The Okavango Delta is renowned as a world-class wilderness of lagoons and waterways ...
Little Tubu: Our full report
Little Tubu will open on 1 June 2013, overlooking a grassy floodplain from Hunda Island deep in the heart of the private Jao Concession (NG25). A member of the Expert Africa team will be out to visit this brand new camp once it’s up and running. But in the meantime we popped in to see its building progress in April 2013, whilst on a recent stay at neighbouring camp - Tubu Tree. So this is what we know about it so far.
Little Tubu is situated adjacent to its sister camp, Tubu Tree, just further along the same walk way. 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 for 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 tent will have an en-suite bathroom complete with shower and flush-toilet. At the front of each chalet there will be a private deck which will have some comfortable furniture on which to relax while watching game move past camp.
Because this concession is so wet for so much of the year the game is often quite spread out, particularly during the months of March to September when the flood waters are at their highest. That means that this isn’t necessarily a concession to visit if you’re looking for a lot of big cats. Having said that, Hunda Island is where most of the concessions game drives are focused and, as it is the largest area of permanent dry land, it attracts animals such as giraffe, zebra, kudu and elephant. Hunda also has a growing reputation for its leopard sightings. So Little Tubu (along with sister camp Tubu Tree) are the two camps with immediate access to the best game viewing in the Jao concession. However, Little Tubu should really be noted 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.
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 – is 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 Tubu Tree and Little Tubu.
Having said that, day and night game drives will also be available from Little Tubu and with easy access to large portions of Hunda Island, Little Tubu will be able to conduct drives on a relatively large chunk of dry land.
Our viewWe’re very excited about this new offering from the same team that runs Little Tubu’s sister camp, Tubu Tree. We’ve always been really impressed with Tubu Tree Camp, which offers a similar vantage point and activities. Until a member of the Expert Africa team has visited the lodge in person, after it has officially opened, 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 is usually via a light-aircraft transfer to Hunda airstrip. It is approximately ten minutes’ drive between the airstrip and camp. It can sometimes be accessed by boat from Jao, Kwetsani or Jacana, depending on the water levels.
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, and then only if the entire camp is reserved for exclusive use. Note that minimum age requirements also 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.
Equipment: No special equipment is available.
Generally recommended for children: We think that Little Tubu is suitable for more mature children over the age of 13 years. There are other camps more suited to younger children. Note that if you are family party of six with young children this would be an ideal camp to stay at. Since you would already by using the whole camp, you would have ultimate flexibility, private drives and at no extra cost.
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 or fax and no email at Tubu Tree. Communication is maintained with the head office in Maun via radio.
TV & radio: There is no TV or radio.
Health & safety
Malarial area: 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 a medical 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 if required.