cape town tour

Follow in the footsteps of the world's oldest extant human culture

Follow in the footsteps of the world's oldest extant human culture

Follow in the footsteps of the oldest extant human culture

A wilderness safari in the Kalahari Desert, Botswana

If you’re looking for an utterly unique safari location set in a true wilderness, Deception Valley Lodge, Botswana is it.  It borders on the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and was one of the first lodges to be established in this area.

The San are considered by most anthropologists to be the oldest extant human culture, able to trace genetic lineage back over an incredible 70,000 years.  However, like many vulnerable people, the existence of the San is deeply threatened by several forces: whilst they are no longer hunted (as they were in colonial times in South Africa), their ancestral lands are not always as assured as governments like to claim, nor are their water sources.

Braam Badenhorst, who established the lodge and is on site most days, was actually born and raised in the area. He grew up alongside several different clans of the San people, learning of and being fully immersed in their way of life.  He is as such able to claim a deep knowledge of San language, culture and history, having fostered trust with them over the course of his whole life. 

Braam has also made it a point of principle that the San people living near the Lodge are not only permitted but actively encouraged to bring their children on to the reserve and as such, learn from their parents the traditional methods of hunting, gathering and tracking.  Sadly many of the clans no longer wish to live traditionally so this important step of recognizing and validating the traditions of the San means they are able to pass valuable knowledge from generation to generation.

Braam guides several of the experiences on at DVL in person and also trains selected members of the San community to become guides in their own right (not just guides for their own culture but also to the wildlife in the area).

The Lodge is not only ethical from the point of view of how it assimilates and sustains the culture of the San: all electricity now is generated by solar power (which is not the case at many lodges that still rely on trucked-in diesel).  As far as possible, food and water is sourced from the local area, with ongoing plans to grow more food on site.

Don’t worry that all these appeals to the ethical mean that the comfort of the lodge is somehow forgotten!  There’s a natural waterhole right in front of the lodge which attracts the local animal inhabitants of all shapes and sizes by day and by night.  There are only eight suites, each with a bedroom, separate lounge area, en-suite bathroom with Victorian bath and outdoor shower. The lodge itself has a swimming pool and a myriad of verandas and public rooms in which to relax, should you feel like being social.    Impressively for such a remote location, there is WiFi that’s delivered by satellite.

Prices at Deception Valley Lodge start at R16 000 per room per night (£864 - €973 - $1 120), which is fully inclusive of all meals, all San-lead experiences and all game drives.

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Exceed House
Springfield Office Park
Belleville, Cape Town

Cell / WhatsApp (SA) +27 72 136 9096
Cell / Office (UK) +44 7853 212075

WhatsApp +27 72 136 9096


Skype: philrendel

Contact Us


We’re an ethical private travel planning company focused on Southern Africa.

We offer ready-made and also customised holidays and journeys across this unique region of the world.

When our clients travel with us, they are assured that their travel spend is directly supporting local African companies that offer sustainable products and services, both in terms of people and planet.


Our logo is an image of a skull found in the Rising Star Cave System in Gauteng, South Africa in 2013. It was named ‘homo naledi’, meaning ‘human of the stars’.

The cave system has so far given rise to the remains of over 15 individuals, making it the largest hominid fossil remains site ever discovered.

Travelling to Southern Africa is truly a return to the source of humankind, to Where It All Began.

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