Need expert help?

Brian Huggins   Meet Brian, one of our travel experts for Botswana.

Brian has always nurtured his passion for travel in his spare time. He's traveled the world, visiting over 40 countries. Over time, this passion grew to the point where he began to search for opportunities to work in the travel industry. He's been an African Specialist at Mango Safaris since early 2006.

Abu Camp

Explore > Botswana > Okavango Delta > Abu Camp

Abu Camp Site

Photo #1 of 10
Abu Camp Site - Abu Camp. Copyright Dana Allen. Just a spacer

Abu Camp offers a rare African experience that showcases the magnificent wildlife and landscape of the Okavango Delta; a safari that will transform your perceptions of elephants, wilderness, and life itself.

See thumbnails of all photos for this point of interest.


Abu Camp offers a rare African experience that showcases the magnificent wildlife and landscape of the Okavango Delta; a safari that will transform your perceptions of elephants, wilderness, and life itself.

As a guest of Abu Camp, you are invited to walk with and ride elephants, to get a glimpse of their world and learn about their lives. Becoming part of an African elephant herd is an extraordinary privilege that we seek to share with those who visit us.

Pioneered in the early 1990s, and named after a much-mourned bull elephant, Abu Camp has been running for 20 years, and as such is the original elephant safari experience in Africa.

The vast 180,000 hectare (450,000 acre) private and exclusive Abu Concession is set within the unspoilt pristine wilderness area of the Okavango Delta. As the largest inland delta on the planet, the Okavango and surrounding areas of northern Botswana hold more elephants than any other area in Africa.

Abu Camp, while never forgetting its environmental footprint, aims to provide the very best in privacy, location, accommodation and service. Allowing all who visit to absorb themselves in a whole new world, the camp is a haven of peace and tranquillity, immersed within the natural rhythms of the bush.

Flowing beautifully from tiered decking, an imaginative use of canvas and poles forms the main area of camp. Creating a modern, unique blend of sweeping lines in complete harmony with the surrounding wilderness, the lounge and dining room have been designed to complement the easy flow of nature and to accentuate a feeling of lightness during your stay at Abu Camp. Borrowing from the local African cultures, homeware, hand-woven linen fabrics, ceramic light pods, woven seagrass chairs and hand-hewn wooden pieces give the camp the elegant flair of the Okavango Delta.

The library, a well-stocked collection of African literature and field guides, is the perfect setting for reading and quiet reflection. Leading off from the library is a communication area for those guests wishing to stay in contact with the outside world. A stylish, secluded swimming pool completes the amenities.

On request, guests are escorted to the large double bed of the Star Bed after dinner on one night of their stay at Abu Camp. Here, raised high above the ground, they sleep beneath the incredible canopy of stars so iconic of the southern hemisphere, and are lulled to sleep by the contented rumbling and low snores of the elephants below.

The Star Bed offers an opportunity to "sleep with the elephants" found nowhere else in Africa. To ensure complete comfort a bathroom, including an open shower, is found on the tier below the top deck.

During your stay you are invited to immerse yourself in the elephant herd. Explore the pristine environment with the herd, and get to know the personalities of each family member, from playful babies to precocious teenagers and doting mothers, all led by the sage, experienced matriarch, Cathy. By the time you leave Abu, you will feel a special, emotional connection to the herd which is nothing less than humbling and rewarding.

The Abu herd offers an incomparable opportunity to intimately engage and physically interact with elephants through varied activities. Shortly after arriving at camp, guests will be personally introduced to the herd, with the activities that follow over the remainder of the stay offering an all-encompassing and satisfying experience in the world of the elephant.

For those wanting to explore further afield and wishing to track and photograph specific mammals, especially big game such as predators and herds of elephant and buffalo, game drive activities in open safari vehicles are offered. Early morning or late afternoons provide the best opportunities to see wildlife as this time of day is cooler. Wildlife tends to be more active at this time, often choosing to hunt, feed and drink then.

Part of the enjoyment of these drives with a highly qualified, interpretive guide is experiencing the expanse and diversity of the area, as well as stopping at spectacular locations and enjoying either early-morning tea or coffee or a sunset drink while taking in the splendour of the Delta and its active inhabitants.

The beauty of the mokoro is the silence and tranquillity of your travel. The enjoyment of being at one with nature and causing little disturbance to the surrounding wildlife enhances the experience. Bird-watching is at its best from a mokoro. Expect to see delicately patterned reed frogs and myriad colourful water birds, such as kingfishers seeking their next meal.

Flying is a wonderful way to appreciate the diversity of the Abu Concession and the Okavango Delta as a whole. Scenic light aircraft or helicopter flights, which can be arranged at camp, offer a bird's-eye view of the entire ecosystem and an insight into its formation. The densely matted papyrus waterways, palm islands and the role of termites all take on an entirely new perspective when seen from above.