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“Hard Core Game Viewing & Terrific Service”

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Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp
Reviewed June 2, 2008

I spent 12 days in Botswana and Zambia at the premier Wilderness Safari properties and this was the best in terms of game viewing, spacious accomodation, great food and attentive service.

This is the most expensive camp in Botswana (and Africa) but then you get what you pay for. People book 12-18 months in advance to get into this property and its top rated guides and premium service. This is also the only place to see rhinos (black and white) in Botswana and home of Poster--the top rhino expert in Botswana on these animals who gives a fascinating evening presentation to guests a few times a week.

Main Mombo has 9 guest roooms for 18 guests. Little Mombo has three guest rooms for 6 guests looking for a more initmate experience, small groups or families. (Children have to be at least 12 to stay at Mombo. If children are younger you have to book the whole place and Little Mombo is handy for that.) Both camps have the same food prepared by a fabulous local chef who has trained with the best. expat chefs. Accomodation is in tents on a wooden platform but so spacious you wouldn't know you are in a tent. There is lots of privacy and each room over looks the plains. Hippos and buffalos come right up to the camp so you need to be accompanied to your room by a guide at night! (If you are a light sleeper bring earplugs as the animals and tiny painted reed frogs will serenade you through the night.) There are multiplugs for US, SA and European plugs to charge your cameras, etc. Like most premium camps in Botswana, there is no Internet or telephone as people are here to get away from it all. You can ask to borrow a hairdryer though none are provided in the rooms. There is a nifty little gift shop but their selection of post cards is not so good. Mombo will, however, post your card for free.

Mombo is in a national park and so no game viewing is allowed after 6:30 PM. To compensate for this, you are woken up at 5:30, get a light breakfast at 6 AM and start your game drive at 6:30 until about 11:30 Am. You then get brunch and have the afternoon to relax while the guides do transfers to the airstrip. Tea is served at 4 PM and you then do another game drive from 4:30-6:30. It's pretty intense and tiring so relaxing at a water based camp in the Delta like Jao with less emphasis on game viewing after Mombo is a great idea. This is not a camp you want to arrive at jet lagged (65% of guests are from the US and many come straight off the plane after more than 22 hours of flying!) as it would be a shame to pay all that money and sleep or not feel up to the game viewing. Unless you pay for a private safari, you will be in a land rover with a total of 6 other guests--though they try to reduce this to 4 guests per vehicle and no more than one change of other guests in the vehicle for your stay. (This gives the guides a chance to get to know guests and balance the needs of those who have already seen game from the just arrived who are initially mesmerized by every graceful impala.)

It can get very cool in winter so bring warm clothes if travelling then. (They sell nice fleeces, gloves and hats in the gift shop.) You get a hot water bottle in your bed and even on game drives during the winter months!

I loved this place and recommend it to anyone who can afford it. I will definitely be back.

  • Stayed: May 2008
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2  Thank poleinahole1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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200 - 206 of 227 reviews

Reviewed May 23, 2008

We spent 3 nights at Mombo with a photography group. It is a beautiful property; the tents are large and well-appointed; the staff is very responsive; the guides are top-notch; and, the wildlife is amazing. We loved it.

  • Stayed: May 2008
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1  Thank deapackedandready
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2008

Right next to the camp is a plain with the greatest diversity of wildlife we saw in any one place.

Stayed: July 2004
1  Thank gmonk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2008

Seasoned safari travellers know you can't "expect" anything, but this is the place on the continent! Incredible wildlife viewing- I experienced cheetah hunts, juvenile leopard viewings and hordes of lions, elephant, buffalo and hoofed game. Truly a photographers haven.
Accommodations, food and guides were all top notch. My best experience in Africa and worthwhile if you can splurge

  • Stayed: May 2005, traveled with friends
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3  Thank hfl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2007

We visited Mombo Camp for just two nights in February 2006 - in the middle of sme of the heaviest rain that Botswana has ever experienced; there were streams everywhere and large areas of standing water.

Despite this, the staff coped very well and the guides did sterling work of trying to find us good game - succeeding with lion aplenty, leopard and rhino. We were lucy enough to have the chief guide there, Brandon, who really was a first-rate gide with excelent eyes, great experience and a real depth of knowledge.

Despite this, he got bogged down in the sodden soil here, and we were stuck for an hour in the open-sided 4WD vehicle watching the pouring rain - but it's a tribute to how impressive he was that there wasn't a single complaint from anyone there!

Mombo's expensive, and quite full and hard to get into ... but it is worth it!

Stayed: February 2006
4  Thank Quatro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2007

My husband and I just got back from a three week vacation in Africa and have to say that this camp blew our expectations out of the water! Words can not describe all that we saw during our stay at Mombo Camp. If you are looking for a camp that truely captures nature at its best and worst...book your stay here....the staff, food and safaris were top notch....no wonder National Geographic spends much of their time filming here! It is worth every penny Mombo charges.....true animal and nature lovers won't be disappointed....Mombo delivers....but if you are the type who is more interested in the spa treatments ....look elsewhere......this place is not for you....although the accomodations are luxurious...tented camp with large rooms, balconys, outdoor/indoor showers.....its focus is on the quality and quantity of animal life you experience....not a pampered vacation...book well in advance during any season as this place sells out quickly and for good reason.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank travellikecrazy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2006

This was quite simply the most outstanding, spectacular, beautiful & inspiring stay. I grew up in Zimbabwe & have spent many holidays in Kenya, so I am biased in that I love Africa, but this was something extraordinary.

We were in Mombo for our honeymoon.....what a honeymoon. We arrived & were shown to our room to be greeted by an elephant that just happened to be wandering by & was scratching an itch on his shoulder on the tree that was propping up our balcony! The lodge is beautifully set out. The main sitting room & dining room face onto a beautiful plain, & we were lucky enough to see the transformation that the water coming into the Delta made to the plain....as our stay progressed we saw the water level rise & the threads of green grass transform into lush swathes of grass.
I would have been quite happy just sitting in the sitting room area looking out at the game that was clearly visible from the raised lodge area. But you don't go on safari just to sit around!
We loved our room (spectacular, ridiculous levels of comfort considering you're in the bush!) - the room is exceptionally large .....a kingsize bed, writing table, large sitting area with sofa looking out to the delta, then large dressing area then large bathroom....with the added bonus of an outdoor shower (that a couple of baboons had fun swinging around on!...once they had slid down the top of the tent a couple of times just for fun!). It is very thoughtfully appointed, & very comfortable....understated luxury. No gold taps or tacky animal skins (sorry if you like that kind of thing).
There is also a plunge pool, which was lovely to cool off in & then have a snooze either on your huge covered daybed on your verandah, or by the pool.
Ok, the game. I cannot relate to one of the other reviewers who thought the game disappointing.....I think it was extraordinary (& I've been on a few safaris). The variety & number was fantastic, and my eyes were opened to a whole new world of birdlife that our fantastic guide (Malinga) pointed out to us - his enthusiasm was infectious. But we saw everything you could possibly hope to see........rhino (within 2 metres), elephant (not as many as I thought we would.......no big herds, but still several), hippos, lion....(several different prides, with about 8 cubs) giraffe, kudu (so majestic) and leopard. Yes, when we met Malinga & he asked us what we'd like to see, I said ' don't worry, we know this isn't a zoo' but my husband said 'I'd like to see leopard'! - I elbowed him in the ribs as I didn't want us to come across like people that just have a shopping list that they want to tick off.......but Malinga said graciously, I"ll see what we can do!
We saw 5 different leopard in one day. Amazing. One sighting was just as we were walking back through camp & one of the guides motioned to us to stand still as we were crossing the walkway to the lodge........& then a leopard just hopped up onto the walk way & langurously sloped off.... We also saw a mating pair which I think is quite rare to see. We also saw wild dogs, hyena, plus a HUGE herd of buffalo that were on the move right past camp....it took 40 minutes for them to walk past...I sat on our verandah & took it all in.
We had buffalo sleeping (& snorting!) under our room, & there were lion in camp one morning too. But you always feel safe as guides walk you back to your rooms. You are in Africa & you know it.
The staff were outstanding; knowledgeable, friendly, funny & passionate. I will never forget all the staff singing the 'welcome to Botswana' song by the campfire.
Oh yes, I am a real foodie & the food was sensational. There isn't much of a choice, but it was all superb.
I cannot recommend this place more highly.....but be warned, it will spoil you. If you go to another camp after this you may be disappointed.......you will not get the same concentration & variety of game in many other places. And we only saw one other truck whilst we were out........this isn't like the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania were there can be as many trucks as animals.

This is an extraordinary place.

  • Stayed: April 2005, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank gvwells2030
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp

Address: Mombo Island, Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Okavango Delta > Moremi Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Moremi Game Reserve
Price Range: $960 - $4,761 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A nostalgic look back at our roots as safari pioneers in Botswana, Mombo Trails Camp is a light-footprint tented camp that has been specially erected to provide accommodation during the rebuild of Mombo and Little Mombo camps. As such, there are no permanent structures, but all the luxury and comforts of a Mombo experience, along with Mombo’s world-famous spectacular game viewing on offer. Eight elegantly furnished and spacious guest tents with en-suite facilities are situated on slightly raised decks to minimise impact on the site, all under large, shady trees, and often within sight of a variety of the area’s wildlife. Set under towering jackalberry trees, the dining, bar and lounge area offers beautiful views over the floodplain. Delicious meals are enjoyed here or under the stars, while veteran Mombo guests, guides and staff gather around the campfire to relive the history of one of our longest-running camps. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mombo Camp Hotel Moremi Game Reserve

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