The camp that stands today overlooking a beautiful lagoon, deep in the extreme northern reaches of the Okavango Delta, has its origins as a research camp. This is particularly fitting because the modern Duba Plains embodies the essence of understanding and wonder, of unpacking animal behaviour and immersing yourself in the magic of African wildlife. Six beautifully appointed tents overlook vast floodplains and create an authentic atmosphere of discovery for 12 guests. Wild animals often wander through camp – a truly magical experience to be celebrated rather than feared! This is “home” for Great Plains Conservation co-founders, and National Geographic Explorers in Residence, Dereck and Beverly Joubert and the remarkable, ever-present lions whose story they have so wonderfully documented over the years.
Renowned for their pursuits of the huge buffalo herds which roam the plains, Duba Plains’ indomitable lions have become legends, hunting primarily in broad daylight, at home in water as well as on land as they swim the permanent channels which separate the jigsaw of islands which dot the landscape. But they are not the only inhabitants here… Wildlife diversity is guaranteed at Duba Plains, which offers large concentrations of iconic game such as red lechwe, impala, kudu and tsessebe viewed all year round. Birdlife is abundant, as are the elephant herds which traverse this magnificent wilderness.
Culturally, this region of the Okavango has always been relatively sparsely populated by local tribes but is nonetheless a homeland of the Hambukshu, Bayei and Bukakwe people. The cattle-herding Hambukshu came from the rich floodplains of the Zambezi, whilst the Bayei are fishermen and indigenous to the area. They are known for the development of the mekoro, a traditional dugout canoe, used for traversing the shallow waterways of the delta. The Bukakwe bushmen, descendants of the original people who inhabited this land, still live in the village of Gudigwa, not far from the concession.
Northern Botswana on a 77,000-acre private concession in the Okavango Delta. Duba Plains Camp is only accessible to guests by scheduled air transfers or private air charters. On arrival at the airfield, the transfer to camp is approximately seven minutes. Duba Plains Camp’s (category B) airfield is licensed for aircraft as large as a King Air, Pilatus PC-12 and Cessna Caravan. The co-ordinates are S19″01.901′; E22″42.712′. The distance from Maun to Duba Plains Airfield is 130km, and flying time in a Cessna Caravan is between 30 and 45 minutes. Duba Plains is roughly 290km from Kasane with a flight time of an hour in a Cessna Caravan. Flying times naturally vary depending on the type of aircraft used and prevailing weather conditions.
Fully inclusive of all activities, meals, park fees, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (excluding imported and premium spirits). Flight transfers are additional and can be arranged on your behalf. A maximum of 12 guests sharing in six tented villas, plus an additional guide’s tent as required.
Early morning and late afternoon/early evening game drives in an open 4×4 vehicle and boat-based activities when water levels permit.
Duba Plains is a fully integrated community empowerment project on land leased directly from five local communities, who in turn receive all of the lease revenue. Capacity-building is a priority and currently 80% of the staff at Duba Plains Camp come from these communities. Since Great Plains bought Duba Plains in May 2010 the camp have been working on plans to convert the camp into a more sustainable operation. With the successes and lessons learned from other Botswana properties at Selinda and Zarafa, Duba Plains will soon adhere to similar standards with the implementation of solar power, composting, above ground grey water management, use of bio-diesel and environmental mitigation (associated with driving in boggy substrate). The camp are committed to developing an ever-lighter footprint.
When it comes to ordering your equipment in Johannesburg, you will be able to choose between Canon or Nikon specialist camera equipment. A suggested kit would be:
Camera: Canon EOD 7D Lens: Canon 100-400 F4.5-5.6 L IS or Camera: Nikon D300 Lens: 28-300 F3.5-5.6 VR
You can also customise the equipment you would prefer to take with you from camera bodies, to lenses, to supporting equipment – even GoPro’s are available to hire!