The Fresh Start!

¨… A New Year,

A fresh start,

An opportunity to grow

A chance to glow

A moment to reflect

A time to let go


Itś your show

It´s the year you will let the world know

That you are the King of your own show¨ Patricia Garcia- Howard-Bramble

It is time to wake up to a fresh, new day, with new opportunities and excitement awaiting. Still you can hear the peaceful silence of the last moments of night time, with faint noises of the crickets, bidding the night farewell. Then, all of a sudden a Red-billed Francolin awakens, and the shrill and urgent call is an alarm for the whole Kalahari. A new day is emerging. The dark, starry night with the faint moon, gives way to developing light and then the big moment!! Rising slowly over the trees, a glorious warm glow of the yellow and orange sun, emitting not only light, but giving positive energy and passion for the day ahead. First rays are catching the dew droplets on the leaves of grasses and trees, giving one the feel that you are in a field of diamonds. A morning so perfect, watching the day unveil with the intense aroma of coffee brewing, birds chirping and butterflies fluttering about.

When stepping outside, one gets motivated by the hard working ants and bees. And that is the exact behaviour we are indulging in at the moment! The renovations of the lodge are in full swing as from the start of the New Year. Hard work and dedication spreads over Deception Valley Lodge, to give this gem in the pristine Kalahari, a brighter glow in order to grow to its full potential. Magical designs have been drawn up by our Architect/Designer, Alwyn Petersen. Hours of planning went into the project, on how to enhance the look but keep some of the old charm.

Bart Kramer, the owner of Deception Valley Lodge, has vision, passion and is a creative mastermind when it comes to building, renovations and refurbishments. He travelled all over Africa, and fell deeply in love with Deception, and now he is investing that love and commitment into the lodge. His supervision and management of the project is invaluable!!

The founder of Deception Valley Lodge, Abraham Badenhorst, who build the original lodge in 1996, uses his expertise of the Kalahari region to give extremely valuable input and advise on materials and processes that will survive the harsh semi-desert environment. Over the years, Braam has discovered what does work and what doesn´t, and how to build a lodge to accommodate both human and animal species.

So many amazing changes are emerging at the moment! It is truly hard to contain the excitement! A while back, we mentioned about the new walkways that are almost finished. With inspiration coming from the wavy sand dunes, these lovely wooden paths lead you through a lush, green canopy of Purple pod Terminalia in summer and in winter, when the leaves are sparse, provides a glorious view of the Southern Nightskies, hosting the ever so famous, Southern Cross. They are completed now, and are wheel-chair friendly!

 Next on the renovation project were the chalets…. Keeping the original shape, Bart and Alwyn decided to design it in such a way that our guests become one with the surroundings of the Kalahari. The windows are almost full length to let in more delightful an joyous light, both from the glowing sun or the bright moon, if you wish. Bigger sliding doors were incorporated, that can open up completely onto a deck that extends further into the elements of nature, and with natural, uniquely shaped tree stumps. Just imagine relaxing on that deck after a scrumptious brunch with a good book, while soaking up all the vitamin D you can get from the African Sun!!!

Not only do we want to spoil our guests with a luxurious feel, but also the animals and birds. They are after all the stars of Deception. A newer, bigger waterhole was build for them, right in front of the lodge, where the small one used to be. The birds can now come and enjoy a vigorous, refreshing bath while you admire them for their colours and behaviour.

Men are extremely hard at work, and one can only watch them with admiration!! They fit and work perfectly together like puzzle pieces, in order to create a marvelous and breathtaking masterpiece. Among them are our own employees, whom are all very excited to be part of such an extraordinary project. Sibanda, a very gifted builder and Senamolela, an amazing plasterer, are becoming part of the Deception Family with all the work they are doing! We simply cannot complete this project without all these dedicated, strong men.

Despite all the attention being with the designing and building, we do not forget that we are extremely blessed to work and live in paradise. Precious water in the pans is still abundant and with that come the colourful show of birds, flowers and insects. The calm, relaxing call of the Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, makes you feel like you are drifting away to nature´s own spa music. Then all of a sudden, the Diederick´s and Klaas´s Cuckoo, decide to add just a more upbeat note.

The majestic roar of the Lions in the distance, let you know they are still there and might be luring in the dark. Black-backed Jackals make sure you remember, that you are in the middle of the wilderness while listening, and watching a hypnotizing camp fire. All the fauna species are the Kings of the conservancy and they truly know it!!! Late in the afternoons, when thunderclouds are rolling in, the Zebras and Blue-Wildebeest not only come to quench their thirst at the lodge, but act as Supervisors, to make sure we are doing an amazing task.

Deception´s team and the lodge are definitely going to grow, glow and show the world that we are Kings of our own show, during 2020!!!

How are you going to embrace this New Year and decade with so much wonderful opportunities ahead?

Seize the moment and 2020!!!

Janie Swart

Lodge Manager