Duba Plains--anyone been recently?

Oct 17th, 2005, 09:21 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Duba Plains--anyone been recently?

Looking for feedback, tales, photos, etc. from Duba Plains visitors. Thanks
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 17th, 2005, 10:14 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 421
I have booked 3 nights at Duba Plains in June. I picked this camp after a lot of research as I think for the price it's a good Wilderness camp. I am also staying at Kwetsani and Duma Tau and River Club in Zambia.
raelond is offline  
Oct 18th, 2005, 09:37 AM
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You can update me when you get back (either here or my personal email)because I'll be there in August. Have fun.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 18th, 2005, 03:12 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,715
Since I had not been recently I was waiting but due to lack of response I'll give some feedback -- keep in mind I was there in January 2003.

Duba Plains is my favorite camp that I have ever been to. Camp itself was very nice -- the tents are not large but they were well appointed, very comfortable beds, beautiful floors, a writing desk, porch with a huge view of the plains out in front. Main lodge, eating area, and bar are an open split level plan that keep the views of the open plains. There was also an outdoor dining deck that made for a wonderful dinner under the stars. There is a small plunge pool that was nice in the heat and there is a path to a bird watching blind. At the time the food was exceptional and management far exceeded that of any other camp I have been to -- that part I know has changed because the Camp Manager James has left to write a book on the Lions of Duba, his girlfriend was an assistant manager and the cook.

As for wildlife viewing it is almost all about lions. The area does not have a huge diversity but what you see is all exceptional, especially lions in action. You probably know the area is famous for daytime buffalo hunts. We did not witness a kill but did see a group of 5 males stalking a herd of 900+ buffalo only to stop their hunt due to the arrival of 4 males from another pride. All 9 of these were sons of the Duba Boys but belonged to different prides as the Duba Boys have at one time or another controlled 4 different prides. Another highlight was the 2 Duba Boys jumping about 20 feet over a channel of water to chase of an intruder male and then swimming back across.

The heavy lion density is so dominant which is why the diversity is not so great, however, it is a great place to see red lechwe which is such a beautiful antelope. The area known as Paradise is gorgeous and is great for spotting hippo and African fish eagles. We saw a couple of breeding herds of elephants and hyenas usually den in the area although we did not see any. Bird diversity was great.

Be prepared that viewing here is a little bit of a feast or famine. It is not like Mombo or Duma Tau (other camps I stayed at on the same trip), in that you don't just drive and see something every 2 minutes. It is a huge concession with no other lodges around so you will see big Botswana wilderness, large swaths of plains dotted with think palm islands. However, when you find the lions in action it becomes National Geographic viewing as opposed to simply spotting a lot of animals standing under trees or sleeping on branches. This is definitely a quality over quantity expereince for wildlife but when mixed with a few other camps it gives the contrast of a true wilderness experience well beyond the others and you can see your diversity somewhere else.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2005, 01:49 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 346
hey lynn,
like pb, i havent been to duba plains recently but i was there is jan 04. i found it to be a touch disappointing. the reason was that the dominant pride in teh area (tsaro) was split up as several lionesses had just giving birth so were staying hidden. we did see several individuals but never the group hunting buffaloes full out nor got to see the legendary duba boys. our guide said it was just bad luck as 3 months earlier they were seeing multiple kills a day as teh pregnant lions were needing more sustainance.
i have not heard much in terms of reports from duba recently and the ones i have gotten seem to make me think that the concetrations of lions over the last few yrs have dwindled a little bit. one of the 3 prides in the area (pantry pride) have almost dismantled. and the skimmer pride tend to hang out in an area difficult to reach during periods of high floods.
all this being said, i am giving it one more chance next aug myself for 2 nights. things constantly change and hopefully by then the tide will swing back to their being huge herds of buffs and subsequently a lot of lion/buff interaction. one thing i really like about the camp is taht they only have 5-6 tents and no camps nearby at all so u get very individualized attention. we would have very long game drives and the schedule was pretty flexible. with a lot of camps moving to the bigger/fancier route, duba is a great alternative.
we are also going to chitabe, duma tau and ending at mombo for my dream botswana itinerary. we are leaving teh last week in aug end early sept. when are your dates and what other camps will you be visiting? maybe our paths will cross. that would be cool.
bigcountry is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2005, 02:46 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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Thank you PredatorBiologist and Bigcountry!

I'll be arriving Aug 10 so I'll just miss you Bigcountry. Too bad. Then to Vumbura and Zibalianja, leaving Aug 21, about the time you are arriving.

We'll have to check the Wilderness Chitabe newsletter to keep updated.
atravelynn is offline  

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