Has anybody been to Abu's Camp in Okavango Delta???

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Feb 17th, 2004, 04:18 PM
  #1
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Has anybody been to Abu's Camp in Okavango Delta???

http://www.aardvarksafaris.com/camp/Abu's-Camp.htm#1

With all the talk of Mombo, Singita and other top dollar safari accomodations, I am surprised that Abu's Camp is never mentioned. I never even knew about this place prior to today flipping through Mark Nolting's book and seeing only Mombo and Abu's Camp listed in the very top category for the Okavango Delta.

It looks like an amazing experience, going on a five night elephant back safari, if you can afford the VERY STEEP price tag of $7,500 USD pp for a five night safari. Think I'll save this one for a special occasion like my 33 and 1/6th Birthday! No, unfortunately I only get the Star Of Africa lodges and Kaingo/Mwamba and the homicidal microflight pilot that I have been warned will dump me into a pod of hippos in the middle of the Luangwa River!

In all seriousness, this looks like the ultimate safari experience at Abu's Camp. Has anybody ever done anything similar. I promise not to bother any lodge or operators with any quotes until I am ready to return. This would be awesome for 2006, though you may see me on TV being pursued by the L.A.P.D. after robbing a bank to fund the trip!

The link that I posted does not list the price of $7,500 pp, but another tour operators site did list that price (in other words I can probably book it for $3,750 pp directly...just kidding!). My link did provide the best pictures for your viewing pleasure.
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Feb 17th, 2004, 06:56 PM
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WARNING: DO NOT GO TO THIS LINK AND WATCH THE VIDEO OR ELSE YOU WILL BE HOOKED AND NEED TO COUGH UP $16,000 USD (too late for me)

http://www.elephantbacksafaris.com/safari/

Well, I have two years to save my money.

On the OTHER hand...perhaps this place

http://www.amalinda.co.zw/activities.html

Perhaps you are not in the Okavango Delta, but you will surely have more than enough left afterward for Mombo (3 nights), Duba Plains (3 nights), Kwando (3 nights), and a suite in Joburg at the Michelangelo in Sandton Square to rest up for a couple nights before returning home.
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Feb 18th, 2004, 04:21 AM
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Roccco -

The rate is $8,000/pp PLUS 10% VAT, so rather than $16,000 Couple it turns out to be $17,600. And for a Single it runs $12,650/pp. Pretty steep.

From a friend who spent a few days here on a FAM-trip, the elephant back ride was kind of fun once or twice, and admittedly the view from atop the elle was different, but afterwards, they were looking forward to the Land Rover.

When we were in Thailand we did an obligatory Elephant ride - fun, but after the 1-1/2 hrs we were very very glad to be on terra-firma.
 
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Feb 18th, 2004, 06:18 AM
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I read several years ago that the African Elephants were rescued by Abu's Camp from circuses in the US and elsewhere, and its a very unique experience. Generally, elephant rides (zoos, circuses, other countries) are given by Indian elephants, which are smaller and supposedly more docile than African elephants. I think the ride on African elephants in Abu's camp is unique, albeit very pricey. I looked into it when I went to Botswana, and I would have been interested (perhaps) had they offered a one or two day visit. At these prices, a five-day visit was too steep for my safari budget.
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Feb 18th, 2004, 06:36 AM
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What Michael said, I came across Abu Camp early on during my Botswana research some years ago (for the first trip) and was certainly interested but I knew that, with my arthritic hips and knees, I would be interested in the experience for one or two days and no longer.

In terms of accommodations only, Wilderness Safaris have two other "6 paw" camps - Jao and Kings Pool. I've heard positive feedback about KP but not much of any note about Jao - nothing bad exactly but it _might_ be camp that's more about accommodation than about the best game viewing experience.

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Feb 18th, 2004, 05:57 PM
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Thanks for the responses. I could see where the elephant rides would be fascinating at first but then may quickly lose their novelty, not a good thing when you are locked in for five nights at $3,500 per night per couple.

I really like the looks of the Amalinda place in Matobo Hills, Botswana that I posted earlier in this thread. Sure, I would not be elephantback in the Okavango, but I would still have a chance to experience it, along with great looking accomodations and facilities, for about 1/6 the price and that price is after I throw in the elephant back rides, massages for two daily, and other goodies (hey, my next planned visit is 2006 when, God willing, I may run the Comrades Marathon and need daily, if not hourly massages).

I can see an itinerary that would take me to Durban for the first three nights and then possibly skip over Phinda and the rest of South Africa to move straight to Zimbabwe and Botswana. Amalinda looks like the perfect place to hang out (i.e., RECOVER) after Comrades (55 miles, instead of the typical 26 mile marathon).

June 14, 15 and 16 - Durban (3) - Best possible lodging.

June 17, 18 and 19 - Matobo Hills (3) - Amalinda.

June 20, 21 and 22 -
Hwange (3) - Makalolo Plains

June 23 and 24 - Victoria Falls (2) - Tongabezi.

June 25, 26 and 27 - Kwando (3) - Kwando Lagoon.

June 28 and 29 - Moremi Reserve (2) - Mombo (high season pricing kicks in on July 01st or else I would have chose it as a grand finale).

June 30 and July 01 Okavango Delta - Duba Plains (2).

July 02 - Johannesburg - Enjoy Sandton Square for one night and stay in a suite at the Michelangelo Hotel to clean up before returning home.

July 03rd - Depart Maun-JNB-LAX

July 04th - Arrive home for Independence Day!

Sorry...cannot stop thinking about future itineraries. Please do not confuse for boasting, as some have.
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Feb 18th, 2004, 06:06 PM
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mistake...Matobo Hills is in Zimbabwe, not Botswana as I misstated. Beautiful place with horseback riding, excursions to bushman caves and paintings, game drives, tracking black and white rhinos and elephant back rides along beautiful trails (although there are wild animals around, I will not call it an elephant back safari because how could you compare riding an elephant around Matobo Hills to one around the Okavango Delta). Really nice looking place!
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Feb 20th, 2004, 11:11 AM
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Elephant safari....sounds exotic, also reminds me of the dog sled trip we took with our two "kids" (18 and 22 at the time) in the Charlevoix region of Quebec. We'd considered a 3 day trip, with overnights in a cool looking camp along the trail, but opted instead for a 1/2 day excursion when we realized the temps would be in the -15F range. Turned out to be a great choice...we had a fantastic time even though it was TWENTY below (F not C!). Very glad we hadn't attempted the longer trip.
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