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“The highlight of our African trip”

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Deception Valley Lodge
Reviewed 27 May 2014

You should stay here! If you are just considering a trip to the Kalahari, then stay here. You won't regret it!

My family and I recently spent 4 weeks in Southern Africa. We finished with a 4 day stay in Deception Valley lodge. I was unsure what standard the facilities would be like in the middle of the Kalahari. But we were all excited by the adventure.

I was really happy with our stay. The lodges were great, the guides were fantastic and we all want to go back. All the staff were friendly and welcoming. The food was unbelievably good, considering we were in a desert. I would have expected that standard of dinner in a good restaurant in Cape Town.

The experience with the San bushman really showed how they lived. My children (aged 6 and 10) were included in all the safaris. Their best memories are from the Kalahari, and it's the place in Africa that they both want to go to.

The downside? Well we don't really have any. The Kalahari had 3 years of rainfall in the months before we arrived, so the grass was really high. (That meant we saw less predators and more birds.) However Jakob changed our safaris to account for this. So consider the time of year that you go - true of any African trip.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
Thank Paul L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 May 2014

To really experience Botswana, you have to move past Chobe and the Delta, and also feel and see and smell the heart of the Kalahari - and there is no better place to do this than at Deception Valley Lodge.

We spent 3 nights there during an extensive trip through Botswana, and it surpassed all our expectations. We were blown away by the relaxed attentiveness and friendliness of the owner-managers, Gerhard & Annelize; the excitement in observing the skills and knowledge of the game trackers Xamse and Jacobus (they found the lions after tracking them mostly on foot for two hours through thick bush); the intriguing San culture shared so willingly with us by Xise and Xamse; the comfort and spaciousness of the accommodation; and gourmet food that belied the remoteness of the place.

Will we go back? At the drop of a hat.....

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank abiespies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

We only had 2 nights (3 would have been better) at this lodge. It was the first of three Game Lodges in Botswana that we visited (see Camp Moremi and Choba Game Lodge). We wanted 3 different safari experiences and Deception Valley exceeded our expectations. We were a group of 3 couples and by chance were the only guests at the lodge.
The food was gourmet (Kudu steaks) and local (Cape Malay dishes) and always good and plentiful. The staff was wonderful and dinner was always a seated meal.
Braam (the owner) was our guide and ChoDa the San Bushman was the spotter. Since this was our first Safari location, it wasn’t until we visited other lodges that I realized the privilege it was to be the only vehicle in the area. Unlike the bigger reserves where the drivers have to jockey for a spot to view that rare animal – at Deception Valley it was just us. Also, because this is a private reserve on the north edge of the Kalahari – Braam could go off-road to get closer to the animal life. ChoDa was amazing at what he could spot as we drove around the reserve.
I have found over time that local presentations of natives and their lifestyles are sometimes not up to snuff. The BUSHMAN walk should not be missed – ChoDa and the second Bushman were wonderful – we learned so much and have great respect for the knowledge they shared with us.
The accommodations were fine, but rustic. You are in the bush and electricity will be turned off during the night as they rely on a generator. The cabins were clean and the beds very comfortable. The shower is actually ‘outside’ the cabin – but it is only accessible from the bathroom. Since you are there to see the animals – you really are only in the room to sleep and wash!! Laundry service was impeccable.
Would love to come back and stay longer.

Room Tip: They are all good.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Scuba_StClaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2014

Deception Valley Lodge is off the beaten track, about 100 kilometers off the beaten track, but at the end of that track is one of the Highlights of Botswana. Owned and run by a guy called Braam, it's the hight of luxury, the food is excellent and the quality of guiding, by Braam and his Bushman childhood friend is first class. We had the closest of close encounters with Lion and the walk with the bushmen was educational and entertaining. I would not hesitate recommending this Lodge to even the most decreeing traveler, and the cherry on top, is you can fly in, it has it's own landing strip

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank jeffurson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2014

Deception Valley Lodge has to now be my number one destination in Botswana. Personally I think it would be very remiss if it was not included in everyone’s itinerary if planning to safari in Botswana. Ideally, probably not at the start of their safari (although it certainly did not worry me) because a) it raises the bar so high in so many ways, it might lead to disappointment when people move onto other camps and b) for people who are not as animal-mad as I, they probably need to get some of the big stuff under their belts so they can get truly excited when they see the very rare and unusual.

For me, it just was perfect and I could have happily spend an entire two weeks there. The accommodation is outstanding (brilliant stand-alone mini lodges with a first – a mini bar – in it as well as a very specious lounge) so you can really stretch out in luxury between drives. It also has a pool – larger than a basic plunge pool – and the most lovely decking and relaxation area in the main lodge. The food is also exceptional and the viewing was outstanding.

Honey badger, Aardwolf, great lion prides, porcupines that come into the lodge (and were ‘carefully’ shooed out again!), Kudu, Eland and everything else you would expect from a desert region – including amazing snake sightings – although I appreciate, that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. The bushmen are outstanding trackers and the knowledge of the guys who run the place is on a par with biology lecturers at a university. They have lived and breathed the bush since they were toddlers – and it really showed. I really cannot recommend it highly enough. It really was the highlight of my holiday.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank 150Lindsay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2014

Deception Valley Camp Kalahari Botswana
While planning our trip to Botswana, many advised against the Kalahari as it was purported to be rough and might be difficult to handle. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth and to our delight Deception Valley Camp Kalahari turned out to be the high point in our 23-day southern African sojourn. It was undeniably hot (read very hot!), but the gracious hospitality extended to us by our hosts was unique and immeasurably memorable.
Africa is an ancient and rich land and the opportunity to see even a part of it lovingly tended to and nurtured for the last 15 odd years by a family that cares makes for a very special experience indeed. Having pursued a business career successfully, the owners (Gerrard and his partner Brahm), decided to venture into the Namibian bush and started a process of ‘natural preservation and regeneration’ of the land, its flora and fauna. Later, they were joined by Gerrard’s son Yacob who brought to the table an education in environmental studies and being sensitive to the land of his upbringing is now fully immersed in running an excellent camp. The level of comfort and care lavished on you will never let you realize they are managing scarce resources --- with no electricity, water supply and the nearest town, Maun, being at least 5-6 hours away. What they have achieved is a testimony to their love for the land and the wildlife. The accommodation is very comfortable: beautifully appointed individual huts with a sitting room, verandah and all other luxuries you would associate with a ‘corporate’ jungle camp. The food too was par excellence.
Our drives after sunset, the ability to go off road were particularly exciting as was the ‘walk in the bush’ led by two members of the Deception Valley team, native Naaru tribesman, who explained the ancient art of bushcraft. Besides the rare and magnificent oryx, this is also the only place to see the black-maned Kalahari lion.
On our journey through Botswana this was where we got a feel of the ‘real Africa’ with its vast open spaces and the aura of an ancient land and we highly recommend a visit to the wonderful Deception Valley Camp.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank drivingholidays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2013

This was our last stop in Botswana on a 12 day tour. We had 3 excellent days made so by the place and the welcoming people. Rooms food and game viewing and tracking are excellent.
Game in quality not quantity but harsh environment made this all the more relevant.
Great bushman experience and overall excellent staff quality and service.

  • Stayed: November 2013
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1  Thank NJDO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Deception Valley Lodge

Address: Farm 65 Haneveld | Private Bag HA 58 HAK, Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana
Region: Botswana > Ghanzi District > Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Price Range: £701 - £937 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Deception Valley Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 8
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Also Known As:
Deception Valley Hotel Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Deception Valley Lodge Botswana/Central Kalahari Game Reserve

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