(Last Updated On: August 9, 2020)

Named after a really particular bull elephant, Abu Camp is without doubt one of the unique and main African elephant sanctuaries.

About Abu Camp, Botswana

The camp is located in an unlimited non-public reserve of 180,000 hectares and affords rigorously managed private interactions with a herd of rescued and rehabilitated elephants.

Abu Camp’s imaginative and prescient is to return elephants that have spent a lot of their life in captivity again into the African wild.

The camp’s launch program has offered a wealth of fabric for scientific analysis initiatives that can assist the Botswana authorities in its administration of the nation’s 110,000 elephants – the most important remaining elephant inhabitants on this planet. 5 elephants from the Abu Camp herd have now been launched into the Okavango Delta wilderness space with the co-operation of the Botswana Division of Wildlife and Nationwide Parks.

Friends at Abu Camp are invited to develop into a part of the elephant herd – interacting day by day with the resident elephants; gaining perception into the complicated behavior of the most important mammals on earth; serving to with feeding time, and escorting the elephants on foot as they transfer by the bush.

There are additionally morning and night 4×4 recreation drives, nature walks and mokoro expeditions on provide.

Abu Camp contains six fashionable en-suite ‘Afro-Bedouin’ fashion tents that are constructed on raised platforms and blend-in flawlessly with the pure environment.

Every tent option distinctive vintage fixtures and fittings and a personal elevated teak deck sculpted around a sycamore-fig or jackalberry tree.

The camp’s primary eating and lounge areas additionally boast snug antique furnishings, a well-stocked bar for post-safari sundowners across the camp hearth, and excessive vaulted tenting which opens out onto a tiered teak deck, the proper place for al fresco eating.

Different amenities embrace a library stocked with subject guides and illustrated volumes of the wildlife indigenous to the Okavango Delta, and a secluded plunge pool.

  • Rooms: Six Tented Suites
  • Traveler’s ranking: Good (70%) From 2 evaluations
  • Kids: Finest for 12+
  • Open: All the year

Situated on the sting of an everlasting lagoon in a grove of towering hardwood bushes, Abu Camp is, without doubt, one of the most luxurious and costly camps in Botswana.

For a few years, it was owned and sporadically run by its founder, the charismatic Randall Jay Moore.

Throughout this time it gained fame because the place to experience African elephants in a pristine wilderness atmosphere, and attracted the world’s glitterati.

Its elephant program will now concentrate on elephant conservation and the chance to spend time strolling with them by the bush, observing them up shut within the wild, and attending to know their particular person characters.

Randall Moore has now moved on to pastures new however we do not envisage the upmarket nature (or the worth tag) of Abu disappearing any time quickly, on condition that the camp is now part-owned by Paul Allen (of Microsoft fame) and managed by Wilderness Safaris.

The entire of Abu Camp was rebuilt and refurbished in early 2011 and on our final go to, in April 2013, we have been actually impressed with this now immaculately designed safari lodge, with rooms the dimensions of small residences completed to the very best specs, with high-quality furnishings and repair of the easiest commonplace.

Lodging at Abu Camp consists of simply six tented suites which all face out onto the lagoon.

Their primary design – of timber frames with canvas partitions and with massive mesh home windows that hold bugs out, however, let the breeze in – is comparatively typical of many different safari camps within the Okavango Delta.

The place Abu Camp’s suites differ, nonetheless, is of their décor: everyone is exclusive.

Crew member’s suite of the stretched linearly alongside the financial institution of the lagoon in order that the bedroom, examine space and toilet all confronted out onto the water.

The examine space, with a writing desk and comfy leather-based deckchair affords a wonderful place from which to replace your journey journal or to chill out and skim one of many outdated books offered (circa 1870).

Maybe what most impressed us although have been the glass cupboards set both facets of the desk, every containing numerous native artifacts in addition to samples of rocks and minerals present in southern Africa – it was like having your individual small museum.

Extra virtually, the examine space additionally boasts a wide variety of energy factors for each European and US plugs.

The opposite facet of every suite is taken up with a king-sized mattress and a few chairs, plus a cupboard containing a minibar and tea and low station.

There is no air-conditioning at Abu however it’s hardly wanted given the open nature of the suites.

When it does get actually scorching, a few ceiling followers, one proper above the mattress, do a very good job of conserving the temperature down.

An open doorway, which might be screened by a drop-down canvas curtain, leads from the ‘bedroom’ to the en-suite lavatory.

In its suit, the toilet consisted of dual basins set in a black marble unit beneath a big mirror. There was a big stroll-in bathe right here, too, in addition to a whole lot of hanging house and a baggage rack, whereas a separate room with a door housed the bathroom.

A sliding door from the bathe opened onto the L formed veranda, the place there was a clawfoot bathtub. As at most camps, there are some complimentary toiletries offered, plus there’s a hairdryer.

Across the nook from the bath, the picket veranda extends to the entrance of every suite, which, relying on the water ranges has water from the lagoon lapping proper as much as its stilts.

With some actually snug sala beds, it is an excellent place to chill out and take within the birdlife. Friends within the honeymoon suite have their very own non-public plunge pool, too.

Making good use of a pure useful resource, the suites are linked by elephant dung pathways. This will likely sound disagreeable however when compacted it makes for a comfortable, snug, and nice stroll versus mud and sand.

Abu Camp’s split-level primary space may be very spectacular certainly. We’re informed it was designed with ‘free-flow’ as its inspiration and the color scheme of beige and greys taken from the elephants. It’s all very up to date.

The open nature of the camp implies that its elevated place gives nice views throughout the floodplains.

On the very coronary heart of it is a large termite mound – not surprisingly that is the very first thing that catches your eye you if you enter camp! Subsequent to it is a small, open-air lounge with a number of cozy sofas and chairs.

From this central spot, the principle camp amenities radiate out throughout decks at numerous ranges, every with about three to 4 steps separating them.

The higher most deck has a big lounge divided by the fashionable but snug sofas and chairs into a number of small non-public lounge areas.

It additionally has the principle eating room to the again. Right here tables might be laid out for one sociable gathering or very simply into particular person tables for personal eating – whichever is most well-liked. That is additionally the place you can find a big tea and low station.

One other deck is normally used solely for personal eating/seating. The bottom degree results in the fireplace pit the place breakfast is commonly served. That is additionally a beautiful spot for pre and put up dinner drinks.

An extra deck protrudes out in the direction of the floodplain the place you can find the viewing scope and can also be one other spot used for eating.

Abu Camp must be one of the vital versatile and laid again when it comes to timings and areas for meals and drinks, that we all know of within Botswana!

Barely away from the principal space in the library. Typically, when speaking about ‘libraries’ at safari camps, we’re referring to a glorified bookcase; not so at Abu Camp.

Theirs is essentially the most complete assortment of truth and fiction (of each Africana and extra normal literature) that we now have ever seen at a safari lodge.

Eating well also be organized right here. There may be additionally a ‘communications center’ room with a laptop computer discretely positioned to permit visitors who want to contact base with the skin world to take action, whereas those that don’t want to can put it out of their minds.

As you may count on from a lodge part-owned by the co-founder of Microsoft, the web connectivity is superb and people with their very own moveable machine have entry to WiFi all through the principle space. There may be additionally a TV/DVD participant discreetly hidden away.

Down at floor degree, and set to the facet of the principle space, is the swimming pool with a picket deck set with a couple of recliners.

Barely additional again there may be additionally an easy health club with a treadmill, rowing machine, and some free weights, however, virtually as a reminder of extra hedonistic pleasures, there’s a big pizza oven simply outdoors the door.

Right here, underneath the steering of Abu’s chef, visitors can create their very own masterpiece.

Though actions at Abu Camp embrace recreation drives, evening drives, boat journeys, guided walks, and mokoro journeys, the principle exercise is using and strolling with the habituated elephant herd.

Abu Camp is the one place within the Okavango Delta the place you may really experience the elephants; certainly, the herd is sort of as well-known because of the lodge itself.

Within the mornings, visitors collaborating in an elephant experience typically begin the day with a lightweight breakfast on the enclosure, the place they’re launched to the herd.

This occurs each different day; in any other case, the breakfast is taken by the camp hearth with the remainder of the visitors.) At this level, the elephants are sometimes chained by one leg whereas they themselves are fed.

That is the type of restraint adopted when the vet comes to provide them their verify-ups, so it helps to get the animals used to the system; it additionally helps the handlers prepared the animals for the day’s actions.

The exercise itself takes about two hours. Friends both experience from camp on the again of an elephant, or stroll alongside them, returning by automobile, or vice versa.

The strolling tempo is sluggish and really relaxed and it is a distinctive manner of experiencing the wilderness. A piece of armed information accompanies all the walks.

Throughout the day it’s potential to hitch the elephants for a mud-bath or a swim after which the afternoon elephant exercise tends to final about one and a half to 2 hours have been there maybe once more the choice to experience or stroll.

For these desirous to spend much more time with the elephants, visitors can sleep underneath the celebs for one night of their keep whereas the elephants slumber under.

A picket platform, The Star Mattress, is ready as much as overlook the elephant’s enclosure and geared up with a really snug king-sized mattress underneath a mosquito internet, with a toilet on a decrease degree.

Previously there have been questions on each the appropriateness of using elephants, and the circumstances the elephants have been saved in.

We due to this fact went to Abu with a really important eye and with a selected curiosity in how the elephants are taken care of.

House for the elephants is a big enclosure subsequent to camp, the place they sleep in the evening, and are fed within the mornings and evenings.

Throughout the day the entire herd is free to roam the encircling wilderness. Every one of the elephants has its personal handler who takes care of that specific pachyderm, and the bond between man and beast is clear.

We have been impressed with the elephants’ circumstances and the degrees of care they obtain.

Certainly, it appeared to us that the elephants of Abu in all probability acquired the identical ranges of care and a spotlight because of the camp’s human guests.

As for the exercise itself, we completely loved our time with the elephants and it is unattainable to not admire how distinctive an expertise it’s.

One level we’d make, nonetheless, is that though this was implausible expertise, we did not see an terrible lot of different recreation whereas at Abu; and traditionally we have discovered this space to have comparatively low recreation densities in contrast with the concessions additional north and east.

Thus come right here for the elephant actions – and count on these to be most of what Abu has to supply.

Abu Camp Overview

With simply six tented suites, Abu Camp may be very unique, and affords excessive ranges of service – it truly is a reduction above most different camps.

Opulence and repair apart, the camp’s main attraction is using or strolling with the resident herd of habituated elephants, novel expertise which, if price range permits, is wonderful.

Observe, nonetheless, that apart from the elephants, wildlife sights within the Abu reserve do not match these within the higher areas of the Okavango Delta.

Abu Camp Geographics

Location: Okavango Delta Safari Reserves, Botswana

Splendid size of keep: We’d advocate a keep of two nights at Abu, benefiting from the elephant exercise and maybe getting out on the water to understand the spectacular panorama.

Instructions: Abu is accessible solely by gentle plane; the airstrip is roughly 20 minutes away from camp by 4WD automobiles.

Ordinary board foundation: Full Board

Meals high quality: On our final go to Abu Camp the meals were glorious. Not solely did it style implausible however it was additionally offered immaculately and at all times by somebody with a smile.

A lightweight breakfast is served on the elephants’ enclosure or across the camp hearth; cereals, fruit, and quite a lot of muffins, croissants, pancakes, and scones with jams and numerous spreads are all on provide.

Lunch started with a green-pea soup with freshly baked bread rolls. The primary course was a tasty beef lasagna, accompanied by an inexperienced salad with loads of dressing.

Tea was a feast to behold! Mini lemon meringue pies, butternut and leek tartlets, meringue circumstances crammed with plums and cream, luxurious chocolate cake, watermelon, and some different goodies, all accompanied by freshly made lemonade and iced tea. An actual deal with.

For dinner, we began with the selection of a really tasty curried butternut soup or halloumi spring rolls.

The primary course was beef medallions, cooked to perfection, with rosti potatoes (or rooster with onion sauce and wild rice), each accompanied by carrots and broccoli. Dessert was a Tarte Tatin with vanilla ice cream.

The number of wine at Abu is diverse and lunch and dinner have been accompanied by a well-suited classic.

Eating fashion: Combination of group eating and particular person tables

Eating areas: Indoor and Outside Eating

Value of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Drinks included: Bottled water, comfortable drinks, native beers and spirits, and a restricted number of (normally) South African crimson and white wines are included. Champagne and imported wines and spirits will price further and should be requested prematurely.

Additional eating information: No, though non-public meals might be organized for particular events on request.

Particular pursuits

Driving holidays: Abu Camp is well-known for its well-known pachyderms and is the place for elephant using in Botswana. Friends are launched to the habituated herd early of their keep earlier than having fun with the distinctive expertise of using and strolling with these unimaginable animals.

Wildlife safaris: Abu Camp is the one place within the Okavango Delta the place you may experience the elephants, a novel alternative to working together with the camp’s resident herd.

Luxurious: Six opulent tents at Abu Camp are individually designed and embellished, all that includes an out of doors copper bathtub and plunge pool. The true luxurious for a lot of although, is the chance to work together immediately with the Abu herd of elephants, heading out on foot or mekoro with them.

Children in Abu Camp

Perspective in the direction of youngsters: Kids of 12 years of age and over are accepted at Abu Camp.

For kids aged 8–12, a personal automobile should be booked prematurely. Kids underneath Eight years of age are normally not accepted however this may be thought of on a case-by-case foundation.

Property’s age restrictions: No youngsters underneath Eight years of age (until by prior association).

Particular actions & providers: None

Equipment: None

Usually advisable for youngsters: We don’t assume that Abu is appropriate for younger youngsters.

Notes: Abu is a really open camp and the elephants typically wander by the camp and on the paths, so mother and father should supervise their youngsters always.

Infrastructure of the Abu Camp

Communications: There may be Wi-Fi in the principle space and a ‘communications center’ with a laptop computer linked to the web-accessible for visitors’ use. Web connectivity is superb right here.

TV & radio: There’s a TV saved discretely in the principle space of the camp which receives plenty of satellite tv for pc channels and can be utilized to point out DVDs from the library.
health & security

Malarial safety advisable: Sure

Medical care: There are educated first-aiders on website and for critical incidents, there’s a medical air-evacuation system in place. Please notice that it is just potential to fly out of camp throughout daylight because the bush airstrips shouldn’t have any lighting in the evening.

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Safety measures: Friends are escorted to and from their rooms after darkish as harmful wildlife is thought to wander by the camp. A radical security briefing is given on arrival. A fog-horn in every tent is on the market to summon assist in case of a medical emergency.

Hearth security: There are hearth extinguishers around camp and hearth meeting factors are recognized to visitors once they first arrive.

Disabled entry: Not Potential

Laundry amenities: Included

Cash: No trade amenities are supplied at Abu. There are small safes in all of the rooms, in addition to a bigger one within the workplace.

Accepted cost on the location: MasterCard and Visa bank cards are accepted; Diners and Amex aren’t.

Money within the type of South African rand, GB Sterling, US {dollars}, euros, and Botswana pula is accepted.

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