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Reviewed March 27, 2015

We stayed two nights at Abu and it was very luxurious! The cabin (tent?) was huge, with a very large deck, indoor sitting area, comfy bed and huge bathroom.

When we first arrived, at lunch time, we were delighted to see a very large herd (30+) of elephants making their way to the nearby river. What a sight! How often do you get to eat a yummy pizza lunch while watching elephants?!?

We rode the elephants that afternoon. How fun! They are huge, gentle and oh, so fun to ride. Smoother ride than most airplanes! We did the elephant walk the next morning. Thoroughly enjoyed being so close to these amazing creatures. Spending a night in the star bed was unbelievable. Never have I seen so many stars fill the sky.

The food is wonderful. Oatmeal is my usual breakfast at home, and I got it here before our game drive, but it had a yummy new twist - hot caramel sauce! All the food was beautifully presented and very tasty.

The staff was very attentive, the views beautiful, the rooms spacious and well appointed, the food incredible. A truly amazing place!

Date of stay: March 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Kit R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Abu Camp, responded to this reviewResponded March 31, 2015

Dear Kit R,

Thank you for your fabulous review, it is truly a delight to see that you enjoyed the offering of our hard working kitchen staff almost as much as you enjoyed your adventures with the Abu Herd.

Kedumetse (KD) is our Executive Chef and leader of our wonderful kitchen team. He was born in Maun, Botswana but his travels have taken him to countries like Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, taking in the local cultures, flavours and cuisines of southern Africa. He started working in the hospitality industry in 1993 at Crocodile Camp as a cook. Since then, he has worked with some of Botswana’s leading safari companies before being recruited for Abu Camp, where he joined the team in 2004. KD has grown with the camp, starting as a Head Chef and working his way up to the position of Executive Chef in 2014. KD is revelling in the opportunity to combine his management and culinary skills and says there is nowhere he would rather be at this pivotal point in his career. KD’s dream is to start his own restaurant one day, pushing the boundaries of traditional Setswana food and offering fusion cuisine to locals and travellers alike. Outside of the kitchen, KD loves photography – and the natural beauty of the Abu Concession provides the perfect inspiration for both his images and his delicious meals.

Thank you again, we cannot wait to pass along your kind words to KD and his team,
The Abu Family

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Reviewed March 23, 2015

The Abu Wilderness Collection Camp is really expensive, less so away from the peak season but still. And then you of course have high expectations, but these are for sure met and even exceeded.
My wife and I spent three nights in the Abu Camp in February 2015. We were more or less the only guests. The camp surroundings are really beautiful and the camp itself is out of this world. Great sitting area, dining area, library, pool and even an out-door fitness room under a roof with cardio-vascular equipment and some free weights. Quite interesting to work-out with baboons and even hippos watching you.
And the tents! Better and more awesome than anything that we have ever stayed in in Southern Africa and we have been to a great many luxury camps, but this is a step above. Really big tents, beautiful, superb beds, great bathrooms, a big deck with among other things sunbeds and a bathtub. It is impossible to be more comfortable in the African bush. This is almost like being on a 5-star resort in the Maldives.
The staff is great, very attentive without being over-bearing or intrusive. Everything is very smoothly run, which is a credit for the managers Aaron and JamieRose.
The food is really out-standing and the staff is happy to organise great meals out in the bush. One evening we had a 9-course tapas dinner out by a beutiful camp fire. Superb tapas, great wines, interesting company and then as an extra bonus the sky with the all the stars.
Great game drives. Our guide was Matty. Supernice, really knowledgeable, a great birder, always willing to go above and beyond.
And then the elephants, that are the unique feature of the Abu Camp. The elephants are really charming and it is so nice to ride on them or walk with them or sleep in the starbed above their boma. We have never interacted so closely with elephants before and this was really a unique experience and you feel quite priviliged. The Mahouts - the elephant caretakers - have a great and respectful interaction with their darling elephants. It is really touching to see.
The 14 month old baby elephant Naledi will melt the heart of anyone.
We have already planned to come back with our grown-up children and some of our best friends - we must share this ultimate elephant experience with them.

Room tip: All the six tents are great. Those over-looking the lagoon a little bit better.
Date of stay: February 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Olle O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Abu Camp, responded to this reviewResponded March 31, 2015

Dear Olle O,

Thank you for sharing your great memories with us, we cannot wait to pass it along to all our staff in camp.

As a guest of Abu Camp, you are invited to immerse yourself in the elephant herd and to get to know each one personally. Explore the fascinating environment of these great beasts and even sleep out under the stars overlooking the elephant boma. By the time you leave, you will feel a special, emotional connection to the herd that is both humbling and rewarding. Our little Naledi is most certainly living up to her name; Born 27 November 2013, on an incredibly starry
night her name, Naledi, means “star” in Setswana.

Thank you again and we hope you are able to return soon to see her continuous development,
The Team at Abu

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Reviewed March 4, 2015

This was truly a trip of a lifetime. Everything was perfect. The elephants were beyond amazing - their personalities, their stories, and their interactions with guests, while their relationships with their care givers was incredibly special. The bond and the mutual respect was so evident. The lodge itself was beautiful. The staff friendly and attentive, without being overbearing. Every day held something special - and every night was beautiful - especially those spent in the stargazing platform above the elephants enclosure. I will return - one day - and until then, I urge you to go and revel in this amazing place!

Date of stay: January 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank pachmad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Abu Camp, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2015

Dear Pachmad,

Thank you for your fantastic feedback, we are delighted you were able to appreciate our beautiful herd and their handlers and witness this miraculous bond they share. We will be sure to pass your kind words onto all the staff in camp. Our Star Bed is just another unique offering at this extraordinary camp.

For those seeking the ultimate immersion experience without having to compromise on comfort, the Star Bed at Abu Camp is a must. Overlooking the elephant boma, the double-storey platform includes a bathroom with shower, toilet and basin on the lower level, and a permanent queen-size bed with draped mosquito netting above, where guests are lulled to sleep by the contented rumbling and low snores of the elephants.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon,
The Team at Abu.

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Reviewed December 14, 2014

As soon as you land at the airstrip and see the landscape and the palm trees and the delta, all you want to say is that “I have arrived”! I spent a week (7 nights) at Abu in November ’14 and wish I would have stayed longer. Riding the elephants and playing with the Naledi never gets old. Working with the Mahouts and feeding the elephants never gets old. I’ve stayed at several premium camps that wilderness has and a few top camps in Kenya and Abu is certainly is a step above. It’s impossible to describe how Abu can be better, but it just is. The food, rooms, and staff make the best hotels around the world subpar. The reason Abu is so wonderful is that you are on a massive conservancy so you can drive for days and not see another car, the interaction with the Abu herd, and the service of the staff is over the top.

The main attraction here is certainly the elephants and luxury service but while I was there for a week I saw a few lions, leopards and hyenas. From personal experience, for a first time safari I’d go to Abu and also combine it with Vumbura, Mombo, or Kings Pool.

The staff also makes this place what it is. The manager Aaron is very attentive to the guests without being intrusive. You can also tell he’s a good leader because the rest of the staff is working in harmony with joy. After being there a week I can say that they work consistently for their guests. There have been some reviews that have said they don’t have enough trucks to take you on a game drive. Not true. When I was there, they had 3 trucks and Ras and I took a truck on a game drive all day with a packed lunch. When you go, be sure to get to know Kabelo “KB”. He’s really someone who is special. With that said, I fully enjoyed getting to know him, Qwest, Bee, Owner, Simon, and Rees. My guide was Ras and true to the wilderness standard he was superb. He goes above and beyond and works hard to track animals. The other guides Taps and BT are also kind and competent.

Another group you’ll get to know are the Mahouts. They take care of the elephants in the boma. The lead mahout is Bee and he’s got a great team with Witness, Frank, Mike, Onx, and Onx #2.

Kind Regards, Glen Weaver

Date of stay: November 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank johnglen1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Abu Camp, responded to this reviewResponded December 16, 2014

Dear johnglen1976,

How wonderful to have you back in our camps and thank you for your awesome review of Abu Camp. Naledi our little "Star" as you know recently celebrated her 1st birthday and we hope that you were in camp over that period. It really is a special story and we are so happy that this little elephant is doing so amazingly well. We are so glad that you got to see some of the other animals on the conservancy but as you say the highlight is of course the elephants.

Thank you for your lovely words about the staff in camp as we pride ourselves on these gems who are in the end have such a vital role in a guests stay and we are pleased to hear that they exceeded expectations.

As a seasoned Safari goer we hope that we will have the pleasure of your company again in the not too distant future, but until then stay safe and kind regards,
The Abu Elephant and Human Team (With a head butt from Naledi)

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Reviewed October 12, 2014

To be clear, this place is expensive. Really, really expensive. And to be fair, for the money we spent we had high expectations. Really, really high. In short, those expectations were absolutely met.

We spent three nights. We had tent 3. Actually, calling it a tent is a disservice. It’s a high end room in the bush with all the 5-star amenities you’d expect. The property doesn’t disappoint - from spa services to onsite cardio equipment, which we enjoyed with a baboon while viewing some nearby elephants. (Those guests certainly make it the most original workout ever.) One of us enjoyed a massage, which is performed in-suite.

The staff to guest ratio is high and the camp wasn’t full when we were visiting. You will not go any real length of time without someone asking how they can make your stay better. Actually, on a few occasion we felt like we didn’t need to be continually asked but if that’s one of the only pieces of constructive criticism you can offer that’s a great problem.

As elephant lovers, we selected this camp because of the elephant experience. The love and care for the onsite ellie crew is evident. If you are considering this property and have been to elephant sanctuaries in South East Asia, be sure to inquire as to what you can and can’t do with the ellies at Abu. Your personal interactions may not be the same as you’ve experienced in those countries. And the camp doesn’t offer, understandably so, some of the historic elephant interactions you may view on YouTube. That’s in no way a complaint. Just a way for folks to manage their expectations. We loved the rides, walks, mud bath viewing, etc. And we thought the handlers were top shelf - completely professional and totally engaging with the human guests. A+ gentleman.

We slept on the stardeck lounge one night. Really unique and special way to have a semi-quiet morning moment with the ellie family. Be forewarned about the natural “aroma” of the sleeping area. You can get use to it quite quickly.

T-Rex was one of the most enthusiastic guides we’ve experienced in all our years on safari. You’d be fortunate to get him as a guide.

Management may want to offer a takeaway snack bag for guests heading out on travel. We wound up at a connection in Maun which doesn’t have any food vendors at the airport and it would have been nice to have quick access to some provisions, which many folks adjacent to us did. Take it as a compliment, Abu, as your food was outstanding.

Onsite management is doing a super job with this gem.

Date of stay: September 2014
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
3  Thank AnnFran20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Abu Camp, responded to this reviewResponded October 17, 2014

Dear AnnFran20,

Thank you for your Ele-Fantastic review, we are absoloutley thrilled to see that every element of our camp and activities not only met but exceeded all your expectations. Our staff can sometimes get overzealous when trying to accommodate our guests but we think this is their way of trying to steal some of the spotlight away from the Elephants.

With daily temperatures hovering in the mid-30°s C (around 100˚F), you are almost guaranteed to be treated to the daily occurrence of the Abu elephant herd mud bath. The addition of the young Naledi to the herd has already enhanced the cuteness factor, and her partaking in the mud bath with her sisters delights everyone who witnesses it. We hope you were not one of the mud sprayed victims of Naledi and her playmates Warona, Paseka, and Lorato.

Thank you again for your great review, we hope to have you return to us soon. And hopefully we can do something about keeping the smell away.
The Abu Team

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