Well over 150 000 hectares of traversing suggests a fantastic wildlife experience.
The Abu concession in the south-western sector of the Okavango Delta is as wild as it is vast. Lala palms sit arrayed as sentinels on every horizon and seemingly endless floodplains stretch out from every small island.
This is a land of change, as is most of the Okavango. The contradiction lies in the rainy season being the time when the floodwaters are at their lowest ebb, whilst the winter months – the peak dry season – coincide with the flood. This is because the rains that fall in the Angolan highlands – the same rains that cause the greening up of northern Botswana – take months to accumulate and trickle and flow down the length of the Okavango River to spill out into its almost infinite channels and waterways.
Abu Camp lies in the perfect position to experience and appreciate this change.
The lagoon in front of the camp is a singular water-source in the summer. Isolated and with extensive flat land around it, it serves as a safe haven for grazers especially, who can see danger coming for hundreds of metres in each direction. Fast forward to May, and the flood waters have arrived, causing the lagoon to overflow and push right up to the deck of the lodge. The former pasture land is now well underwater, and life changes – for both the wildlife and guests at Abu.
Flood time means water activities. Traditional mokoro canoe excursions or speedboat trips through the waterways feature prominently in the Abu excursions during the winter months, as wildlife is forced to seek higher ground and wade across channels in order to move between grazing grounds.
Lions forge their way across extensive flooded ground, and elephants are regularly encountered fording deeper water.
And then things start to change as the rains disappear and day after day of clear skies add nothing further to the water levels. Abu Camp bears witness once again to open grasses and space, whilst only a small amount of water remains in the deeper channels.
The rains return and the bush becomes lush once more, and the game spreads out into floodplains which until only a few short weeks ago were impassable.
Abu Camp is situated to take full advantage of the changing of the seasons. With only six rooms, it operates as one of Wilderness Safaris’ premier camps, and does not in any way fall short of the expectations. The sense that you are alone in the wilderness – which with 180 000 hectares you pretty much are – is one that never really leaves you.
Leopards are a more than regular sighting here. Wild Dogs – although one of Africa’s most endangered carnivores – are often seen, and buffaloes, elephants and the local lion population provide more than their fair share of incredible viewing.
Abu Camp is certainly among our favourite camps in the Delta.
Different times of year however, mean completely different experiences for the visitor, so be sure to get hold of us to let us know exactly what you are hoping for in your safari, and we’ll be able to help…