Reviews of Tubu Tree Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Second Visit to a Great Camp
Tubu was a surprise star of our 2010 holiday in the Delta and we were not disappointed by our second visit. Hunda island in April/May is a paradise for game, birds and every aspect of plant and insect life of the delta. The camp is small, intimate, well laid out and wonderfully well run - with a single exception.
To celebrate a special birthday we spent 4 nights here and loved almost every moment. We had saved by getting our long haul flights using air miles and some of the saving was used to have a private guide and vehicle for the duration. The ultimate privilege and we were blessed with a senior and outstanding guide, GT, shipped over from the Premier camp at Jao. The flexibility this allowed us was fantastic and we had 3 full days plus 2 half days of the most exceptional game drives. We saw leopard in a tree, leopard on a termite mound, leopard on a fallen tree and leopard, leopard leopard..... In addition Hunda was teeming with several breeding herds of elephant and exceptional bird sightings at every turn.
Hein and Eloise are a charming, energetic and most likable couple soon to be married. They run the camp like true professionals but seem to have a minor blind spot with the catering. Breakfast, brunch, teas and sundowner nibbles were great but almost every dinner was a disappointment with often meat that was uncuttable/unchewable, over spiced or had not had the small bones removed. Is there a problem in the kitchen they are unable to solve or does it need more hands on quality control? Since they sat down to eat with us every evening they must have known guests were having problems. We very much hope the 'system' can help them solve this problem because, in every other respect, Tubu is a brilliantly well run camp that we will go back to. Is the burden of also being the concession supply center distracting the management from getting their own camp fully 100%?
Tubu Tree Camp review
Brilliant camp! The food and service were amazing and the hard work put in by Eloise was obvious.
Our guide was really good and was full of interesting information.
A good three days - thank you!!
A Close Encounter with Aslan at Tubu Tree
There are so many great memories of this camp. The sheer number of elephants that we saw in the actual camp was extraordinary. At one point I counted 35 of them around our room. We also had a visit on our first day from the Botswana Baboon Olympic Trampoline team who had a training session on the roof of our Meru tented room. It was memorable and fun to listen to, for a while. A quick beating of a stick on the verandah, however, ensured that this was not repeated again during our stay, which in some ways was a pity.
Then there was the male lion. I have seen many and been close to many lions but when one walks right alongside, and I mean right alongside, your open-sided vehicle, so close that you can smell his bad breath, looking as though he has just come off the set of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, there is something which makes you hold your own breath, and sit quite still so that he continues to think you are a fixture of the vehicle. Our guide, Kambango, was remarkably diligent staying well after sundown to ensure that we saw the nocturnal animals that we had tasked him to find. The African "kangaroo" is an amusing little hare which hops along on its hind legs.
Eloise and Hien are efficient hosts and the last meal in Botswana that they laid on for us by the pool was quite special. Thanks are due to them for all their kindness.
A beautiful camp in a beautiful spot (only snag the 2 hour, 4 stop, very bumpy plane journey to get there from Kasane). Quite a walk to our tent which was the furthest away one and there are sometimes elephant, baboons and bushbuck around.
Lovely tent, very comfortable, with indoor and outdoor shower and a relaxing deck. Well designed so it stayed cool during the hot day but not too cold overight. Comfortable, cosy bed with a shelf within the mosquito net to put bedside table sort of things.
The managers Hein and Eloise are very enthusiastic and sociable. The food was simple and good apart from, unfortunately, the main courses. Tea time snacks particularly good!
Excellent game drives and we were particularly lucky with lion and leopard.
We had a fantastic stay at Tubu. We loved being in a small camp and it never felt busy. The camp is lovely and we had some great game and bird sightings.
The main areas and rooms are beautiful. We stayed in room 1 and could not have asked for a more lovely room. The views are great, furnishings very comfortable and the room and bathroom areas were spotlessly clean. The staff clearly take a lot of pride in keeping things nice. Like Chitabe, tents are spread out so you don't see or hear your neighbours and do have privacy.
Our guide was Johnny and he was a lovely chap who always had something interesting to tell us. He was patient with all the animals which we particularly liked - at no point did we feel like we were chasing after anything. It was very much a case of us being in nature and respecting it. We saw a lot more herds of game than at other lodges, even from the deck of our room. Leopard sightings were fantastic. We were sorry to miss lion and cheetah but the leopards more than made up for it. Bird life was fantastic - 95 different birds in 4 days that we noted down and that was just the birds that we saw for long enough to identify them.
We did a mokoro trip which was very relaxing and gave us a feel for what it would be like during flood season. Otherwise all our activities were game drives. If I was being critical, I would say that the drives sometimes seemed a bit short. I am sure that some guests get bored if there isn't much to see on occasion but we are quite happy just being out. The concession is beautiful and very lush.
Food was fantastic - the best of our 3 camps - especially the cakes! All meals were excellent and the dining room area is very nice with good views as is the bar. Staff were lovely. Justin and Jacky are great managers and we could not have asked for better. Their background in hospitality certainly shows - they are excellent at making sure everyone has what they need but are still relaxed and easy to get along with. We never felt fussed over but never wanted for another drink, food etc.
We'd love to go back one day.
Tubu - Where All the Game Is
Another wonderfully run camp. Jackie and Justin are young, imaginative and enthusiastic, delivering a great surprise treat to the guests every day. This great formula, added to the almost wall to wall game on Hunde Island this year, produced a holiday that will never be forgotten.
Surprise bush lunch, surprise bush dinner and a truly memorable traditional evening all combined to great effect. On top of this Izzy managed to find leopard, lion with cubs and even a group of dagga boy Cape buffalos running through water for us to add to the fantastic September birds. We will definitely go back.
Small camp with very hospitable staff
Large areas of Hundu island were inundated by the flood and this impacted on our game viewing. Nevertheless we enjoyed our stay here. Kambango was an excellent guide, and managers Justin and Jackie and all camp staff were very welcoming and hospitable.
Saw a good selection of plains game and a nice sighting of 2 male bushbuck.
Wake up time here was 6am, which seemed to be more sensible that the 5.30 time at the other 2 WS camps, where game drives commenced well before sunrise. Not a complaint, merely an observation.
Good hosts, great views and game.
Our first real camp - with elephants off the veranda - and then a bull elephant in camp - almost too close for the lens I had on my camera.
The staff obviously enjoyed themselves - and that encouraged us to do the same.
Expert Africa comments
This traveller has put some great pictures of his trip to Tubu Tree Camp on Flickr – click here to see them.