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“Worth every cent”

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Wilderness Safaris Vumbura Plains Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Worth every cent”
Reviewed June 21, 2011

We were lucky enough to be the first guests at the new camp after it had been rebuilt, and even had the whole place to ourselves for the first night. The staff were wonderful, the lodge immaculate, the food unbelievably good. We chose this camp because it had a mixture of land based and water based acitivities, and the only thing I would criticise, quite heavily as it was supposed to be a highlight of the trip, especially for my companion who had never been and is not likely to go again, was the mokoro trip. It was only 45 minutes long, and although it was interesting to have each plant and insect pointed out to us along the way, we ended up travelling about 200 metres, then turned around and came back! The sundowner cruise was amazing however, and the elephant looming out of the reeds was a bonus, an experience never to be repeated. The rooms are very private and overlook the watering hole where game come regularly to drink. The sunrises over the water are spectacular. If you want the full Okavango experience, this is the place to go but just insist that the Mokoro trip is the full deal!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
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1 Thank Sable37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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226 reviews from our community

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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2011

Had an amazing time at Vumbura Plains. Amazing staff...great accommodations, fantastic food, great game drives. Truly one of the best places. The only thing I can say...is the North Camp burned down and they're rebuilding and from the looks of it I'm not sure it's going to match the location. glass doors, Air conditioning...I hope it works...I wasn't a fan of the buildout. But the South camp keeps the charm of the wilderness camp! My second time staying there and had the best guide...Zee! ASK for him if you stay there!!!!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank David L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
10spower
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2011

Loved our experience in Vumbura. Greeted by staff with smiles and singing. The staff became part of our experience, always introducing themselves and having conversations. The accomodations were simple and complete. We stayed at three camps. This one had no air conditioning but was "zen" like and relaxing and I wasn't too bothered by the bugs. The camp is divided into a north and south side, but a recent fire left only the north side lodge available so we had to walk a distance to a room (and you must be accompanied by a guide due to the closeness of animals in the surrounding environment). This was the one drawback but the camp offered to drive us to an from our room, however you must schedule a pickup as there is no way to communicate to the camp staff once in your room. One recommendation for anyone traveling in a group would be to bring walkie talkies since there is no phone service. The food was lovely and simple (and plentiful!). We loved our guide Zee. He was very knowledgable, warm and friendly. He made this my favorite camp experience.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank 10spower
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2010

We knew the game drives at Vumbura Plains would be amazing after spotting sable during the 45 minute drive from the airport (airstrip) to the lodge. And it didn't disappoint....large herds of buffalo (200+), wild dogs, baby hyenas, leopards, lions....it was a terrific 4 days.

The terrain is very sandy and the large pools of water surrounding the area made for a very unique safari.

The hotel was very stylish....largest shower area I have ever come across, huge beds, and a very nice design touch.

Only observations - you are sharing the room with lots of insects but one is in the middle of Africa so it is to be expected. Our room (number 6) was in direct sunlight so it got really hot in the middle of the day and it was cooler to sit outside in the shade with the breeze. Probably only an issue for October (their hottest month)....

Terrific managers and staff. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank theworldismyhome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chatham, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
42 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2010

We stayed for two nights at Vumbura Plains on a trip that included stops at Singita Boulders in South Africa, Marlin Lodge in Mozambique and Little Mombo, also in the Okavango. We thought the style and décor of Vumbura Plains – very modern – was a nice complement to the styles of Boulders and Mombo which are more traditional or colonial. The room was very nice, the service was very good, the game viewing was terrific and the food was pretty good. When we were leaving we were wishing we had stayed an extra night.

We had a 35 minute flight in a four seater from Maun to get us to the airstrip closest to Vumbura. After an adventurous landing we were in our vehicle driving back to camp. We had a great sighting of a bunch of elephant right in front of camp that didn’t want to let us a pass. A really cute little baby elephant was darting back and forth across the road. They finally yielded and we could begin our stay.

As I stated the camp has a very modern and clean design. What the camp also has are amazing views of the plains – 180 degrees unobstructed. We loved the room here. It had a big open loft feeling to it, and the most comfortable bed we’ve ever slept on. The bed was massive as well. Seriously I’d go back just for the bed alone. It was so comfy you could almost sleep through the hippos splashing about outside the room all night. The room had a nice sitting area with a big couch, and we also loved the private deck with plunge pool which we didn’t use.

The service was great at Vumbura. Everybody was warm and friendly. The camp managers were very outgoing and went out of their way to chat with all of the guests and make everybody feel welcome. My birthday happened to fall on one of the nights we were staying, and we came back from our game drive to find that they setup a private table for two on our deck which is where we spent that evening. 6 or 7 people, including the kitchen staff, delivered a freshly made chocolate birthday cake to us as we were finishing dinner, topped off with a happy birthday song in the local language as well as in English. That was a very nice touch.

We enjoyed some great sightings on our game drives here. The highlights would probably be the pack of nearly 20 wild dogs we found on our last morning drive. A pretty rare sighting and we hung out with them as they played around a water hole for a good hour. On the way back to camp we saw five cheetah finishing their Impala kill. Our guide, ST, was great. He had that perfect blend of knowledge and good-natured friendliness that makes all the difference.

The food we had was good but overall we though the food at Boulders and Mombo had a slight edge. Still we were well fed and it was all pretty high quality.

One of the coolest parts of the stay was leaving actually. We hopped on a helicopter for the short ride over to Mombo. Seeing the landscape and animals from the air was very cool.

In summary we were very pleased with our rather short stay at Vumbura Plains and would recommend it.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank bullet78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Australia
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2010

This was my favourite of the 7 WS camps we stayed in in August. The rooms were amazing with personal plunge pools. Fantastic design of the rooms and so spacious. I would have been happy sitting in the room just watching the bird life on the water.
The game is fantastic and our guide ST, was tremendous. Food is great and just so much of it. Try the home baked croissants at breakfast.
Highly recommend this camp.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank marleemia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2010

We spent three nights in May 2010 at this camp at the start of a 12 day, 5 camp, Southern African safari. After Vumbura we continued on to Mombo and River Club (also owned by Wilderness Safaris), and finished our trip at Singita’s Lebombo and Boulders Lodges.

We arrived at the Vumbura airstrip by single engine plane from Maun and met Brian, an extremely knowledgeable, ex-special forces guide from South Africa. During the drive to camp we saw lions, giraffe, elephants, impala, and lots of birds. We are primarily lion people but gradually grew fond of the many species of birds in the Okavango Delta. Birds are colorful, vocal and plentiful and Brian knew them all. When I jokingly asked him if he was making up the statistics about one particular bird he pulled out his bird book, opened it to a specific page and showed me a picture of the bird with even more information. He had me making notes on my small notepad every time we stopped about habits and habitat. I used this information when I sorted thru the nearly 1500 pictures we took at Vumbura. When I first envisioned this safari I thought we would sit back and look at animals during the twice a day game drives. What I discovered was how much there is to learn. It is key you have a good guide on safari and Brian is one of the best.

Our “tent” at South Vumbura consisted of one large room with a living area, open shower, two sink vanity, mosquito netted bed, private toilet and lots of storage on open shelving. Three sides of the tent were wood framed floor to ceiling screens which looked out onto the plain and allowed for flow thru ventilation. One side was canvas for privacy. Vumbura has two generators so there is electricity 24/7. Each room has electrical outlets for charging camera batteries and a netbook if you want to review your daily photos. (There is a computer in the common area for this purpose if you don’t bring a netbook). No phones or internet are available but electric light is very nice. The bed is extremely comfortable and has a variable speed quiet overhead fan. Light switches for all the lights in the room and reading lamps are inside the netting. Outside the tent is another shower, plunge pool, and a large sitting area for the afternoon siesta.

The common area has a firepit for morning and late afternoon or evening get-togethers, a large dining area which provides lots of options for meal seating, a bar, library and various spots to sit and view wildlife. Whoever designed this camp did a great job since every structure faces the plain.

Early morning breakfast is fruit, juices, and a variety of freshly prepared protein items which are important prior to the safari drives. Brunch is soup, salads, and eggs, bacon, cooked on a grill right in front of you. Dinner is fish or meat and all the trimmings. Meals are made to order and very good considering the food is brought in by truck from Maun which is 14 hours away.

What sets this camp apart is the staff. The managers during our stay were Katie and Noko who both made us feel right at home. Wilderness Safaris has done a great job selecting and training their management and staff. They all know your first name within minutes and use it during your stay. Their attention to detail and guest wishes is first class. Everyone has a smile and always available to help or answer questions. At times it is hard to believe you are out in the middle of nowhere. Any of the staff will join you (when asked) to tell stories about their homeland or ask questions about yours. They made us feel like family.

Safari drives begin at dawn and last about 3 hours and you go out again in the late afternoon after tea. Vumbura has night drives so often on your way back to camp it is dark and the guide can locate animals on their way to hunt. During our stay we saw a leopard and a hyena on the prowl.

Because Vumbura is right on the water, it is possible to arrange for a motorboat to take you into the Delta. We went to Little Vumbura camp for coffee. During the trip over and back we saw beautiful water plants and birds while we navigated down narrow channels lined with reeds and papyrus. The water is incredibly clear and you can easily see to the shallow bottom of the flooded marshes.

During our stay the water was rising and many of the normal game drive routes were under water. That doesn’t stop the guides however and often we drove through two to three feet of water to stay on track. The Land Rovers at Vumbura are new and are amazing vehicles. My guess is there is nothing they can’t master except the occasional pot hole in the bush.

The most amazing game drive at this camp was a late morning visit to an elephant pool where at least one hundred elephants, in several groups, came to the water hole, drank, bathed and moved on. We sat or stood on the opposite side and just watched for over an hour – and they were still coming when we left.

Vumbura is a large concession and you rarely see another vehicle. The guides talk to each other periodically which increases your chance of seeing animals. In addition to animals spotted on our first drive we saw kudu, hippo, baboon, tsessebe, zebra, wildebeest, and cape buffalo.

We highly recommend this camp. We want to come back tomorrow. But it is a long way from Oregon.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank OregonStateTravler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wilderness Safaris Vumbura Plains Camp

Property: Wilderness Safaris Vumbura Plains Camp
Address: Vumbura Plains, Botswana
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Okavango Delta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 71 Specialty Lodging in Okavango Delta
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vumbura Plains, a luxurious retreat of contemporary design, seems to float on a sea of waving reeds in the midst of a large floodplain. The sumptuous rooms, each with its own plunge pool and sala, are uniquely designed, spacious and raised on wooden decks to take in a wide-angled vista. Because the area is a mix of water and dry land, wildlife is diverse, so water-loving lechwe splash through the reeds, while rare sable antelope can be seen in the dry savannah. Lion, leopard, elephant, cheetah, wild dog and buffalo along with plains game and prolific birds provide an excellent all-round wildlife experience. • 14 tents • 100% solar • day and night game drives • village visit • mokoro • boat • nature walks • catch-and-release fishing • spa ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Vumbura Plains Camp Hotel Moremi Game Reserve
Wilderness Safaris Vumbura Plains Camp Botswana/Okavango Delta

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