This is one of Wildnerness Safaris "classic" camps, a notch down from their 'premiere' camps. We stayed here prior to going to Little Mombo (see my other TA review), which is a premiere camp, and we also saw the rooms at Vumbura Plains (a premiere camp) while following a wild dog pack and their impala kill! so we were able to get a good sense of the difference.
The setting of Little Vumbura is lovely, surrounded by waterways. You drive most of the way to the camp before taking a boat the rest of the way. We were greeted by singing staff, which is an enormously pleasant way to arrive at a property. In fact, the staff here are really one of the gems of Little Vumbura. Nearly all from Botswana, they have amazing voices and one night treated us to a spectacular concert before dinner. The food and drink here were fine, especially given the remote location, but a signficant step down from the food at Mombo. Still, you definitely won't go hungry. One night we had a candlelit dinner in the bush together with about 100 people from other camps, and had excellent bbq meats and a fantastic local singing group.
Our room was small, but quite comfortable. unfortunately our first night there was a windstorm, and the heavy flaps of all the tents in the camp made a horrible racket keeping all of us up for hours. We complained the next day, but no one really seemed to know what to do about it.
Our guide was a wonderful, sweet, incredibly smart and knowledgeable guy named Sam. Our typical day would start with wakeup at 430am, breakfast at 5, and departure at 530am, just as the sun was rising. It's a beautiful time of day listening to the birds over the marsh and sometimes the distant roar of lions.
Our drives were sometimes slow at Vumbura, with no 'big' game, particularly in relation to Mombo, but we always enjoyed them immensely. Sam was an incredibly knowledgeable birder, and we could, and often did, spend hours just identifying and learning about birds! But we also saw some incredible things including the highlight...a large pack of wild dogs kill an impala. This chase took us into the Vumbura Plains property which was closed for some renovation. These rooms were much larger than ours, with their own plunge pools and extensive decking. It looked like a nice property, but not as intimate and friendly as Little Vumbura.
We did not participate in the mokoro or boat rides, instead choosing to go on safari each time. I'm not sorry because everyone who came back described those as 'relaxing', which we kind of read to mean 'boring'! We were very happy on the drives and even when we didn't see the so-called big things, we had a great time. The elephant action here was very, very good, better even than at Mombo. We saw large herds every drive, and the elephants are good fun, mock charging and trumpeting and interacting.
I can't say that I would go back here, mainly because the overall game viewing at Mombo was soooo much better, but it is a special place and you certainly won't be sorry you went!
- 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