Deception Valley Lodge – Holly Barber – October 2018

After many long (and very short) plane rides to get here, our first visit was to Deception Valley.

Lying just above the central kalahari game reserve, we were staying in Deception Valley Lodge – the most remote lodges in this area.

As our plane touched down on their private air strip, we saw our guide waiting for us, with a huge safari jeep – how exciting! Our guide introduced himself as ‘Knowledge’ – and certainly lived up to the name.

After a 10 minute drive through the bush, we got our first glimpse of the lodge. A beautifully constructed, African style veranda, furnished with careful attention to detail.

 

We were greeted by our hosts, & welcomed with a tour of our surroundings. As we took a cold drink, our attention turned to the water hole around 50m from the main veranda. As if to just say hello, two elephants stood drinking and splashing around in the water, a magnificent sight, and a great welcome! A few minutes later, zebra and lots of kudos came sauntering to get a drink, and we were totally mesmerised already.

Our rooms were beautifully hand crafted and every detail had been taken care of and thought of. It felt strange having such luxury in the middle of nowhere, but as we sat down, we both sighed a sigh of relief and joy. This was our reward for Ironman, and it already felt so sweet.

Our days started at 5:30am, which was a great time to see the beautiful fiery coloured sunrise over bush around us. To see the best animals, we had to be out before the hot heat of the day set in. A quick coffee, and off we went.

Each morning the guides would stop in the bush, and we would enjoy coffee and a biscuit whilst tracking footprints and getting to know that area

One afternoon as we were relaxing on the veranda, two giraffes came so close to us for a drink right next to the lodge! We could hear them breathe they were that close! Such an amazing experience, and such majestic, beautiful animals. 

Knowledge truly was a fountain of knowledge on the area, on Botswana, on the wildlife here, and anything else we asked during our stay. A fantastic guide, who clearly had a genuine passion for what he does. He seemed just as excited as us when we spotted anything, and we often caught him replying to the birds songs with his own whistle in the mornings, and checking out what was around us with his binoculars, seemingly not just for our benefit.

We saw so many animals, each one explained in detail by Knowledge, and new things learnt on every visit.

Giraffes perfectly positioned, guarding each other before drinking                                                                                                                                             Ostrich – with her tiny babies trotting after her

Pumba! Warthogs enjoying the watering hole                                                                                                                                                                                                Oryx – a rare sight

Nelly the Elephant

A mother checking us out

Owls starting to wake up at dusk                                                                                                                                                                                      Kudu, enjoying a free watering hole moment from other animals

Came to check us out

A whole family of Giraffes came to the watering hole as we sat there. What a beautiful sight!                                                                                                            Lunchtime for Nelly

A Holly in the wild                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A Michiel in the wild

In the morning, we would stop usually by a watering hole, to watch the animals and enjoy a coffee, and in the evenings, we stopped on our game drives for a ‘sundowner’ – a drink whilst we watched the sunset in the African wild. Magical.

Once we arrived back at the lodge, our brunches and dinners were being freshly prepared – what a treat! The food was undeniably delicious on every level. Each meal a careful preparation of good nutrition, attention to detail and a taste explosion.

         

Although not vegan herself, our host and owner of the lodge Suzanne, was more than understanding and accommodating to us.

An incredible visit to the Deception Valley Lodge. Amazing on all aspects.