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“Amazing Duba” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Duba Expedition Camp

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Duba Expedition Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Kendal, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
90 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Amazing Duba”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2012

We stayed at Duba for the 2nd time this year in June and enjoyed it even more than the time before. Lions and buffalos on form, particularly the interaction early in the morning in the mist. James 007 was excellent. The new bridge has made a big difference beacuse water levels can be very high. We really appreciated the flexiblity of meals etc. because unfortunately this wasn't the case when we were at Selinda and so we haven't been back to that camp.
Some discussion when we were there amongst the staff that the camp could be due for an upgrade. In our view this would be very sad, please don't turn Duba into a Kruger style experience. This is Botswana for goodness sake and it doesn't get much better than Northern Botswana if you are interested in animals in 'real' Africa.
The moral of the story is to treat each camp separately when booking a safari. We've already booked Duba for 2013 which will of course be our third visit.

Room Tip: Only 6 and all are good!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GreatPlainsConservat, Director of Sales at Duba Expedition Camp, responded to this review, September 6, 2012
Dear Ian C

Thank you so so much for you recent feedback - we truly enjoy hearing back from guests who have stayed at our camps

Needless to say we can't wait to have you back for your 3rd visit!

Great Plains greetings
Hilton
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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147 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
McLean, Virginia
Level Contributor
106 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2012

This intimate camp for 12 is set on this very unusual island in the Okavango delta. If you expect to see a great variety of game you will be disappointed. Although the birds are prolific and the Red Lechwe and Kudu well represented the the only real "game" in town is the lion -buffalo confrontation. The large herd of 1600 buffs and the 17 strong pride of lions who hunt during day time, who do not stalk but confront the buffs at every opportunity, the long patient wait while the buffaloes rest and the lions dose is really meant for the inveterate safari addict who has seen the usual safari fare and wants something unusual. The camp is exceptionally well run and managed. They happily send out lunch into the bush if requested. It is almost a necessity when you are camped out watching the lions watching the buffalo herd and contemplating their next move. What is unusual for the bush lunch however is tables with table cloths and chairs, a full bar of your favorite beverages, hot soup and a selection of salads and meats served 10 minutes drive away from the lions. Recommend it highly.

Room Tip: The closer to the main camp the better. We had tents 1 & 2 and they were perfect!
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Kwando
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2012

All the good stuff said it true. We paired with Selina camp and was a lovely combination and great experience. Lion and buffalo interaction is a must see interaction. Gourmet food in the bush! Hot showers. Outdoor shower. Fast turnaround laundry service. Hot water bottles placed in your bed during cool nights to warm your bed up for you. They will bring your lunch out to you in the bush if there is something going on you dont want to miss anything - and there will be. Be prepared for crossing water in the land rovers since it is a delta. People from Botswana are good natured, intelligent and friendly. Port and sherry bottles in your room. Go in winter - no bugs or snakes, good temp.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 91528
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
35 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2012

After having been on several other safaris over the years - I never thought I would see lions swimming across the water! The interaction between the lions and Cape Buffalo was so unexpected from what I had seen before. Duba Plains is a one-of-a-kind safari camp!

The staff at Duba Plains is fantastic - warm greetings, great guides, & fabulous food!
I do agree with one of the other reviews -- don't expect great lighting in the bathroom, but that's easy to forgive when the beds are comfortable and there is a "bush baby" (hot water bottle) warming your bed during the cool winter nights.

I really enjoyed the after dinner time around the camp fire. Staff shared stories about the history of the people of Botswana.

Duba Plains is now on my repeat list!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank cbtravels_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
47 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2012

I won't even be able to do this place justice by writing a good review. It was one of the best experiences of my entire life. My only suggestion to the owners would be to add more details on their website on what to expect during your stay. I wish they posted what they had in the room. My primary concern was the water because I was afraid of getting sick. They filter their water, so, you can brush your teeth with the water from the faucet and they provide bottled drinking water in the room. They also have plenty of hot water. My husband and I both took hot showers both morning and night, no problem. They have a small safe for valuables, hand weights, a Pilates mat, nature books so you know what you’re looking at out there, a checklist of animals you’ll want to see, one pair of decent quality binoculars, two showers (indoor and outdoor) and double sinks. Don’t expect a lot of light, I was having a little trouble seeing myself in the mirror because of the low voltage lighting. However, if you need to use a hairdryer, they will power up the generator for you. They will give you a flashlight if one isn't already in your room, too. No need to pack one. The beds were very comfortable, we all had great sleep except when the hippos and elephants woke us up grunting and eating. The other really great thing is that they put a "bush baby" if your bed, that way, when you get in, it is already warm and cozy. If you're afraid of bugs, I would recommend you go during their winter, I barely saw any bugs the entire time we were there. The staff were amazing, they really went out of their way to make our experience enjoyable. The food was so much better than I thought. I was afraid I would have trouble finding something to eat. Instead, I found creative, healthy cuisine! Even our snacks were healthy, it was fantastic. Most things were cooked, so, my fear of getting sick was instantly erased. We tried the local fish, which was a delicious white fish. The common areas were very nice and the common bathroom was so nice I had to take a picture of it! Expect that you may be out all day on safari if you see exciting stuff, I wasn’t totally prepared for being out there all day. Otherwise, you’ll be back in camp by 10 or 11 after the first game drive and then you’ll go out again around 3pm. When we were out all day, they were so nice, they actually drove lunch out to us because they knew we were hungry! We had an amazing, 4 star lunch underneath a beautiful big tree. Overall, this was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone.

Room Tip: All the rooms are just fine, Room 1 is closest to the lodge and Room 6 was the furthest.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank vacagirl79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2012

So many things to say about Duba Plains. Normally after 3 days in a camp, you are looking forward to the next camp but when I was at DP, I didn't want to leave. We had an amazing time at Duba even if we didn t see any kills or much interaction between lions and buffalos. The Tsaro pride split a few years ago into 2 smaller prides. Consequently, they are "less efficient" in hunting buffalos. Before going to Duba, we were concerned because apparently in June there is a risk that the buffalos could cross to an island called Paradise island where cars can not go due to the water levels. Hopefully we were lucky. When we arrived, the buffalos were still at Duba Plains

We really love the camp. It has the feeling of being a true safari camp (DP is not a demesurate and over luxurious premium camp. Personnaly I hope that DP will never change). It is a place for safari lovers who want to spend as much time as possible in game drives. Everything at DP is focused on the safari experience. To give you a few examples, after arriving at 1.30 at DP, Lizzy gave us the option to go on a game drive whenever we wanted, so we left the camp at 2.30. She told us that if the 2 other guests with who we were sharing the car wanted to leave later, it was not an issue, they would send another car later to drop them later in our car. Same during the full days we spent there, we had the option to come back to camp and have lunch there or to have picnic in the bush. The staff is fully flexible.

The camp manager - Lizzy and the staff were great. I would have loved to have James 007 as a guide but Moise was excellent. However i have to say that we met in other camps some guests who went to Duba a few days before us and who did not enjoy their experience in DP. I was even advised by one guest to change my itinerary (i am so glad, i stuck to DP). Apparently when they went, there was much more water and according to them, they didn t see much. Also, I believe that DP is not a place for people on honeymoon or people who want a "more relaxing" safari trying to see as much as possible in a limited timeframe. But if you want to spend as much time as possible in game drives and dont mind to spend maybe the whole day/afternoon next to a pride of lions hoping that sthg could happen, DP is defintitely the place to go. Duba Plain was the highlight of our trip and one of my best safari experience.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank damien90210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 26, 2012

Knowing what kind of an experience it could be, we went to Duba Plains with high hopes – however, not with high expectations – and we were not disappointed. Quite on the contrary! Everyone knows, or should know, that Duba Plains is t h e place to got to if you want to have a really good chance to see lions bring down a buffalo in broad daylight. As always in the wild: there are no guarantees for anything. But if you are fortunate enough to actually witness a kill – that’s just so awesome. You watch the lions stalking and attacking and the buffaloes fending them off and chasing them away again and again. For a long while it looks as though the lions are fighting a losing battle and then it actually happens and it just takes your breath away. We were all speechless for almost an hour or so. Some of the ladies on the other truck had to be reminded by their ranger to take pictures as they were so overwhelmed by what they saw (and heard).

At Duba Plains they are really going out of their way to give you an opportunity to see a kill. The lions are always on the prowl and even if they are not successful it is so fascinating to watch them try to catch some buffalo. The guests can decide to extend the morning game drive for as long as they think it should be (it usually ends around 11am) if it looks like something is going to happen. Lunch is then served on the plains and you can enjoy your meal right in the middle of nowhere. We did so on the day of the kill and stayed out until late in the afternoon.

Be prepared to see some hard-hitting action and also - not to see a kill. It is not a show they could organise but real life (and death). Although game is not as diverse as in other places in and around the Delta you will have wonderful opportunities to watch lions – lots of lions – and take marvellous pictures of them walking through water, playing or just lying in wait. We’ve seen so many lions, it would last for a lifetime. Other than that you will surely see many red lechwes, tsessebes and reed bucks. The birdlife is also quite fantastic. It is a particularly good place to see some slaty egrets.

The drives are also quite different as the vehicles will have to go through really deep water many, many times. We got seriously stuck in the mud once, but there’s nothing to worry about, help was just round the corner with the other vehicles never being too far away.

Needless to say that all the staff and management did a great job and like the food were absolutely fabulous.

The rooms (luxury tents rather) were spacious but probably need a bit of a facelift. This is however not given to neglect but just due to the fact that Duba Plains is far out in a true wilderness area and exposed to all of nature’s whims (saying all this I must add that there seem to be advanced plans to renovate and redesign the whole camp, thus making it even more attractive). All in all this is a wonderful place with very special people making your stay something to remember for the rest of your lives.

We would always come back at the drop of a hat. Thank you Duba Plains!!!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Lakadima
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Duba Expedition Camp

Property: Duba Expedition Camp
Address: Botswana (Formerly Duba Plains Camp)
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Okavango Delta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #21 of 71 Specialty Lodging in Okavango Delta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Duba Expedition Camp 3.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Duba Expedition Camp - Kwedi Private Concession, Northern Okavango Delta, Botswana. Duba Expedition Camp sits in the heart of classic Okavango Delta habitat. A matrix of palm-dotted islands, flood plains and woodland, the 77,000-acre private concession typifies the region's unique landscape. Located here, exclusively, is the six tent Duba Expedition Camp, a wildlife connoisseur's getaway. Built on a wooded island, connected to the prolific wildlife area by an elaborate set of bridges, the area is the base of many famous wildlife documentaries by National Geographic filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert. It is the only camp on the concession, thereby offering guests the ultimate opportunity for private sightings. Duba Expedition Camp, and the Kwedi Reserve, where it is located, is part of a joint venture partnership between Great Plains Conservation and the Okavango Community Trust, the representative body for five villages in the Okavango Panhandle. This partnership ensures that these communities receive tangible and substantial benefit from using their ancestral land for wildlife conservation. Botswana is a leader in such partnerships, and our working relationship is a testament to this long-standing example of success in this area.The intimate camp consists of six expedition-style tents of light airy canvas on slightly raised decking, each with views of the surrounding floodplain. Each tent has a small desk and private verandah plus en-suite facilities consisting of flush loo, double basins and indoor shower. Fans and careful open-air design maintain comfortable climate for rest and relaxation. The main area is under sweeping marquis canvas, on raised decking and consists of an open-concept dining and lounge area which opens to the outdoors on all sides. In the evenings, the fire pit is always a popular spot to enjoy an Amarula and recount the day's events. Duba Expedition Camp prides itself on its extraordinary wildlife experiences, and rightly so. The homogenous experience of wildlife is renowned with regular sightings of a diverse range of species, including large herds of Red lechwe along with Greater kudu, tsessebe and even giraffe which in previous years has been a rare sighting. Of course, elephant and hippo trudge through the swamps happily, and are regularly seen. Leopard, and nocturnal species such as Brown hyena can be sighted as well. Wildlife is a regular sight right in camp! Birds abound, and the area is reputed as a birdwatcher's paradise. Okavango 'specials' include the rare Wattled crane, Pel's Fishing owl, White-backed Night heron and Marsh owl. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Duba Plains Camp Hotel Okavango Delta
Duba Expedition Camp Botswana/Okavango Delta

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