Deception Valley safaris, tours & holiday packagesCarnivore central in a fossil river valley
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Deception Valley boasts a plethora of oryx along with good predator populations: black-maned Kalahari lions and brown hyenas are the real highlights
Deception Valley, also known as the Letiahau Valley, is the best known and most accessible of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve's four fossil river valleys.Conservationists Mark and Delia Owens put Deception Valley on the map with their book Cry of the Kalahari, which chronicled their time studying brown hyaenas in this fossil river valley between 1974 and 1981. At that time nobody ventured into the central Kalahari on safari. Now, 30 years later, Africa's second-largest game reserve remains gloriously wild with only a couple of lodges and a handful of wilderness campsites catering to self-drive visitors.
It's no surprise that Mark and Delia Owens spent seven years in Deception Valley – the place is intoxicating for anyone who enjoys watching desert-adapted wildlife in the meditative solitude of such an arid wilderness. You may have to work a little harder for your sightings, but perseverance is often rewarded with amazing wildlife interactions that you can enjoy without another vehicle in sight.
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Tau Pan Camp and Wilderness Safari's Kalahari Plains Camp are the only lodges located within Deception Valley itself. Deception Valley Lodge lies to the north in a separate wilderness area adjoining the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
Self-drive visitors have a choice between the larger Deception Valley and Kori campsites or the more secluded Letiahau site. Nearby Sunday's Pan has a solid reputation for good game viewing and its great outlook over a waterhole, while Phokoje Pan campsite is gloriously wild and a little further off the beaten track. Deception Valley is a top safari destination for anyone who enjoys solitude and the roaring silence of the Kalahari.
Because of the terrain's arid nature, wildlife numbers tend to be less numerous in the Central Kalahari Reserve than in many of Botswana's other parks, but visitors still stand a good chance of seeing lions, leopards and cheetahs as well as hyenas, jackals and bat-eared foxes. Somewhat surprisingly, elephants have also made their way into this northern region of the reserve.
Deception Valley Map
Deception Valley's location on Google Maps
Frequently Asked Questions about Deception Valley
December to March are the sunniest months and perhaps the best time to visit. There are some cloudy periods and rain from March to May, and drizzle from October to early December which may restrict clear views. However, Mount Kenya National… go there.
The months of December through March and July through October are dry, making them by far the best months to visit the Samburu National Reserve. When the wildlife viewing is at its prime. go there.
May to October is the best time to visit Tsavo East and West National Park. The wildlife is easier to spot - since they gather around the waterhole. go there.
Botswana: Electric plug M 230V and 50Hz Kenya: Electric plug G 240V and 50Hz Malawi: Electrical plug G 230V and 50Hz Mauritius: Electrical plug C & G, 230V and 50Hz Mozambique: Electrical plug C,F,M, 220V and 50Hz Namibia: Electric plug… go there.
Reviews on our Deception Valley safaris
Discover Africa and Carel has put in such an effort for us to experience the annual wildebeest migration, meticulous planning and accurate predictions with logical and the best accommodation options both sides of the Mara River guaranteed us…
Jates and Hil Oettle
from South Africa
Our trip was arranged by Carel Verhoef at discoverafrica.com and was perfectly organised. We flew into the Masai Mara from Nairobi and all flight connections and transfers were arranged for us and went like clockwork. Carel was also very…
from South Africa
Every one was so helpful in making the arrangements. The booking people helped in all the questions we had, they were polite and helpful. The tour and lodge were amazing. Every one was helpful and very interesting to talk to. They made our…
from United States of America
Our service from Carel at Discover Africa was outstanding. His recommendations on the timing of our trip, the lodges we should book, communication and overall assistance ensured that our trip went off very smoothly and that we were in the…
from South Africa
Discover Africa planned our safari to East Africa and we were certainly in the right areas at the right time, our itinerary was well designed to maximize time with the migration and related sightings - logistics ran smoothly and all in all…
from South Africa
Well planned safari and good service. Discover Africa planned our safari to East Africa and we were certainly in the right areas at the right time, our itinerary was well designed to maximize time with the migration and related sightings -…
There is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread, hot out of the oven with creamy butter on standby. Maybe it’s just us, but bread reminds us of home, the smell of our grandmothers or a lazy Sunday breakfast at a local… read more