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“A Jewel in the Delta”

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Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp
Reviewed August 19, 2013

Mombo is one of the premier camps in the Okavango Delta. Food, accommodation and service are absolutely top class. I actually put on weight during my visit there, even though I tried to stay diligent and only select a few of the options available. I hesitate to consider what happened to anybody who said yes to everything offered. The tents were by far the largest we experienced during our multicamp tour of the Delta, with luxurious showers and beautiful views over the plain from every room.

But you can get beautiful hotels with outstanding service in every corner of the world, usually at a much reduced rate compared to a safari experience. Mombo is one of only 2 camps on Chief's Island, the largest in the delta. You can therefore get a wide variety of wildlife, but it also gives them more space to roam, so you need an expert tracker to locate some of the game. This is all part of the adventure; if you're expecting all the animals to be simply line up for you to view then go to a zoo. Visitors from other continents might not have much appreciation for the delicate changes in the eco-balance so it was great to get our guide to show us some of the side-effects of having too many lions in the area. I would encourage every visitor to try to learn more about the interactions between animals and their surrounds.

One negative I would like to point out. No night drives are permitted in the Moremi reserve, but why do they insist on starting the afternoon drive earlier than at other camps. It's too hot and all the game is sheltered under trees. I would have enjoyed a shorter drive and more time to actually enjoy the opulent camp itself.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mark F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 28, 2013

After our second trip to Mombo, I must echo other reviewers in saying that the game viewing has been heading downhill there for the past decade. In our 6 game drives, we saw only 2 of the Big 5 (elephant and lion), compared with the Big 5/Magnificent Seven we saw at Singita and the exceptional game viewing at Zarafa. Our guide, Callum, was enthusiastic and nice, but if you are coming for the animals I recommend requesting a guide such as Tsile. The camp (we stayed at Little Mombo) is beautiful and superbly located-- watching elephant herds from the shower is magical!--and the food was great. The staff too is incredibly kind and caring, but because of declining game I can't say that we would return.

Room Tip: Management and staff at main Mombo (vs Little Mombo) is probably a bit better.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank BDWny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp, responded to this reviewResponded August 5, 2013

Thank you very much for the feedback on your recent trip and we are saddened that Mombo did not live up to its reputation this time. Mombo is situated in one of the most diverse and dynamic parts of the Okavango Delta. Wildlife abundance and movement is inextricably tied in with the annual fluctuations of floodwaters and the distribution of both grazing and browsing availability on and around Chiefs Island. These fluctuations of ‘high and low’ water can have tremendous impact and provides herbivores with graze and browse in different areas of Chiefs Island from month to month and year to year. The last few years the delta has experienced extreme flood waters so this movement is to be expected and can result in brief periods of ‘low’ viewing as the animals concentrate elsewhere for the preferred food availability for a month or two at most. The annual inundations cannot be predicted, and therefore the local availability of wildlife cannot ever be promised to visitors on the same scale as other areas of southern Africa where wildlife is controlled by mankind on a local scale. One of the great attractions of the Okavango and Mombo areas is this dynamism, a variation which is extremely healthy for the long term occurrence of intact biodiversity. We are very confident that Mombo continues to deliver exceptional diversity and wonderful opportunities to view a wide variety of game and very unique interactions.

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Reviewed July 19, 2013

Stayed at Mombo in July 2013 for two nights. The location of the camp is wonderful and the scenery of Chief's Island in the Okavango Delta is gorgeous. The camp cannot be faulted - they run a superb operation. The accommodation, public areas, food, service levels, attitude and attentiveness of the staff - impossible to find fault.

Care for the guests' well being was taken to extraordinary lengths - the mornings were a bit crisp and it was necessary to have a pullover on. But the camp laid on rugs and hot water bottles and even the seats in the Landrover could be heated. Completely over the top. There were clear signs that Mombo is probably first in the queue for capital and maintenance monies - the Landrovers were in great condition.

Our guide - Tsile - was superb. He was completely at ease with the guests, a superb tracker and driver. He had passion and knowledge for wildlife in equal measure and a wonderful sense of humour.

Over the two days we saw lion, leopard, elephant, the lone wild dog, jackals, hyenas, and all the plains game one could expect - but not buffalo. Mombo used to be known as the 'predator capital of Africa'. But not now.

I came here in 1998 and 1999 and sightings of wild dogs were common. I saw a wild dog kill on two occasions and a leopard kill right in front of the vehicle. I even saw a cheetah in addition to lions and leopards. But there has been no sighting of a cheetah for 5 years and the wild dog pack has gone. The number of leopards has gone down. Lions - 70+ - are ascendant. For the super keen safari goer it's important that you do the research - follow the reports from the camps - and work out which combination of camps gives you the best chance of seeing all the predators.

I would recommend Mombo but whilst the new camp is far far more luxurious than the Meru tents of the late nineties, I do not feel the game viewing is as good as it once was. This is no-one's fault; it's just nature.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Kirkmans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Our family just returned from our trip to Africa and a stay at Mombo Camp. The highlight of this camp for us was seeing lions, and within 5 feet of our jeep! We also saw a running herd of buffalo through water which was spectacular! This location also had one wild dog who befriended a jackal and we would see the two of them walking together at various parts of this reserve (very cute). When this camp was new, it was probably quite impressive, however, we did not experience a significant difference in quality of accommodation from the other 2 camps we stayed at which were quite a bit less money. The food was very good, however, the portions were quite small. There was a need to stress presentation, rather than sufficient portions, which I found irritating. We were lucky enough to stay here on a Monday night, which is the only night they have singing and dancing by staff around the Boma (campfire) and a dinner of traditional African food which was good. This was a nice experience. Regarding the tents, all walls were screens so you were equally freezing at night and in the morning here, as you were at a less expensive camp. The cooler of complimentary beverages in the tents was a nice touch. Hot water bottles provided on morning game drives, along with thin blankets which should have been thicker as we had at our other camps, but this one was the most expensive. Laundry staff destroyed a pant and shirt so I suggest not giving laundry to staff at this camp. In summary, our wildlife experience was excellent, however I did not feel we received our money's worth in terms of accommodation and food.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank EmilyWaugh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp, responded to this reviewResponded July 31, 2013

We are very grateful for the feedback received and thank you for taking the time to do so. We are all very pleased that you chose to stay at Mombo and sounds like you had some memorable wildlife sightings.
Mombo is our flagship property and we strive for absolute excellence, of course we are disappointed that your expectations were not met.
We are constantly reviewing our offering and your comments are noted with appreciation. We are pleased to inform you that we are currently undergoing a soft refurbishment at Mombo and Little Mombo and warmer blankets are certainly being looked at.
We are also exploring various ways in which to keep the icy July weather at bay. Electrical appliances are challenging due to the camp being 100% solar run, and for obvious reasons, fireplaces pose a tremendous risk in a tent on wooden decks, but we certainly are looking for a suitable way to make the two really cold months a little more pleasant.
We have taken your comments on the food into account and our food experience manager is reviewing the quantities served. It is, however, always a bit tricky to get it 100% right every time. Our apologies for not meeting your expectations.
We would also like to sincerely apologise for the incident in the laundry. We would have gladly offered you something out of our Trading Store if we had the opportunity whilst you were in camp, please accept our apologies.
Running a lodge, like Mombo in such a remote area of the delta presents immense challenges, being in the Moremi National Park, there are substantial fees that we pay to operate there and these do add to the expense you incurred. We appreciate that a good safari to Africa (and you visited some great camps) is not your average holiday.
We are grateful for your support and we hope that you or your friends and family will allow us to host you again, perhaps a set of different camps and a different season.
Thanks for the feedback and hope to see you back in Africa!

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Reviewed June 20, 2013

On our Botswana trip we traveled in a group of 15, and kind of moved in and took over any
camp we visited.
Most of the camps were Wilderness Safari owned and operated, and I find it hard to find any
faults.
The first camp, Jack's camp the wake up guy asked if we wanted anything else with our coffee,
and my wife, addicted to very hot coffee, said if she could have the milk heated it would be great.
The next morning, and every morning for the rest of the trip, regardless of which camp we were
in, without an additional request, the milk was always hot.
This is just a minor example of the quality of management in Wilderness safari camps.
Game viewing was great, guides were just perfect. It is easy to see that they study
hard to improve their guiding skills.
Fabulous in the bush brunch complete with bar and ladies toilet.
Way more than anyone would ever expect from a "camp", and sleeping in a "tent".

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Bill K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2013

After two days at Vumbura Plains Safari my husband and I moved on to Mombo where we stayed three nights. Another piece of heaven. Our "tent" like usual was a luxurious suite. We did get woken up by the baboons jumping on our roof but it just made the experience so much more real. Our guide Sefo was fantastic. The leopard hunt was the highlight of this safari for us. Even though we came back a little late in the evening the excitement didn't stop there. The lions were coming through the camp so we had to scamper to our tents very quickly. Lots of hippos outside as well and the elephant in the backyard never even bothered with us. Saw so many animals at the reserve and even though our camera wasn't working I thank Brit for coming out with me and taking all the pictures. I have already downloaded them into my computer and looking at all the wonderful pictures brings tears to my eyes. The staff couldn't do enough for us and the evening meals were terrific. Met up with the couple we met at Vumbura and had a wonderful evening sitting around the fire and continuing sharing our experiences. Cannot recommend this safari camp more than I can say. Words cannot properly explain the experience one has here. There is a small gym but you have to share it with the baboons at times. Miss those hot water bottles that were in our beds each night and on our seats each morning on the jeep that took us on safari. Not a single thing missed when it came to ensuring our safety and comfort. Would love to come back some time and bring my son and his family. What an experience for them! Hi to all of you. Pat and Jim Glionna

Room Tip: Didn't use the spa so cannot comment
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Patricia34467
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

What can I say...Mombo is just the best! This was our second time,first in 2010. We spent our five days with leopards and lions. This camp is about predators and top guides. We had both Sefo and Moss during our stays...both AMAZING! Without a question the service and food can compete easily with any top hotel around the world. You just can't believe what they can put together in the middle of the bush. The new chef Ryan made excellent vegetarian meals for me. My husband turned 65 here and the staff made a creative message on our bed to celebrate. We travel with Wilderness Safari due to their terrific camps and commitment to conservation. Words are not enough to describe this camp and the experience.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank mwitul
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: $1,366 - $4,799 (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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