Reviews of Tubu Tree Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Phenyo, our guide, gave us the moon
The camp setting among the marula trees is wonderful. Family tent, recently added, is outstanding. Although the wildlife was slightly quieter compared to the two other camps, it was totally compensated by the skills and kindness of our guide, Phenyo. Given that it was our third camp and we had been fortunate to see a lot of animals at the first two camps, we agreed with him to focus on quality rather than quantity of sightings. We were not disappointed. Phenyo was able to find a leopard by "collaborating" with a couple of giraffes who seemed to stare at something...well that was a female leopard on a tree.
The only minor improvement would be to be able to get cold water in the shower during the day given that it was very hot. We could only get cold water early morning and in the evening.
Good camp but few animals
The camp and staff at Tubu Tree are great. They made a real effort for our honeymoon (and were the only camp to have taken this information into account before we arrived - even though we told the other camps). They gave us the gorgeous honeymoon suite complete with 'hidden bedded terrace' and his and hers outside showers and turning our room into a 'candlelit' retreat after dinner on our first night. This was very special. The atmosphere at the camp is intimate and relaxed and the staff very friendly. We would like to give the waitress Juliette a special mention.
The main reason why we are only giving this camp a rating of 'average' is because of the lack of game. There is not a lot the camp can do about this and it may be worse this year due to the lack of water. However, our guide was not very good at handling this with us. Actually because we had seen so much at the other camps we were not too bothered and told him this when he picked us up from the airport. We indicated strongly that we had heard that there were hyena pups and that we really wanted to see them with their parents. For the first 2 drives we were with 4 other people and so we were happy to go along with what they wanted and indeed on the first night we got to see 1 hyena pup briefly.
However, on the second day, when we were lucky enough to be on our own with the guide and he was generous to give us extra time (as our morning drive had been cut short because of flights) he did not really give us options of what we could do e.g. we could have gone boating or done birding but he seemed hell bent on tracking down leopard (even though we weren't really that bothered). We ended up going on a fruitless search for an elusive leopard and coming back so late that we missed seeing the pups. The following morning the pups were not out of their den.
The highlights of Tubu Tree were the hyena pup, the resident fruit bats and the honeymoon suite.
greatRead more about the whole safari
The Leopard sightings were Awesome
Tuba Tree is famed as amongst safari goers as the best place in the Okavango Delta for leopard sighting, and I can't say that I was at all disappointed. I've never spent so long with a leopard as on my drive after I arrived at Tuba tree. it was on another game drive that I saw two leopards. There was plenty of wildlife around the camp including elephants, greater kudu, red lechwe. bushbuck, and hyenas that tried to join us at dinner table!!! The birding was also superb both on game drives and seen from the camp.
The new tents are spacious and comfortable. There are both outdoor and indoor showers. One can see a lot of wildlife from the deck of his tent. They are equipped with ceiling fans with prevent the tents from getting overly hot during the daytime.
The camp's location is superb as you truly feel surrounded by the Delta. One hears plenty of wildlife at night. You truly feel like you're in the bush.
I have to say that the food was superb at every meal. I would call it nothing less than gourmet in quality. The chef prepared a quiche with chili peppers that was the best quiche I've ever eaten. One is feed no less than seven times a day including the snacks on game drives.
Tuba Tree offers an excellent mixture of land and water activities. I enjoyed the mokoro trip, as well as the speedboat ride in the Delta. I saw plenty of aquatic birds on both trips.
I have to mention that my guide Seretse was superb. He had tremendous enthusiasm for his job, knowledge and was able to explain the ecosystem of the Delta brilliantly.
Tubu Tree - Immersed in the bush
Flying over the Okavango Delta in a Cessna 206 and watching our guide chase four giraffes from the sandy airstrip so that our plane could land set the stage nicely for our stay at Tubu Tree where we were literally immersed in the bush. The tent accommodations were extremely comfortable, the views from the deck were quite nice and I especially liked having an outdoor shower. Every night a “bush baby” (hot water bottle wrapped in sheepskin) was placed in our bed to keep us warm. It worked remarkably well.
Our guide (Phenyo) provided us with various experiences which included observing a leopard tracking a civet, seeing a hyena with two cubs, a speedboat ride to the hippo pool and a late afternoon mokoro ride. The game was quite plentiful on our drives (elephants, zebras, giraffes and wildebeests) and because the vehicles could off-road, we had some very close encounters. We also had a number of animals visit within feet/yards of our tents (elephants, kudu, baboons, warthogs, steenbok).
Tubu Tree Camp celebrated our special occasions one evening with singing (the choir here was outstanding) and cake after dinner and placed hand crafted cards in our tents. At night we played cards in one of our tents and the manager escorted us to our own tent afterwards.
One small issue we encountered at Tubu Tree was a hammering project that was underway upon our arrival / siesta time...definitely detracted from the ambiance and should have been done while the guests were away on drives. Another issue we encountered with Tubu Tree was the condition of the swimming pool. It was quite hot one afternoon and my sister and I wanted to take a swim, but the water was cloudy and uninviting.
P.S. Be sure to observe the luggage specifications. We traveled to Tubu Tree via a Cessna 206 and our duffle bags (correct size) were a tight fit. Also note that the electricity in the tents is used for lighting and charging cell phones and camera batteries (no hairdryers etc.)
Tubu Tree Camp review
Very welcoming camp with a great feel. Management and staff very attentive and friendly.
Fantastic range of mixed activities. Drives, boat and Mekoro.
Camp being upgraded and the room was truly stunning (if that is what rocks your boat!).
A couple great leopard sightings and some great interactive elephants.
My only concern is that the upgrade to the camp is adding a number of rooms and it might lose it's intimate feel (and the island might feel a little more crowded on drives).
The new Tubu Tree
We had a wonderful stay at Tubu Tree.
The camp has been undergoing an expansion and refurbishment and we had been forewarned of this before we travelled. We had been assured that the works were both quiet and unobtrusive and this proved to be the case which was great. This was my second stay at Tubu and the new tents are even nicer than the old ones. They have opted for a very light colour canvas for the tents and light coloured wooden floors which we really liked because it makes the tents feel more spacious and airy.
Staff were professional but friendly and nothing was too much trouble. The two managers (Rauve and Neuman) had been at the camp for 1 month and a few days respectively and hadn't worked together in the past but you would never have been able to tell had we not asked. They were charming, knowledgeable and a good team. Food was excellent and a lot of thought was put into settings for lunches and dinners. (Our first lunch with table set up in the shallow water just outside camp was amazing and so beautiful. It sure beat a Monday at work!)
Guiding was very good. Our guide was Seretse who was a very engaging chap and found us some great sightings. His love for his work was clear, he was knowledgeable and a lot of fun.
The water levels around camp were higher than on my previous visit which we knew would be the case. The guides did warn us that the water levels meant that some routes were too deep underwater to drive which meant that the area for driving was fairly limited. This did not spoil our enjoyment as there was plenty to see (still a great place to see leopard for example) and it meant that we could do a mokoro trip much closer to camp which was both interesting and relaxing.
It will be interesting to see what Tubu is like when it's 3 new tents plus adjoining Little Tubu have opened. It certainly seems to be a popular camp. Oh well, we'll just have to go back and check it out!!
Safari at Tubu Tree
We are a family with two children aged 12 and 13 and spent 3 nights at Tubu Tree at the beginning of January. The lodge managers were friendly, welcoming and extremely well organised so everything ran like clock work whilst there. They gave a us a thorough briefing just after arrival and answered all our questions. During the stay they were attentive to small details such as providing us with refillable waterbottles, making sure the children were always full of food and preparing a special New Year Eve feast with gifts for all. I celebrated my birthday in style with a special candlelit private dinner and a delicious birthday cake. At the end of the stay we had a "behind the scenes" visit to see the workings of the lodge and it made us appreciative of the huge effort by all the staff that is required to keep everything functioning for the clients.
The rooms were private, spacious and very comfortable and we loved the outdoor showers. The children loved having one to themselves! Special notes arrived on our beds each night, there was always hot and cold drinking water available as well as emergency equipment.
The meals were tasty, beautifully prepared and we ate at a large table all together where it was fun to talk to the other guests.
Our experienced guide at the camp was excellent. He was knowledgeable, tireless, fun and truly a pleasure to spend long hours with in the car. Our children really enjoyed his sense of humour, learned a lot about the local people and asked numerous questions. We saw many different animals and were never rushed to get back to camp.
We all loved our stay at Tubu Tree Camp and would highly recommend it.
Tubu Tree Camp review
A beautiful setting with elevated rooms and lovely communal areas. The rooms are smaller than some of the pther camps which did make them feel very hot during the day. The camp was very smoothly run with lots of attention to detail. Our guide Gibson was accommodating to the different wishes of all his guests and was keen to please and learn.
This camp, and it's staff, didn't feel quite as relaxed as the others but it may have been because leopard had been in the camp and the staff were concerned about guests moving from the rooms to the communal areas. The walkways to the rooms would have benefitted from a boardwalk as walking on the dark sand made everything very dirty. The traditional night on Monday was excellent and had a very traditional feel.
The mekoro ride was very relaxing.
Great safari intro at Tubu Tree
A great introduction to my first trip to Africa. I was met at the airstrip by my guide GT (Gin & Tonic) and driven the short distance to camp where i was met by Dan & Charmaine who were great hosts throughout my stay. All the staff were very friendly and the food was excellent, especially after an evening drink at one of the best bars I've had the pleasure of leaning on!
General game viewing was excellent and we had a great sighting of 2 young Leopards on my third day in camp. We caught up with one of them again on a night drive as well as seeing plenty of nocturnal animals including Civet & Gennet. The concession was beautiful and every corner you turned seemed like you had entered a different wilderness, a truly amazing place.
The Monday night meal around the camp fire was especially fun when the staff sang for us and the food & service was very traditional.
Dan kindly spent some time one afternoon showing myself and another guest how to use photoshop to edit all the photos we were taking. On my last full day i was on my own for the afternoon drive so Dan came out to give me some tips which was much appreciated.
GT was a great guide throughout the trip, seeming to find the balance of what everyone wanted.
I did a Mokoro trip one afternoon though it was about 30 minutes from camp so we enjoyed a bit of a game drive as well. A very relaxing way to spend an evening.
I stayed in room 1 and it was extremely comfortable and had a great view. It was kept extremely clean (by them not me) and the laundry service provided works well.
Overall a great trip!