The iconic Abu Camp is synonymous with the African elephant and one of Botswana's most luxurious camps. Abu Camp lies on a private concession in one of the most beautiful corners of the Okavango, with quintessential delta backdrops and good game viewing. With just six luxury suites, each with a private pool, this is an intimate camp. The elephant interaction experiences offer an up close and personal understanding of these majestic mammals.

Abu Camp is set in a pristine pocket of riverine forest in a private reserve of 180 000 hectares (400 000 acres) in the northern Okavango Delta. The camp also offers morning and afternoon game drives, night drives and walks to view the abundance of fauna and flora in the area. During the seasonal floods of the Okavango Delta guests take to the waters in the mokoros. The landscape of the concession incorporates more variety than some areas of the Delta with permanent water and ranges from palm islands and channels in the north to Kalahari sand in the west where the Kalahari apple leaf proliferates. You will see buffalo, lechwe, wildebeest, impala and giraffe, zebra and warthog. Lions move through the concession and leopard are seen. For bird watchers, 380 species have been recorded in the concession.

Abu Camp was where Africa’s first elephant back safaris were pioneered in the Okavango Delta seventeen years ago. Elephant back safaris were stopped in December 2016 and the focus of the experience has moved to conservation and awareness of these magnificent giants. Abu Camp allows guests to interact with the resident elephant herd, meeting each individual and journeying into the complex herd behaviour. Each pachyderm has a fascinating individual story and character. Some were rescued from captivity or as orphans. The herd’s offspring will never experience life in captivity; all Abu herd calves have been sired by wild males and the aim is to reintroduce them to independent life in the wild. The Abu herd is free to come and go as they wish at any time and at night they voluntarily returning to the boma.

The camp is an acknowledged leader in the industry for its excellent standards of service, luxury and comfort. The six suites’ imaginative use of canvas and pole creates a unique style of tent with high ceilings and wide and airy spaces, blending in flawlessly with the natural surroundings. Each has its own completely unique décor and its own private elevated teak deck from which to drink in the awe-inspiring lagoon scenery. An outdoor copper bathtub, private plunge pool, indoor and outdoor shower and a lounge with writing desk complete the suites. There is no air conditioning but the large mesh windows allow cooling breezes in whilst keeping insects out and the ceiling fans cool the room during the hottest months.

Abu Camp tents are linked with the main lounge and dining area by a well lit pathway surfaced with elephant dung: this sounds unappealing but the dried material is clean and comfortable underfoot. The main unit’s high vaulted tenting opens out onto a tiered teak deck surrounding a giant termite mound, one of the characteristic sights of the Okavango Delta. The lounge is furnished with comfortable antique furnishings and features an absorbing library of field guides and illustrated volumes. A bar provides drinks and cocktails for post-safari sundowners around a camp fire while most of the meals are taken outdoors on the deck. Nearby a sheltered pool enables guests to cool off on hot days.

The culinary delights will be a highlight of your stay at Abu. Brunches are light and salads, mezze platters and an ostrich burger are on offer. Vegetables come from a hydroponics farm near Maun so are locally produced with a low carbon footprint. Dinner is more formal and dining at Abu is an experience about more than just the food: there are many areas around camp to dine and bush dining next to the Abu herd is an unforgettable adventure.
Elephant welfare is at the heart of Abu. Veterinary care is always available and the elephants have formed deep bonds with the handlers who monitor them carefully for any signs of stress. Guests become part of the elephant herd during their stay: watching evening feeding, sharing the simple joy of a frolicking youngster and walking alongside these megaliths as they stride through the bush, but the experiences are all meticulously planned to account for the psychology of these sensitive creatures.

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Abu Camp

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