Deception Valley safaris, tours and holiday packages | Discover Africa Safaris
Tourist Route Botswana

Deception Valley safaris, tours & holiday packages

Carnivore central in a fossil river valley

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.

Our African Travel Expert

Free safari planning advice from destination experts

Stephen Michael Cunliffe says

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.

More on Deception Valley holidays

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

When is the best time to visit Mount Kenya National Park?

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.

When is the best time to visit Samburu National Reserve?

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.

When is the best time to visit Tsavo East and West National Park?

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.

What is the best time to see the great migration?

The best time to see the wildebeest migration is in August as the herds cross the Nile crocodile infested Mara River, crossing an international border between Kenya and Tanzania. go there.

What types of plugs are used in the Southern and Eastern African countries?

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.

What are tented camps in Kenya like?

Kenya has a world of variety when it comes to tented accommodation camps, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another realm in the bush as your every desire comes try. go there.

What kinds of animals will I see on safari?

Whether you are in the Southern or East Africa you will generally be able to see the big five. The difference really comes in when considering antelope as they are based on your chosen location. go there.

What vaccinations should I get?

This is all dependant on the countries that you will be visitng and due to the status of certain vaccinations changing at times, please consult our experts before getting vaccines. go there.

Is it okay to drink the water?

In some parts of Southern Africa it is safe to drink the tap water, however it is highly recommended to stick to bottled water (mostly supplied) during your trip as even drinkable African water is completely different in taste and… go there.

Deception Valley - Africa Wildlife Safaris

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 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…

Geoffrey Burton

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…

Patti Legg

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 -…


Related Articles

Our African Travel Expert

Free safari planning advice from destination experts