Misty Mornings and Dusky Afternoons….

¨Day´s sweetest moments are at dawn;

Refreshed by his long sleep,

The light kisses the languid lips of Night,

Ere she can rise and hasten on…¨ – Dawn – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

It is time. Your internal clock decides that you have to open your sparkling eyes after a peaceful night´s sleep. The biggest gift that we sometimes tend to overlook. The gift of waking up to a glorious, brand new day. It starts with Cape-Turtle Doves, White-browed Sparrow Weavers and the Red-billed Francolins preparing for a sweet, melodious morning chorus. It is time that the twinkling stars from worlds far away, give way to the most important star in our lives. It is time to start rejoicing, for dawn has broken….

With the seasons changing, early mornings provide an inner healing experience for the body, mind and spirit. It is cool, crisp and utmost refreshing. When driving through a valley, it becomes almost a mysterious fairy tale. With mist hanging low and dewdrops providing a delicate glittering effect over the field of bright yellow flowers, you can escape to a world unknown. A magical world filled with peace, serenity and calmness. A world called Deception Valley Conservancy!

Once the mist fades, be energized by the bright sun and blue, blue skies of the Kalahari. Energy, love and passion are what run through our entire being at the moment, as for everyone is super excited about the daily development of the renovations. For most of us staying in this piece of paradise, Deception Valley Lodge is the soulmate you fall in love with and wed.

There is quite a special tradition that dates all the way back to Victorian times. When a bride becomes wed, it is said that she must have something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a sixpense in her shoe. The lodge is a radiant and elegant bride ready for the journey ahead. In re-designing the lodge, the owners decided to keep something from the past to provide continuity; incorporate an optimistic new design to match the rich and natural environment; the use of mesmerizing blue tiles symbolize love, purity and faithfulness; some items were borrowed from the natural surroundings to spread hope, and last but not least, the animals and people of Deception Valley Lodge will make sure her journey is filled with prosperity. A sudden splash of rain in the afternoon gives her all the luck needed, and the moment is sealed with two charming and delightful rainbows.


After a creative work day filled with pride and dedication, it is time to venture into the veld, and embrace the natural beauty. One of the most valuable and enhancing things of life is a pleasant surprise. Something so unexpected, but absolutely incredible! One very memorable afternoon, I was told to quickly grab the camera and get in the vehicle. The Bushmen spotted lion tracks, but with tiny paw prints in between. The excitement of seeing the newest addition to the Deception Pride was hard to contain. After a short drive, we saw most of the pride members lying in the open. Slowly and very cautiously we approached little bit by bit. Next moment the fluffy bundle, appeared from behind a grass clump. We were ecstatic! Even though it was still unstable on its feet, it already made deep footprints in our hearts.

Nowadays, the sub-adults of about two years old, mostly break away from the rest of the pride. Like typical young adults they like to spend time in each others company or alone away from the parents. The three cubs that were born last year, are still healthy and are masters in curiosity and mischief. They are about 9 months old now and we are sure they will teach their youngest cousin all the tricks they have up their paws.


As the sun fades away in the most picturesque setting, Red-billed Queleas are returning to the safety of their nests, in a fluttering whirlwind of wings. After all these years, it still amazes me how they manage to fly in such precise unison.

Another perfect Kalahari day stretches into the sunset, meeting the distant horizon and leaving only incredible memories. The last show begins at 18:00. The best seats are all free and you can only look up to a colour changing spectacle.

All the excitement causes our stomachs to cry for a delicious meal, with natural sourced ingredients. Every now and then you can expect a true Kalahari delicacy at the breakfast or dinner table. Something specially hand picked by the Bushmen. Tonight it will be wild mushrooms and cucumber, honestly the best mushrooms I ever tasted. So light and airy with a subtle nutty flavour. Termite Hill Mushrooms are farmed by termites and despite best attempts, humankind has failed to grow them. The mushrooms occur only during the rainy season at the foot of termite mounds. In a remarkable way, it is not actually the termites that cultivate the fungi but rather the fungi cultivating the termites.

The cucumber looks vicious on the outside, but strange enough doesn´t hurt your palate. The skin has a faint bitter taste and then the surprisingly burst of sweet and juicy flesh. Authentic cuisine at its best!

Its time to come together, sit and just be. Join the Deception Valley Lodge family and celebrate not only the promising and incredible journey ahead, but also all the lasting heart-warming memories. Afterall, family is like a circle, the connection never ends.

With the Easter holidays around the corner, be thankful for family, friends and the natural wonders of Mother Nature. Cherish all the memories through the years, the times together, filled with laughter and love.

Until next month!

Janie Swart