Wilderness Announces Rebuild of Tubu Tree and Little Tubu in the Okavango Delta

Tubu Tree

Wilderness is delighted to announce the rebuild of Tubu Tree and Little Tubu, set in the scenic and wildlife-rich Jao Reserve in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. The reinvigorated camps will reopen in June 2024, offering an elegant, modern look and feel, while still paying homage to their long history and beautiful natural surrounds.

Owned and loved by the Kays family for over two decades, the Jao Reserve offers an extraordinary wilderness experience, with Tubu Tree, and its sister camp Little Tubu, particularly sought after for their thrilling leopard, wild dog and lion sightings. Guests don’t even have to leave camp to spot prolific herds of plains game on the floodplains.

“Our family will be working with an architect for the rebuild, but we are proud that Cathy (Co-owner) will once again be bringing her formidable creativity and design skills to the process, overseeing the interior decorating herself. Our amazing camp staff are a most valued part of this transformation, and despite the camps being temporarily closed, they will be staying on to help during the rebuild”, noted Martin Kays, Co-owner of The Jao Reserve.

Cathy Kays added that the camps’ reimagining includes blending the structures as seamlessly as possible into the towering marula canopy and surrounding environment. Guest rooms will be completely rebuilt to maximise the horizon-wide views, with panels replacing some of the canvas walls, for greater comfort and insulation. Working around a majestic anthill, the main area features modern thatched structures built in the trees, with décor elements bringing through a palette of earthy greys and beiges, and splashes of green. Beautiful new saligna hardwood flooring underscores the entire transformation.

“The camps’ location, tucked away on Hunda Island with sweeping views over the area’s famously game-studded floodplains, has inspired most of the architecture and décor. Each piece of furniture will be specially planned for and created to enhance the interiors and sense of place, with light oak, black granite touches in the bathrooms, and metal shelves with oak hangers and baskets. We’ll incorporate lots of different textures to bring nature indoors, such as rattan, fibre and thatch, and basketware from local artists”, Cathy added.

In the Kays’ quest to help conserve and protect the world’s most iconic wildlife destinations, the Tubu camps will have a light footprint, and are intimately involved in projects that specifically curb poaching and overfishing.

“Our vision is that the new Tubu camps will continue to showcase the true essence of what the Jao Reserve is all about, highlighting the heart and soul that we have poured into the Reserve for almost 25 years. We look forward to welcoming our guests to our corner of paradise in 2024”, Martin concluded.