foraged at Tswalu, traditional South African vetkoek (‘fat cake’) with pork and leek, slap pap (maize meal), caramelized onion butter and herb butter, and spiced salmon pumpkin soup.