Just north of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, on a private concession where night drives and off-road activities are possible, Deception Valley Lodge offers guests privileged access to the people, wildlife and landscapes of the desert. The terrain is more about expansive plains and scrappy grassland than towering dunes, reflected by the varied game that passes through, including lion, cheetah, zebra, giraffe and antelope. You might well spot some of these species on day and night game drives, but they are certainly not present in Delta-like numbers for most of the year, so the focus is more on the remote ambience, stunning scenery and fascinating San Bushman people. Most of the staff comes from the Bushman community, leading guided walks that are essentially cultural workshops covering survival techniques, history, medicine, hunting and the unique way in which these relatively unchanged people interact with their harsh, timeless environment. Accommodation is in eight solid chalets with thatched roofs, separate lounge and bedroom areas and en-suite bathrooms that include a bathtub. These aren’t the non-intrusive tents or thatch chalets you often see on safari, but they are extremely comfortable and spacious. The main dining and lounge building is brought to life with Bushman artefacts, while the boma and swimming pool help to make this a homely, intriguing desert base.