Tucked into a grove of towering hardwood trees, Abu Camp is an exclusive luxury lodge with six wonderfully spacious tents set along the edge of a lagoon in a private Okavango Delta concession. The surrounding grasslands, secluded islands
Shortly after arriving at camp you’ll be introduced to the Abu herd, and throughout your
Along with these unique experiences, Abu offers all the activities you’d expect from a luxury camp in the Okavango Delta: morning and afternoon game drives, scenic flights, and peaceful mokoro safaris along papyrus-fringed channels. The camp itself balances extreme luxury and a welcoming atmosphere and has plenty of places to relax and unwind such as the open-air lounge, various decks looking out over the lagoon, a secluded swimming pool
Other highlights of a stay at Abu Camp include sundowners served in magnificent locations, surprise lantern-lit dinners out in the delta and, as the sky fills with stars, nightly chats around the campfire reliving your days’ adventures while swapping safari stories with the other guests.
Abu Camp has six spacious tents, each leading onto a private teak deck with sun loungers offering up great views over the lagoon and the floodplains beyond. The tented suites are individually decorated although each has a king-size bed, a lounge area with comfortable chairs, a writing desk, and lovely details such as carved wooden sculptures, steamer trunks and striking black-and-white photographs.
The en-suite bathrooms have both an indoor and outdoor shower, as well as a copper bathtub secreted away round the side of the deck. End your day’s game viewing soaking in this outdoor tub, a glass of wine close at hand as you listen to the twittering of birds in the surrounding fig and jackal-berry trees.
For the more adventurous there’s a Star Bed just a 10-minute walk from the main camp. The Star Bed overlooks the elephant boma and has a lower deck with an enclosed bathroom and an upper deck where you can lie in bed gazing up at a star-filled sky. Raised high off the ground you’ll be perfectly safe, as you’re lulled to sleep by the comforting sounds of the elephants in the boma below.
The focus at Abu is on the Elephant Experience. The herd currently comprises six elephants: Cathy, Shireni, Lorato, Paseka, Warona and Naledi.
Activites incluce: Walking with the elephants (13 years and older), Observing activities such as mud bathing experiencing the bush through the eyes of the elephants, Discussions on elephant conservation at a local, national and continent-wide level, Day and night game drives to view the amazing diversity of wildlife in the Abu Concession, in the game-rich Okavango Delta UNESCO World Heritage Site, Birding, Boating, Mokoro excursions (13 years and older) (accompanied by the Abu herd), Fishing on a catch and release basis year round except January and February when fishing is barred by law for breeding. The camp supplies all fishing equipment.
Star Bed Experience
There is a Star-Bed platform that sleeps 2 guests situated at the elephant enclosure. The double-storey Star-Bed has its own bathroom with shower, toilet and basin on the lower deck and the bed upstairs under a large mosquito net with a viewing deck over the elephant enclosure. The ultimate immersion experience into the sensory world of the elephant can be experienced by sleeping out under the stars overlooking the elephant boma. Be lulled to sleep by the contented rumbling and low snores of the elephants below.
Abu Camp is best known for its rescued elephants and during your stay you’ll get to know their personalities and quirks from the playful and inquisitive youngsters to the wise matriarch, Cathy. The elephant handlers have clearly formed strong bonds with the animals and are only too happy to answer any questions you may have or tell the stories of how each elephant came to be a member of the Abu herd.
There’s plenty of other wildlife in the Abu Concession too including wild elephant, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, large herds of buffalo, and several species of antelope. As for the predators, Abu Camp game drives offer up a good chance of seeing spotted hyena and leopard, lion often move through the area, and some lucky guests are treated to the sighting of a pack of wild dogs.
The Abu Concession’s diverse range of habitats (from grasslands and woodlands to lagoons and waterways) is a sanctuary for around 380 bird species. Avid birders are sure to add a few ticks to their lists with special sightings including the Lesser Jacana, Pygmy Goose, Wattled Crane, Coppery-tailed Coucal and Rosy-throated Longclaw amongst others.
Abu Camp does not have a family room
Children between the ages of 6 and 16 years can be accommodated as a triple share in a standard twin room with an extra bed
The range of activities is limited as a result of the minimum age requirement of 13 years of age
Children between the ages of 6 and 16 years may participate in a sleep out on the outdoor star-deck as well as on an elephant ride, provided they are accompanied by an adult,
Abu Camp: Note that a maximum of 10 guests can be accommodated on the elephant activity at any one time. This number is comprised of 4 guests maximum riding the elephants (2 guests on each of two elephants) and 6 guests maximum walking alongside the elephants. If one of the elephants is pregnant or nursing a young one, this number may reduce for a period, however, the overall elephant experience will be managed on the ground by the camp.
Rate includes accommodation, all meals, twice daily scheduled camp activities, park fees, laundry and all local drinks - excludes premium imported brands and champagne.
"A truly lavish, luxurious and exceptional up-close elephant experience. Ride on, walk with,and hand feed the Abu elephants We got to enjoy a Candle light outdoor bubble bath — champagne included sleeping outside under the stars is done by request."
"Maybe the finest camp in Botswana. The people at Abu. JamieRose and Aaron have managed this property for some time and staff and physical plant are consistently excellent. Both of them are great hosts and the staff responds positively to their leadership. They have created some really special events for us over the past couple of years and they do so effortlessly. It is a challenge to do 5 star service and facilities in such a remote area but they have pulled it off during all of our visits including the most recent 4 day visit in August. Other staff. Takesure "Takes" was our hands on manager and is now a friend after helping to arrange tea on one occasion and brunch on another with a young elephant who is now about 21 months old; her name, Naledi. She is great guest for any meal I suspect, but we had much fun with her for these 2 events. Food and beverage staff seems to believe she is short on manners and that her trunk ends where it should not be. Cannot thank the staff enough for arranging this. Takesure has consistently gone out of his way to make our visits to Abu are unforgettable. Others on the F&B team include Simon, Gao, Taps, Ona and Elsie. This may be the best dining staff we have encountered in the delta over many trips. Food at Abu is always excellent. We often visit Abu late in a trip after having been confronted with 4-5 meals a day for the preceding 2 weeks and it is always a pleasure to have Abu's interesting and innovative menu to enjoy. The last trip was no exception. Our guide. Thapelo 'Taps' has been our guide for our last few visits. We have asked that Abu arrange this and we have arranged our visits so that we know he will be in camp. He is great with the Abu herd and on walks with the herd and he knows the Abu reserve like no one else. His knowledge of the birds (calls, ID of birds on the wing and willingness to indulge my interest in birds) is without peer. He loves the bush and his job and the herd and it comes across with every drive or walk or meal you share with him. And the reserve right now is beautiful. Fires last January made a bit of a mess but rain since have turn it into a grazer's paradise as new grasses have now come in. The reserve is huge and varied and when we choose not walk with the herd the game drives are excellent. Other guides at Abu (BT, who we have ridden with at another property and Rex who we know from walks with the herd) are also very good at the job. The tent at Abu is the best in the delta in so far as comfort in use, aesthetic appeal, lighting, wifi, views from deck, shower and breeze/ventilation is concerned. Also, no mosquito net required, which I like. The lagoon in front of tents 1,2, and 3 is beautiful. We have stayed in tents 1,2, and 4 and while we prefer 2, then 1 and then 4 in that order all are great. These tents are truly beautifully designed and while I do like to idea of being unplugged in Bots, at the end of a long trip my wife and I find some comfort in being plugged back in while at Abu. If only to download boarding passes so that you can get into the terminal at Joburg once you arrive from Maun. The other thing we enjoy at Abu is the gym where you can do a little work on the treadmill (presently under repair) or the rowing machine or some light weight work. Nice after a week or 2 in the trucks. Finally, the main reason we go to Abu is to visit the herd which is so beautifully managed and guided by Wellington. Our guide Taps and Wellington arranged some great time with the herd while we were there in August. Because of some scheduling good fortune (bad fortune for some others, good for us) we effectively had the camp to ourselves for over 2 days. There are only 6 tents in any event so you are never fighting a crowd but this was really great. Wellington is a great leader and teacher for his elephant handlers and truly loves these elephants. These elephants are not chained, are treated with such respect, and get to live as elephants after being rescued from a circus, or a "humane cull" or hyenas. It is a treat to walk with them and then to be with them as they just be elephants during the day. This is one of the main reasons we have returned and will continue to do so. Many thanks to Welly and the Abu elephant handlers. I would recommend Abu to anyone considering a visit to the Okavango Delta and it is a must for anyone who loves elephants."
"Abu was everything I thought it would be and more! The resident elephant herd interactions are incredible. The handlers (mahout) are so good with these beautiful animals. Naledi (the baby elephant orphaned at 6 weeks) is obviously the star of the show, but all of the resident elephants are magnificent! The tents were incredibly luxurious and large. The tents are beautiful and comfortable. The food was fantastic. The staff was friendly and capable. I had Joe as my guide. I felt incredibly lucky. Joe has been at Abu for 26 years and has extensive knowledge of the concession, the elephants and all bird and plant life. I would return to Abu in a minute. Thanks to Abu camp for being part of my birthday celebration and being an excellent safari camp."
"Abu Camp on the Okavango Delta in Botswana is surely at the top end for luxury African safari camps. The accommodations are outstanding, and the camp staff is completely dedicated to the comfort of the guests. The meals are outstanding and unique, and best of all, the camp chef is willing to share his recipe’s with the guests. There is an incredible amount of game to be viewed. We saw leopards, hyenas, baboons, giraffes, kudu’s, zebra, impalas and wild elephants. We were even able, at a distance, to get a glance at hippos. Our guide, BT, was very skillful at finding game and was very capable at describing all the fauna. Finally, the great attraction of the camp is the Abu elephant herd. The elephant handlers are all very knowledgeable about the herd in particular and elephants in general. Guests are encouraged to ride the elephants or to walk with them as they leave to graze in the morning or when they return to the Boma in the evening. A visit to Africa is not complete without a visit to the Okavango, and when visiting there, Abu Camp is the best place to stay."
"We stayed two nights at Abu and it was very luxurious! The cabin (tent?) was huge, with a very large deck, indoor sitting area, comfy bed and huge bathroom. When we first arrived, at lunch time, we were delighted to see a very large herd (30+) of elephants making their way to the nearby river. What a sight! How often do you get to eat a yummy pizza lunch while watching elephants?!? We rode the elephants that afternoon. How fun! They are huge, gentle and oh, so fun to ride. Smoother ride than most airplanes! We did the elephant walk the next morning. Thoroughly enjoyed being so close to these amazing creatures. Spending a night in the star bed was unbelievable. Never have I seen so many stars fill the sky. The food is wonderful. Oatmeal is my usual breakfast at home, and I got it here before our game drive, but it had a yummy new twist - hot caramel sauce! All the food was beautifully presented and very tasty. The staff was very attentive, the views beautiful, the rooms spacious and well appointed, the food incredible. A truly amazing place!"
"Abu Camp was an exhilarating experience. We spent three nights here, living with and becoming a part of the elephant herd and this should be part of everyone's Okavango experience. The game drives were exciting with both land based and waterborne trips. The camps' location was breath-taking and every day and night we were treated to animals roaming in and out. All the staff were exceptional and KB our guide was superb, but at the end of the day it is the elephants which are the stars and Nilady, the baby elephant, steals the show!"
"Abu was the most amazing, enchanting place we have ever visited. First, the setting is nothing short of breathtaking with gorgeous teak decks over a lagoon that often has a wild elephant or two passing through. All the "tents" are also located on the water so you can begin and end your day with the sun rising or setting. Second, the "tents" are outrageous: gorgeous beds and bedding, exquisite elephant details everywhere, and copper bathtubs if you can believe it. Third, the staff and service are superb: you can get anything you want whenever you want but even better is the fact that the managers (Richard and Lynne) have this down to such a science that they anticipate exactly what you will need before you even have to ask. The food is outrageous, period. Lastly, to call the elephants and their guides "special" is a gross understatement. All the elephants are wondrous - baby Abu is the most adorable and playful little guy I have ever seen! The extremely gifted and brilliant guides ("mahouts") have been there up to 18 years and they seem to love every minute of caring for the elephants and also teaching you anything you want to know. Joseph was our guide who was with us everyday and we loved every minute of his company. As for seeing game, we saw giraffe, hippos, zebra, impala, hyenas, baboons, wild elephants, warthogs, water buffalo as well as a myriad of other small game. We did not see the prides of lions but not for lack of trying - it's a big, non-fenced area so luck is a factor. In the end, Abu has more than enough wildlife to keep you excited while on the elephants (as if that is not amazing enough) and on game drives, but if you want tons of lions, leopards and rhinos - you should visit another camp on the other side of the delta for a day or 2 also. This was my first safari and I left feeling over the moon!"
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