Safari operator, Wilderness, has closed Tubu Tree and its sister camp Little Tubu in the Okavango Delta’s Jao Reserve for a total rebuild. The camps are both scheduled to reopen in June next year.
The camp’s transformation will offer a sophisticated, contemporary ambience while paying homage to its rich history and stunning natural surroundings. Owned and cherished by the Kays family for over two decades, the Jao Reserve provides an exceptional wilderness experience, with Tubu Tree and its counterpart, Little Tubu, renowned for their leopard, wild dog, and lion sightings. Abundant herds of plains game can be spotted from the camp itself.
Martin Kays, Co-owner of The Jao Reserve said: "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."
Cathy Kays added that the camps' redesign would focus on blending the structures as seamlessly as possible into the towering marula canopy and the surrounding environment. Guest rooms will undergo a complete renovation to maximise the expansive views, with panels replacing some of the canvas walls to enhance comfort and insulation.
The main area, set around a magnificent anthill, features modern thatched structures constructed within the trees.
"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," Kays explained.
In the Kays' commitment to conserving and safeguarding the world's most iconic wildlife destinations, the Tubu camps will adopt an eco-friendly approach and actively participate in projects to combat poaching and overfishing.
"Our vision is for the new Tubu camps to continue exemplifying the true essence of the Jao Reserve, emphasising the passion and dedication we have invested in the reserve for nearly 25 years. We eagerly await the opportunity to welcome our guests to our slice of paradise in 2024," the Kays said.