Duba Plains is reputed to be Botswana's most remote safari camp, located on a private 77,000-acre concession run by the Okavango Community Trust. Sister camp Duba Expedition camp is around 2 kilometres away but will move in December 2017 to a new unexplored area of Duba, reopening in April 2018.
This area of the northern Delta consists of wide open plains and grassland and is excellent for seeing herds and big cats. You won't find mobile reception here, although limited wifi is available in guest rooms.
Originally the Duba Plains Camp was used as a filming base by owners the Jouberts, before becoming an explorer style tented camp - attracting photographers and serial safari go-ers. Owned by Great Plains Conservation, the Jouberts have made many a documentary from Duba Plains and the interaction between buffalo and the Tsaro lion pride has made the camp somewhat famous. However in 2014 the lion pride split, forming two prides, and so this famous 'face-off' is no longer a given, and interaction between the two is rather more unpredictable although you will still see a wonderful array of wildlife during your stay.
Duba Plains has undergone a major refurbishment. There are five vast guest tents of 120sqm, in addition to a two bedroom tented suite, each offering guests their own private plunge pools, rosewood decks, inside and outside showers, sumptuous bath, outside sala bed, Canon professional camera equipment and Swarovski binoculars.
The central mess tent has private and communal dining areas, interactive show kitchen, wine cellar, library and media room. From here the extended deck is the camp's focal point, with a fire pit, day beds and dining areas overlooking the swamp.
We would recommend a stay of three nights to get the most from Duba Plains. You access the camps by flying to the local airstrip and then transferring by 4x4, about a 7 minute minutes drive. Flights from Maun are 40 minutes, and 1 hr 20 from Kasane.
Sister camp, Duba Expedition Camp, opened in April 2016 and has enjoyed rave reviews. Duba Expedition Camp has six stunning tents under light cotton canvas, each with en-suite facilities and large guest sleeping areas. The site is set on the banks of a floodplain and river with glorious west facing views and easy access to water based activities (subject to flood levels) and the main island where guides spend most of their game viewing drives.
This new fixed-base camp has tents powered by solar, inverter and battery systems, which supply lights, fans and charging facilities for cameras, etc. The main area is a large, relaxed combination of dining and lounge tents shaded by mature ebony trees with a large fire-pit.
The style of the camp is a 1920s high-end expedition style.
Duba Plains - each of the tents has a lounge area, with place to write and do your photographic downloads, as well as the opportunity for private dining in your tent. Each has a private verandah plus beautifully appointed en-suite facilities consisting of flush loo, double basins and indoor and outdoor showers and luxurious baths. Ceiling fans and careful design maintain comfortable climate for rest and relaxation. Guests can enjoy their own private plunge pool and outdoor under cover sala/day rest area. The main area consists of a large raised dining room, and comfortable lounge with private dining areas, wine cellar and library, with ample space for guests to either get away and be private or be all together if they want to. Guests staying at the Duba Plains Suite automatically enjoy the services of a private game drive vehicle with their own guide as well as a private butler and chef. The camp’s centre-point is the gathering place of all bush experiences - the fire place - which sits on an extended deck into the swamp.
Game drives (day & night) take place in adapted vehicles. Duba Plain’s Toyota Land Cruisers are aptly named ‘Swamp Vehicles’ due to their extra-high suspension and absolutely huge tyres uniquely designed to traverse the floodplains. These are, of course, open-sided, canopied and customised for photographers (fold-down screens, raised roofs, photographic bars, multi-plug inverters). Seating only four to six guests on each vehicle, the Cruisers are fully stocked with drinks and snacks. Photographic safaris are a focus so each tent has the latest Canon camera and lenses as a package for guests to use or try out. Images are downloaded and presented for them to take away at no additional charge. While the focus remains on the most comfortable times of day (early to mid-morning and late afternoon to evening) for drives, it is very common in Duba Plains to spend full days out in the field, having brunch delivered to the vehicles because the wildlife is so good and the focus is on finding and spending time with these extraordinary experiences. The schedule is flexible and guests are encouraged to create their own itinerary according to their interests. Very often, safaris will continue into the night in search of nocturnal species. Duba guides are also keen walking trackers and mekoro (canoe) specialists as well as birders and as such guests are encouraged to experience everything on offer.