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  • Writer's pictureDelaille Raubenheimer

Restaurant Klein JAN | Top 10 Extraordinary Fine-dining Experiences Around the World


Klein Jan | Adriaan Louw Photography
Klein Jan | Adriaan Louw Photography

Leading travel magazine Travel + Leisure, has singled out Restaurant Klein JAN at Tswalu Kalahari as one of 10 of the world’s most extraordinary fine-dining experiences. The US-based digital and print magazine provides a local eye on the best places to stay, eat, see, and explore, and reaches more than 16 million travellers every month.

Klein JAN tells the story of South African culture through food, from the ways of the old to the new. Creating Restaurant Klein JAN has been Chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen’s great homecoming project. Growing up on a farm in South Africa’s rural Mpumalanga province, he felt an instant connection to the vastness of the Kalahari and knew that the time had come to return the spirit of JAN – his Michelin-star restaurant in Nice – to home soil. The Kalahari region’s under-explored ingredients were the perfect inspiration to open a new restaurant and bring fine dining home – giving the food from the Kalahari the global stage it deserves.



Klein Jan | Adriaan Louw Photography
Klein Jan | Adriaan Louw Photography

In the words of Travel + Leisure: ‘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 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.’



Klein Jan | Adriaan Louw Photography
Klein Jan | Adriaan Louw Photography

About Tswalu Kalahari

Located in the Savanna Biome, Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa’s largest private game reserve, lies in a transition zone between the true Kalahari ecotype and arid savannah. Its low-impact, high-value approach to ecotourism ensures that revenue flows directly back into conservation work. With three camps, The Motse, Tarkuni and the newest addition Loapi, opening in early 2023, Tswalu accommodates just 40 people and has one of the lowest guest footprints in South Africa. Tswalu is unique in that it 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, should they have a keen interest in a specific subject. By choosing Tswalu, guests can rest assured knowing their luxurious stay is also contributing to the sustainable preservation of the southern Kalahari’s biodiversity for future generations.

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