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“Fantastic range of wildlife”

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Wilderness Safaris Little Vumbura Camp
Certificate of Excellence
new york
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Fantastic range of wildlife”
Reviewed October 18, 2011

What a beautiful setting - accessible only by boat it's on an island but only a few mins boatride to land. You have the best of both worlds there as you get to do land & water excursions. We saw wild dogs hunting impalas, a leopard and her cubs with a kill, a hyena chasing a leopard too mention just a few unique experiences.The grounds are nicely done - cool little bar, fireplace with plenty of seating, a lounge and a library with seating tastely built around a termite hill to not disturb the environment. The staff are v friendly and helpful. Food was great. The rooms are nicely furnished and the shower has a great view of the surrounding area. My one & only complaint is the critters in the room - we had a huge spider, our neighbours had a scorpion and my friends had a rat!!! I know you are right in the middle of nature but we would have felt more comfortable if the staff had reacted better and tried to get rid of them rather than just laughing. It's really hard to get a few hours sleep with a rat on your inside window frame!!

Room Tip: Only 6 rooms so you can't really pick a bad one.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
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2 Thank tazzer01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
London
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2011

We recently spent two nights here as part of a longer Delta trip. This place surpassed my expectations. Little Vumbura is on an island so you travel about 15 -20 mins each way to get to the camp or to get to your landie for the safari. This is brilliant as it combines wet and dry game viewing - on a few occasions on the water (once at night) we saw hippo crossing in front of us or a herd of elephants crossing the river within four metres of us!!

Upon arrival at camp, we were greeted by Frank and his team and they set the tone for a friendly and warm stay. His team couldn't do enough for the whole group. The team in the kitchen produce magic each night - all the more impressive given that you're in the middle of nowhere. The accommodation is superb - tented luxury with little between you and the animals outside (your guide takes you back to your room in the dark as a result). We had the pleasure of hippo, kudu and an elephant grazing right outside our tent at night! They seem to have taken up residence. Truly amazing.

Our guide for the stay was Rain and I can't compliment him enough. From sublime tracking skills (on one occasion a leopard through / over bush) to an incredible knowledge of the bush and animals around him. It was a pleasure to have him show us around.

This is a truly amazing place and def somewhere that should be on the list of any Okavango Delta trip.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank travelling_journeys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
152 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2011

This was an out of this world holiday experience. The absolute best experience we have both enjoyed from travelling all over the world. The staff were professional, warm and paid great attention to detail. The whole experience was wonderful, Eg: the wildlife, the camp, the fit out, the level of comfort, the food, and the great attention to detail.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank JohnC27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olten, Switzerland
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2010

Our two families with a teen each stayed there two nights prior to going to Kwando Lagoon Camp. For full details of the whole safari (brilliantly guided by Ultimate Safaris) please refer to my blog (http://swisstraveller-franziska.blogspot.com/).
This camp is a “classic” Wilderness Safari camp (meaning a notch down from the “premiere” camp). Its setting is spectacular, surrounded by water and only reachable by boat. On our arrival we were welcomed by a group of employees presenting a local song, a nice touch. There are six comfortable, spacious and well furnished tents connected to the common areas with raised walkways. As far as the public space is concerned, there is a covered place for meals, a bar, a lounge, a library and a small pool. Food wise you are on full board meaning breakfast before the morning game drive, brunch/lunch after it, high tea before the evening game drive and dinner after it and all the meals are buffet style. The quantity of food is more than enough but its quality is not always sufficient. I personally liked the salads at lunch time and the deserts, the meat however was not suitable for buffet style meals (tough steaks) and the vegetables were almost uncooked. The camp offers a variety of activities on land and on water. We made several game drives and one mokoro trip, all very well organized and always drinks as well as snacks were offered. We enjoyed it very much and had the chance to view (amongst others) lions and a pack of wild dogs. The service at Little Vumbura was faultless and we are picky guests …
All in all, we consider the stay in this camp as a very good experience; accommodations, service and activities were excellent, only some ameliorations food wise would be appropriate.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank swisstraveler63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level 6 Contributor
66 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2010

This camp was selected as part of a 2 week Africa trip with help from Craig Beal at Travel Beyond. He knew we wanted to experience several different ecosystems during our brief stay and suggested this small camp (6 tents) for our large group (7 people in 3 tents), as our “water” camp experience, though it has land activities too. It was an incredible location, and being a Wilderness (WS) Safaris camp, we had a wonderful stay. Our only complaint being that due to it’s small size and island location, it was not well equipped to host World Cup viewing that was going on during our visit. Unfortunately, late one night, the excitement got out of hand and the camp management did not handle the aftermath well. I did mention this to our travel agent, because it was so unusual compared to our other WS camp experiences. I was personally contacted by a Wilderness Safaris representative who took the time to address our concerns and set things right when we returned. We would gladly return to this beautiful island camp; just not when a neighboring country is hosting a major world event again!

Location:
I don’t know exactly where this camp is…other than on an island in the northern part of the Delta. It is so remote and pristine, it literally feels like we traveled to another world! In our case because of record flooding, we took a helicopter into the landing strip, then a boat to the island where Little Vumbura is located. The sense of adventure and remoteness grew as we kept taking smaller and smaller modes of transport to arrive at LV. Over three days out in boats, mokoros or on land in the Rover, we only saw other human beings twice. I am embarrassed to admit once I asked our guide, Sam, what animal was that moving up ahead in the bushes and he had to laugh and tell me it was another Rover with workers headed to repair the airstrip!

Service:
We found the staff to be friendly and accommodating here. They enjoyed interacting with guests- maybe it’s the island location! We particularly enjoyed their singing us to dinner every night, and bought baskets that the ladies make in the traditional way during their (rare) down time. Our guide was terrific, and really knew the area, the game, the birds- we just couldn’t stump him with any of our question;-) I wish the management had been more proactive after our difficulties, I was pretty clear how unhappy we were at the time, but hopefully that will be addressed.

Dining:
<Disclaimer: I am probably not the best person to review food, as I am a food for fuel person, but we had a diverse group; a vegetarian, 2 “foodie” adults-one a Brit, and 3 teens-one not so adventurous, and the food was positively reviewed by everyone in our group, and everyone found plenty to enjoy at every meal!>
This camp is rated by WS as “Classic” so meals are buffet style, with eggs cooked to order at brunch. The food was good with some local specialties, but lots of familiar food to the Americans and Brit in our group. One pleasant surprise was the amount of salad and vegetables available. Dining is outside on a covered deck over the water. Maybe it’s not over water when the waters are not so high, but to us it felt like being on an open air boat deck, without the rocking! We could enjoy watching the birds and water while dining.

Rooms/tents:
The tents are set along a board walk, 6 in a line, and because this is an island, the staff village is set parallel to the boardwalk, on the other side of the island. This allowed us to walk the circuit around the whole island, which was often necessary when the bull elephant visited and was munching vegetation beside the guest boardwalk.
(we found this delightful, and no trouble at all!) All the tents have views of the Delta. # 1 is closest to the lounge and library, and # 6 is the last in the line, furthest from the public areas.
Each tent has a beautiful bed under netting, two night stands with lights, a desk, an arm chair (we found it odd there was just one though!), loads of storage space and an ensuite bath in 3 pieces; twin sinks in the main room, and separate shower and separate toilet areas, both with screened views out to the Delta! Our tent (#6) had an outdoor tub overlooking the water, and a private deck with a lounge and chair. Our teens stayed in the family tent which has the exact same set up in the main tent (but the other tents have an outdoor shower) and an additional tent attached by sliding doors with twin beds, and another full bath on the opposite side of the tent.

Activities and Game:
This camp like most WS Camps operates a schedule whereby guests are up very early (how early depends on the season, how light it is) a guide will bring coffee to your tent, and escort you a while later to the dining area for a breakfast before heading out on a game activity. During the activity, you will stop for coffee and some light refreshments. Usually, you will return around 11:30 for brunch, which will include hot food and eggs cooked to order. After brunch there is time to relax in your tent or around camp till about 2:30 or 3 when tea is served. This is usually snacks and drinks before you head out on an afternoon activity at 4. During the afternoon game activity, there will be a stop at sunset (in winter) to enjoy drinks and refreshments and then return to camp for dinner outside between 8:00 or 9 PM. After that, many guests head for bed, but some may stay up at the bar for a little bit.
Water Activities: We went out on a boat trip one afternoon and a mokoro trip another afternoon. These were amazing, especially the mokoro. Being at water level, poled by someone who has “got around” this way all his life, was amazing! Being at water level you appreciate the vastness and panorama of the landscape, and also get a chance to see the tiniest things you might miss in a boat or on foot! The motor boat trip also allowed us a chance to get a better look (safely) at the local hippo pods and crocks.

Land activities: Because this is an island camp we did take the boat to the landing where the Rovers were kept to do a game drive on land. This added an element of having both a boat and Rover part of the game drive, which was really nice. We saw elephant and lechewee and all kinds of birds while on the boat each way. Because of the record floods, game was a little dispersed while we were there, but we saw some incredible animals, including buffalo, zebra, impala, warthog, giraffe, steenbok, sable, tseebee, wildebeest, kudu, secretary bird, ostrich, and our one predator, a very sweet black back jackal. Also, birds too numerous to list (though I have in my own checklist)
Also, we were able to have a walk around the island with our guide on our last day, to get a look at the small mammals, trees, plants and interesting birds and insects that were living among us for 3 days!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank familygoBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, AZ
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2010

My husband and I stayed at Little Vumbura as the first camp of our first safari experience. I understand why the previous reviewer made the comments she/he did, because we found the 3 classic camps we visited to vary, but each one had its own "vibe" and personality.

The menu at Little Vumbura is much more basic (I don't think they have a trained chef) but tasty. Quite frankly, since we are "foodies," if all the classic camps had cooking at this level, it would have gotten a bit old. But we enjoyed the wonderful singing of the staff before each meal, and there is a very intimate feel to this small camp. I understand this camp will be charging a surcharge next season to compensate for the costs of getting supplies to the camp. I wonder if this issue had something to do with the menus.

When we were there, the water level was extremely high, and the flooding on the plains kept the guides from many areas. But they worked tirelessly to find game, and we enjoyed our drives, and the boat rides, immensely.

In retrospect, from our limited experiences, I would say you have to be prepared for camp variation, and if you have a good travel agent who has personally visited the camps, you should be able to match, or at least temper, your expectations.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Get out of Dodge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laguna Beach
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2010

We had just arrived from another "classic" type camp in another part of Botswana and expected the same quality of service and cuisine. The first evening I wanted to sit in the library before dinner and the lights weren't on so I asked one of the staff to turn them on. She did not know how and said that she would return with someone to assist her but did not nor did anyone else come by to assist. The service went down from there. The food was poorly prepared at all of the meals. We were supposed to stay for four nights and we cut our stay to two nights. My husband and I would not return to this camp nor recommend it to anyone else.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WandaLagunaBeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wilderness Safaris Little Vumbura Camp

Property: Wilderness Safaris Little Vumbura Camp
Address: North of the Moremi Wildlife Reserve, Botswana
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Okavango Delta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 71 Specialty Lodging in Okavango Delta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Wilderness Safaris Little Vumbura Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Iconic and perennially popular Okavango island camp with great game viewing.Little Vumbura epitomises island living in the midst of a water wonderland. Designed to blend in with its surroundings, this beautiful camp is shaded by the canopy of an ancient Okavango forest that covers the island. A plunge pool and reading area are raised to provide a fine view over the floodplains and a star-deck leads off over the water from the dining area. HighlightsSurrounded as it is by water and lying close to large channels, aquatic creatures are easily found, but general wildlife viewing is consistently good all year round, with lion, leopard, elephant, sable and buffalo along with extensive plains game. Little Vumbura is situated in a concession leased from remote rural communities organised under the Okavango Community Trust and aims to help bring the benefits of ecotourism to local people.6 Tents: Spacious canvas tents; en-suite bathrooms; honeymoon suite has an outdoor bathtubExperiences: Game drivesMokoro excursionsBoatingGuided walks (on request) ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Wilderness Safaris Little Vumbura Camp Botswana/Okavango Delta

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