Little Tubu is located in the Okavango Delta
Little Tubu: Our full report
Little Tubu opened on 1 June 2013, overlooking a grassy floodplain from Hunda Island deep in the heart of the private Jao Reserve (NG25). A member of the Expert Africa team will be out to visit this brand new camp soon, but in the meantime, we popped in to see its building progress in April 2013.
Little Tubu is adjacent to its sister camp, Tubu Tree, which we’ve often visited. They’re separate camps, but joined by a wooden walkway. Shaded, like the whole of Hunda Island, by a riverine forest, the new camp’s main area, including the dining area, is slightly elevated in the lower tree canopy to allow great views across the floodplain. The bar area, set into a large waterberry tree, will further add to this tree-house feel. Away from the main area guests will also have access to a private and secluded swimming pool.
Little Tubu will accommodate a maximum of just six guests in three tented chalets, all with timber frames, canvas walls and gauze-mesh windows. Each chalet will have an en-suite bathroom complete with shower and flush toilet. A private deck at the front of each chalet will have some comfortable furniture on which to relax while watching game move past camp.
Given the amount of water around Little Tubu during the dry season, the emphasis for activities here – much like the other camps in the Jao concession – will be on boating, mokoro and fishing excursions. When the water levels are at their highest, mokoro excursions will leave from the front of camp; once the waters recede the mokoro station will be moved to a spot just a short drive from both the camp.
Because the Jao Reserve is so wet for much of the year, the game is often quite spread out, particularly between March and September when the flood waters are at their highest. However, Little Tubu (together with its sister camp, Tubu Tree) is located on Hunda Island, the largest area of permanent dry land in the reserve, giving it immediate access to the best game viewing in the reserve. Most game drives (day and night) focus on the island, which attracts animals such as giraffe, zebra, kudu and elephant, and has a growing reputation for sightings of leopards.. However, Little Tubu should really be considered as a great place to spend a couple of nights in order to take in the classic Okavango Delta landscape: vast floodplains, big skies and small islands formed from ancient ant-hills now vegetated and inhabited mainly by antelope.
Our viewWe’re very excited about this new offering from the same team that runs Little Tubu’s sister camp, Tubu Tree. Over the years we’ve been increasingly impressed with Tubu Tree Camp, which offers a similar vantage point and activities. Until a member of the Expert Africa team has visited Little Tubu Camp in person, please don’t hesitate to give us a call for a progress update or to ask any specific questions about the lodge or area around Little Tubu.
Ideal length of stay: We’d recommend a stay of two to three nights at Little Tubu, depending on the time of year you intend to visit.
Directions: Access to camp will normally be via a light-aircraft transfer to Hunda airstrip, from where it’s approximately ten minutes’ drive to camp. Depending on water levels, the camp can sometimes be accessed by boat from Jao, Kwetsani or Jacana camps.
Owner: Marketed and managed by Wilderness Safaris
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Dining style: Group Meals
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Bottled water, soft drinks, local beers and spirits and a limited selection of (usually) South African red and white wines are included. Champagne and imported wines and spirits will cost extra and may need to be requested in advance.
Attitude towards children: Children over the age of 12 years are welcome at Little Tubu. The camp may accept children between the ages of 6 and 12 years old, but private activities must be booked and these will be at an extra cost. Children younger than six may be accepted by special arrangement, but only if the entire camp is reserved for exclusive use. Note that minimum age requirements mean that children are allowed on boat trips from the age of six years, but on mokoro trips only from the age of 13 years.
Special activities & services: There are no special activities or services.
Equipment: No special equipment is available.
Generally recommended for children: Little Tubu is such a small camp that a party of six people, including children, could have exclusive use of it without any extra charges – making it a great choice for one large family or group. Since you would be using the whole camp, you would have ultimate flexibility and private drives at no extra cost. Note however that one adult would have to share with one child as tents do not accommodate two adults and a child. Generally we think that Little Tubu is suitable for more mature children over the age of 13 years. There are other camps in the Okavango more suited to younger children.
Notes: Little Tubu is unfenced, and dangerous wildlife, including leopard, are known to regularly move through camp. The buildings are all raised high on stilts with only basic railings, which are mostly open except for the handrail. The pool is unfenced. Children must be under the constant supervision of their parents.
Power supply: Solar Power
Communications: There is no cellphone reception, direct phone, fax or email at Little Tubu. Communication is maintained with the head office in Maun via radio.
TV & radio: There is no TV or radio.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: The nearest doctor is in Maun. All management and guides are first-aid trained and medical evacuation is available in case of emergencies. There is a nurse on call (via radio) 24 hours a day.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: Guests are escorted to their rooms after dark as dangerous wildlife is known to wander through the camp. A thorough safety briefing is given on arrival. ‘Fog horns’ are provided in the rooms to summon help in case of emergency.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: A laundry service is included. Laundry is collected in the morning and usually returned the same day, weather permitting. For cultural reasons and because the clothing is generally hand washed, the staff do not wash underwear. Detergent is provided in each chalet for guests who wish to do a little hand washing.
Money: No exchange facilities are offered at Little Tubu. There are small safes in all the rooms, as well as a larger one in the office.
Accepted payment on location: MasterCard and Visa credit cards are accepted; Diners and Amex are not. Cash in the form of South African rand, GB sterling, US dollars, euros and Botswana pula is accepted.