Rising above the Okavango Delta on an elephant’s back

Standing more than 4 metres tall, weighing nearly 4 tons in muscle and bone, the elephant is an impressive animal. According to certain it would be impossible to ride on the back of an African Elephant. If you are a non-believer, come and take up the challenge in the heart of Botswana at the magnificent Abu Camps Lodge where everything has been designed to cater for these great animals.


In this part of the world, the bush wakes up very early in the morning. Along the snaking Okavango River, a special procession is making space for themselves amongst trees and tall grass.
A row of elephants winds through the Okavango Bush with grace and peace.

On the backs of Shirini, Cathy or Warina, the guests are gently rocking back and forth by the languishing rhythm of these giants. They used to lead busy circus lives in the United States, but now enjoy a peaceful retirement in Botswana.


As the walk progresses, the Okavango comes alive to the song of mysterious birds. Near a pond, animals are quenching their thirst, completely oblivious to the passing elephants who manage, despite their size, to blend into their natural environment. During the course of the day, the natural light changes and the immensity of the savanna becomes clearer. It is a visual feast.


After a beautiful day out in the bush, it is time for the young elephants to follow their mothers back to the lodge. The adventure seekers relax in one of the six tents built in the tree tops. Abu Camp, named after its first guest, is a real refuge for the elephants. From the balcony it is possible to enjoy their presence until they fall asleep peacefully.

Without a doubt, Abu camp is a true meeting place between man and elephant.

By Mélanie Chapellan

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