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“Remarkable!”

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Great Plains Conservation Duba Plains Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 4, 2013

Duba is a very special place. The camp is small and the service attentive and personal. By the end of our seven day stay we felt like family. OT, Pierre, Antoinette and all the other staff made our stay very comfortable and relaxed. The guides are top notch and know the area and its flora and fauna intimately. Our guide was James who has been guiding here for 17 years. We got to see the amazing interaction between the lions and buffalo for which Duba is renowned. It was quite remarkable!

Room Tip: You may want to stay longer than 3 days if you want to see the lion/buffalo interaction.....
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank stuross
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GreatPlainsConserve, Public Relations Manager at Great Plains Conservation Duba Plains Camp, responded to this reviewResponded October 6, 2013

Thank you for your lovely review Stuart. It was such a pleasure to get to know you and Val over your 7 nights with us. There was definitely something missing after the two of you left and we so look forward to having you back with us again soon. Warm regards from OT, Ceci, Pierre, Antoinette, James and the rest of the Duba team.

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102 - 108 of 160 reviews

Reviewed September 20, 2013

Our family group of five adults arrived at Duba Plains from the excitement and variety of Kwando Lagoon and the tranquil atmosphere of Xigera. We hoped to witness encounters between Lions and Buffalo and were not disappointed. This is a very special place which ticked all the boxes for us. The surrounding landscape is beautiful. The camp facilities are excellent with just a few minor suggestions for improvement. All the staff were top flight and professional with constant good humour. Our guide, Kops, has that rare combination of passionate enthusiasm, endless patience, deep knowledge of his environment and a super-keen eye and ear. Our many memorable moments were in large part due to his skill and dedication.

We spent time with various groups of lions each day. We even started to identify them as individuals. We had many lovely encounters with frolicking cubs at endless play amongst sleepy adults. We watched the cut and thrust of finishing off an early morning's kill. And then, on our last day, we all felt the time was right for a very early start. Kops found them, waiting. The lions were watching the buffalo herd from a distance. Slowly, silently they edged closer. We were right there when the largest female spurted and pounced, and before we knew it the huge buffalo was down. The chaotic melee that followed lasted twenty minutes or so. But four lions were too much for her and her agitated companions. Life ebbed away and the herd returned to quiet grazing.

We realise how lucky we were and know that other visitors this year have left disappointed and even, according to some reviewers, somewhat bitter. But this is life in the wild and nothing should be taken for granted. Camp management, at best, can deploy top class guides and trackers to try to get guests to the right place at the right time. Nature does the rest.

Lions may have dominated our experience at Duba but the area around the camp is rich with the full panoply of game and small mammals. The variety and number of birds is astonishing. We have never before had so many close sightings of Nightjar. And although Kops could scarcely believe his eyes we even saw a single African Skimmer.

Back in camp and around the campfire we were treated to the most amazing array of fine cuisine. Pierre is a hugely talented executive chef and produced mouthwatering delicacies throughout the day, with red meat, fish and vegetarian options for dinner. Our fellow residents were engaging and stimulating, and all of us were not a little entertained by James, a legend amongst guides and a gripping raconteur, who joined us around the camp fire. What an experience!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Iainauk2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GreatPlainsConserve, Public Relations Manager at Great Plains Conservation Duba Plains Camp, responded to this reviewResponded September 22, 2013

Dearest Ian and the rest of the Scottish gang. Thank you for your in depth and helpful review, we appreciate both your kind words and suggestions. It was great meeting you and your wonderful family and we hope to see you back for more Duba magic soon. Warm regards from OT, Pierre, Antoinette, Cecilia, Kops and the rest of the Duba Team.

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Reviewed September 17, 2013

What an outstanding experience we had at Duba Plains. Not only did the buffalo just happen to head back over the day we arrived after being away for 3 weeks - so we were able to witness major buffalo/lion interaction (I couldn't watch the final outcome for one lone poor bull) - but we also completely enjoyed the river cruise with loads of elephants and hippos. I must give a major shout out to Pierre, the fabulous chef at Duba! WOW - I've been to Africa 8 times so far and have travel a fair portion of the world - this food he prepares is outstanding and stands up to some of the best restaurants I've ever been too! Thank you to the entire Duba Plains team, and our guide, Spike. We had a fabulous time and will return in 2015!!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jlh67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GreatPlainsConserve, Public Relations Manager at Great Plains Conservation Duba Plains Camp, responded to this reviewResponded September 22, 2013

Thank you for your wonderful review Jerri. A big thank you especially from Pierre for your compliment on the food, it was an absolute pleasure to cook for you and to host you here at Duba. We look forward to welcoming you and Larry back in 2015. All our best from OT, Pierre, Antoinette, Cecilia, Spike and the rest of the Duba Team.

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Reviewed August 24, 2013

We loved our experience at Duba. Although we didn't see a kill, we loved seeing all of the lions on a daily basis, and the camp was very chic. The biggest highlight outside of the game was Chef Pierre's cooking- he did an incredible job and it was certainly the best food we had in Africa!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank lauranyc1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GreatPlainsConserve, Public Relations Manager at Great Plains Conservation Duba Plains Camp, responded to this reviewResponded September 19, 2013

Dear Armando & Laura, Thank you for your lovely review. It was a pleasure hosting you for your honeymoon and we trust Armando got some fantastic images, especially from the helicopter! Hope to see you back for an anniversary celebration in the near future. Warm regards from OT, Pierre, Antoinette, Spike & the rest of the Duba Team

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Reviewed July 20, 2013

This review is almost a year late, but I keep a trip diary and checked it out before I wrote this. We were at Duba Plains in later part of August of 2012. When we arrived the Buffalo had decamped to an island that was not accessible. That did not deter us, our guide, KB, found lots of different types of antelopes for us to see and even found a lioness and her cubs that she had kept hidden.

The buffalo came back over and we did see not one but two kills. Quite honestly, seeing them kill and eat the buffalo was not this great transcendent experience. It is brutal and graphic.

One of my favorite parts happened when we stopped for our mid morning tea. We were all standing around talking and all of a sudden a group of elephants came down through the trees on their way to the water. The were in a single line walking about 200 yards from the land cruiser. Our guide had us go to the far side of the cruiser and told us to get ready to get in. But the Elephants just kept going down and never even looked at us. They must have know we were there though, since we were talking loudly and joking around.

The other thing I would recommend highly, is if you get a chance to watch the baboons. We spent about an hour one afternoon just watching the baby baboons playing. It was great.

Of all the three places we stayed, Duba was probably the most rustic, but I think it had the best food.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Firespirit_01536
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2013

Duba was the second of three Botswana camps on our safari itinerary in June 2013.

While there, I learned that Duba Plains, is managed by Great Plains Conservation Company, which also runs the camps at Selinda and some others in East Africa. Unlike other camps we visited where the concession rents go to the national government, this concession was created for the benefit of the villagers who resided and hunted in the Duba Plains area, and the concession rent and other income paid by the camp operators goes directly to a trust managed by the communities themselves which pays for infrastructure and improvements that improve the quality of life for the residents. In addition, I was told Great Plains is first a conversation organization, rather than a travel company that supports conservation efforts. I appreciated that my money was being funneled to these causes.

Unfortunately while I was there in late June, the renowned buffalo-lion interaction was not viewable as we were told the buffalo had swum to an inaccessible island and that they had been gone for over 20 days. However, there was still plenty of lions to see, as well as all the other birds and animals found in the Okavanga Delta. The 70,000 acre concession is very uncrowded with the only other camp that does game drive being a small ultra luxury camp (also run by Great Plains) on the other side of the lagoon, Zarafa. So you rarely saw any other trucks or people on game drives.

As far as the facilities, Duba is set on the water, with the common facilities at one end and 6 tent cabins lined up along the edge of a channel. Behind the camp is the airstrip and a dryland habitat, where we say many elephant and other land animals. In front of the camp across a bridge, is a itinerant marshy swamp interspersed with island, which harbored waterfowl and countless hippos, as well as water-comfortable lions. The trucks have to go through lots of high water channels here, which makes the game rides different than the normal dry land offroading you do.

The tent cabins at Duba were clean and comfortable, though were in a need of a little update, as the bathroom area of our cabin was starting to show wear. But the cabin, was kept immaculately clean, as was our entire camp. I am told the cabins are going to be refreshed in the near future.

While we were there there was only one other couple on the first night, then a third couple joined on the third night, so the camp was very quiet and we were able to get to know the staff and other guests well at meals and we had many lively discussions, especially at the dinner table with the managers and guides all joining us.

Probably most memorable about this camp, however, was the excellent food, prepared by the camp's phenomenal South African chef, Pierre, which was on par with food that would have been compared to some of the fine restaurants in Cape Town we had visited.

We also had the pleasure of having a very experienced guide, James, who not only had excellent tracking skills but was full of information about how the people who resided in these parts of the Delta used to live - how they built shelters, hunted, etc. His love of the country and passion for conservation was unmistakeable, and we learned much more about Botswana and the delta than just the names of birds and animals from him.

This camp like the other "luxury" camps we visited had all the bells and whistles - private outdoor shower, laundry service, more food than one could possibly eat, and professional service-oriented managers and staff. Its location with access to both itinerant wet and dry environments made it a great complement to the other two camps we visited, Chitabe (dry land) and Selinda (wetland river).

While the buffalo-lion interaction would have made the stay here very unique indeed and put it over the top as an experience, even without that, the camp is still a wonderful place to stay!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank CT94010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2013

So many people come to Duba with the notion that they will relive “Relentless Enemies”, it’s very sad that they don’t appreciate the wonderful camp this is. Some people were even prepared to leave when they found out there were no buffalo around.

But this is not Disneyland and the hunts don’t happen on a prearranged schedule. We happened to be there when the buffalo had high-tailed themselves off to parts where jeeps dare not tread. But our guide, OB, was a very good tracker and found lions every day, and lots of other animals including the honey badger which had been on my list for many years. We also saw porcupine, aardwolf and beautiful birds. I was not disappointed! So if you HAVE to see lion kill buffalo, watch the dvd. Otherwise enjoy Duba for all it has to offer and be thankful if you are lucky enough to experience a lion hunt.

Pierre, the chef was personable and the food was the best in all the camps we stayed at.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Wanda J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GreatPlainsConserve, Public Relations Manager at Great Plains Conservation Duba Plains Camp, responded to this reviewResponded September 19, 2013

Thank you for your helpful review, Wanda. It was great to have you and Lincoln stay with us and we’re pleased you enjoyed your stay. Thank you from Pierre for your wonderful compliment on the food, it is truly appreciated. Hope to see you again soon! Kind regards from Antoinette, Pierre, Cecilia, OB and the rest of the Duba Team.

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Additional Information about Great Plains Conservation Duba Plains Camp

Address: Duba Plains Concession, Botswana (Formerly Duba Plains Camp)
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Okavango Delta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 73 Specialty Lodging in Okavango Delta
Price Range: $2,500 - $11,904 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Great Plains Conservation Duba Plains Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The renowned and totally brand new Duba Plains Camp, which opened in March 2017, sits in the heart the Okavango Delta. A recent guest said it all, “I am not a religious person but I now understand that the Garden of Eden can now in fact be found at Duba Plains.” A matrix of palm-dotted islands, flood plains and woodland, the 77,000 acre private concession typifies the region’s unique landscape. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Duba Plains Camp Hotel Okavango Delta
Great Plains Conservation Duba Plains Camp Botswana/Okavango Delta

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