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Deception Valley Lodge, Central Kalahari, Botswana

Our rating: First Class

The quality of construction and furnishing at Deception Valley Lodge puts it up amongst Botswana's top accommodations. The lodge has eight thatched chalets, each containing a separate lounge and bedroom. The walls have framed Bushman artefacts and rugs are spread across the floors. The bedroom has heavy teak furniture, copious wardrobe space and a couple of adjacent twin beds with mosquito nets. All around the chalet large sliding doors can be opened by day and closed at night for warmth and to keep out the Kalahari lions! Each of the bungalows is widely spaced out from the next and linked by slightly raised wooden walkways, lit up at night by gecko-shaped lights.

The main lodge itself is very homely. The lounge and dining area are either side of a large bar. Various sliding doors all lead on to a deck extending around the length of the building, and this steps down into the Kalahari bush; a desert in winter yet lush green grass in summer rainy months. To one side of the lodge there is a small, raised pool overlooking the waterhole and on the other side is an outdoor dining area overlooking an open fire boma.

Activities centre around drives and walks on the lodge's private concession, which shares its southern boundary with the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. This area encompasses a number of natural pans surrounded by larger trees, and there's a bird-hide beside one of them. Lions are frequently seen and there is also plenty of birdlife and other smaller aspects of the African bush to enjoy. The majority of the walks are led by the lodge's San guides, who will provide a fascinating insight into their incredible culture.

The Kalahari Manor is a recent addition to Deception Valley Lodge. Perfect for families or couples who want a bit more privacy, this amazing house is located a short distance away from the lodge. The Manor is designed in an East African style and consists of two ensuite bedroom, a sitting room and dining areas. The manor comes with a private guide and chef who are entirely at your disposal throughout your stay.

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