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“Something different”
Review of Pom Pom Camp

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Pom Pom Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Something different”
Reviewed September 24, 2009

My wife and I spent two nights at Pom Pom Lodge in early July of this year as part of a honeymoon trip around the world, and it was easily one of the major highlights of our entire trip! We were planning on doing some traveling through Southern Africa, including Victoria Falls and South Africa, and Okavango was the first part of the trip. Our trip was booked through Perfect Africa travel agency, and I must say that Kathryn (agent) did a fabulous job!!

Being high season, it was very costly, so we decided to spend only two days there since we had somewhat of a budget. We kind of got there through an atypical route. We flew into Victoria Falls, were driven to the Zimbabwe/Botswana border, crossed the border, different driver from the border to Kasane Airport, then charter flight into the private airstrip for the camp.

Upon arrival, we realized why it cost what it did. This is a wonderful little camp! Warm reception on arrival, only 9 tents, so can mostly accommodate max about 20 people, very friendly staff and experienced rangers and trackers. Ince we planned on spending a few nights in Kruger National Park SA, we decided to skip Chobe National Park.

I have now been on 3 different African Safaris, including Masi Mara (Kenya), Okavango Delta, and Kruger, and I must say that the Delta during the wet season is something very special (not to take anything away from the other locations which were also amazing but much different). One of the highlights for me were the amazing views of the wetlands from the charter plain while flying to the camp. Could not stop taking pictures!

A good friend of mine had been to Okavango and told me to expect to see many birds, but fewer animals. I guess we were very lucky then, because we saw many animals including lions, leopards, hyenas, elephants, many types of antelope. I thick we saw everything except rhinos, which we were told do not usually inhabit the area. The Mocoro rides were very peaceful, and truly displayed the beauty of the delta. We also went on a private fishing trip one morning and caught plenty of fish. Our tracker found an Eagle, and was able to feed it one of our fish which was really cool.

The evening drives were accompanied by a stop for drinks and snacks while watching the sunsets. In fact, there was plenty of alcohol and beverages throughout the stay at the lodge, all of which were included. The staff at the lodge were very friendly, and the food was top notch! My wife actually felt that the food here was some of the best food she had during the entire 2-month honeymoon trip! I greatly enjoyed the open bar, and the drinking by the campfire in the evenings

Tents were very nice, and had all the necessities of any hotel room. We also heard animals roaming around our tent in the middle of the night, but it was not frightening. We did however head the warnings and did not walk around alone in the evenings. Given the small size of the camp, there are much fewer tourists, which is a big plus. You definitely get to meet new interesting people from around the world and share stories, but you don’t feel overwhelmed with people and there is plenty of personalized attention to go around.

Special thanks to our tracker Dalton who did an amazing job. Was able to track a leopard which we were able to follow around for about a 30 min at close very range.

Just to mention, that although it is very cold in the middle of the night and early mornings, our morning drives would depart after breakfast at about 8 or 9 am, when the temp was much warmer (in Kruger we would depart at 5;30-6am where it would very VERY cold, until it would start to warm up later in the morning)

Overall, an unforgettable experience, somewhat different than other types of safaris, very close to nature, very non-commercial, very personalized, and well worth the price! Which we were there for more days and would highly recommend!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank johnabed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Helsinki, Finland
Level 6 Contributor
158 reviews
135 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2009

We liked our stay at Pom Pom very much. The manager and staff are very welcoming and friendly.

At arrival, a nice lunch was waiting for us. Otherwise there is a continental breakfast before the morning activities, a good brunch after them, an afternoon tea before the afternoon game drive and a good dinner after the game drive (and drinks before the dinner and after).

The camp is in the middle of nature and you will hear sounds of animals during the night. You are not allowed to walk around the area alone because of the animals. You are either driven or escorted to your tent after dinner.

The tents are good, not luxury but nice and cean. The shower is roofless (I chose to take my showers after the brunch, early morning or late evening would have been cold for me.

Laundry service is included (you get your things back cleaned in the evening. No underwear though).

There is a pool.

The scenere is very beautiful The guides are very good. The choice of activities are game drives, mokoro canoes and nature walks. There is a possibility to sea lions and leopards and the guides certainly know how to find them. We were very pleased though that we had also included Chobe in our tour as there were lots more animals there, but also lots more tourists. Pom Pom is an experience in the nature, there are no other tourists than those staying at this camp.

At the lobby there is a possibility to charge camera batteries at designated times. There is also a small shop for souveniers.

The charter flights may be delayed so do not plan this place as your last place before your flights to Johannesburg and onwards (some people who did this missed their flight to the USA when the departure from the Delta was delayed). It is best to stay in Maun for the last night to make sure that you catch your plane (Motsentsela Tree Lodge there is a good choice for that).

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank kauris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2009

This was our second camp in the delta and we loved it! There are only 8 tents - so we personally found it very quiet. The nights were spent around the camp fire drinking with the manager, guides and other guests - exchanging stories etc. Most people went to bed at 9 ish so there were only a few of us around the fire - it was beautiful!

The tent was great like others in the delta. The manager "Brian" was very welcoming. It was our honeymoon - so we had a bottle of champagne waiting for us in our tent which was a nice touch! And were had a necklas cut out of a lilly flower and stem.

The food was good and the guides were really good. The drives were lovely! One of the evening drives we never saw another sole other than the other couple in our jeep. We always had drinks and watched the sun set.

We had giraffes, elephant, bush buck and kudo actually coming into the camp. A lone hippo swam in the pool in front of the main camp. We were lucking again in that we saw a couple of different leopards one eating a kill (see photos).

The guides taught us tracks and there wasn't a single bird that they couldn't immedietly identify. I really cannot think of anything negative about Pom Pom. Other than the tents were very slightly tired and the boiler kept failing. But if you truned on both taps at once it created enough pressure to get it to click in. But that was only a slight niggle, as we really did love our time at Pom Pom. Hot water bottles were provided every night and the staff were lovely!

Like I said we loved Pom Pom - small, romantic and very quiet!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BristolianCouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2009

Our first night at Pom Pom camp was lovely. The food is great, the staff is great, we loved our guides, and we got to see a leopard. Our tent was luxurious and we loved sitting in the quiet of our veranda overlooking the reeds.

Then the family arrived. A couple with three children (6, 8 and 12) showed up during the siesta. Mom and Pop went to sun themselves by the pool, and left the kids alone in their tent, where they commenced to shriek and cry. The next day we had a couple of hours wait after we had to vacate our room, before the plane left. We were looking forward to a quiet afternoon looking out at the lagoon, listening to the birds sing. Instead, we felt like playground monitors. Mom set up camp by the pool and let the kids run amok in the lobby/lagoon area. I was surprised that the camp management allowed them to let such small children roam unsupervised. We had been told not to stray from the path to our rooms because of wildlife (I saw a snake on the path one day). I couldn't imagine them allowing kids to run around like that without an adult present. The managers had received more than one complaint about the noise, but they seemed to deal with it by making themselves absent.

We were also disappointed the second afternoon game drive because the three nice new vehicles were full and we had to ride in a converted pickup truck with very little padding on the seats, bad suspension, and nothing to hold onto except the roof support, which resulted in scratched hands every time we drove past a bush.

The camp was mostly good, I think if you are lucky and there are no kids present, you could have a lovely time. But I sat in a plane for 22 hours, paid 4 years of savings for my safari, and wish I had not trusted to luck. Given the plethora of camps in the delta, I wouldn't return to this one.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank louxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2009

We never thought we'd be interested in birdwatching but maybe it's because we never took the time to look carefully. The guides here are astoundingly knowledgeable and highly informed about all the animals. Beautiful buildings, friendly staff from the cook, to the polers, to the guides to the managers. Everyone eats together and, despite our dread of group holidays and enforced sociability, we were amazed at the club-like nature of the camp, where everyone shares the one table, talking to others who are all well-travelled but want to share not show off. Nothing chi chi or pretentious but no rough corners. The food is a real high spot. Simply but carefully prepared to the highest standards with every detail taken care of. High quality wines. The evening 'drink and drive' (not for the drivers!) is delightful. Combine with Chobe where you'll see all the animals in a more zoo-like experience so you can feel you've seen them and here just enjoy the smaller game, especially the birds seen from a mokoro trip. The lions seemed an extra here; the elephant passed by over dinner and the hippos popped up in the water and munched noisily outside the tent at night.
Do remember warm clothing for the drives!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank baribegum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Villa d'Adda
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2009

Arriving there with moremi air you think where am I going as there is nothing around. Arriving at the camp you are welcomed by the female staff who are singing, great voices. The staff is just the best you can imagine, all of them.
The safari is okay but I guess you don't go there for that, the nature is just amazing. The luxury tents are an experience and you might wake up with an Girafe as we did next to the tent. In the evening enjoying a glass of wine near the fire and the staff doing some african danciing and singing. Just do it you won't regret it.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank vivi68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
178 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2009

The best bush camp I have stayed at in Southern Africa. Very very comfortable, top class staff, top class food. Very well run.

Likely to be far better than anything you will find in South Africa. Definitely worth going if you can afford it. It is expensive, but you do get far more value from staying here than at most other places.

My only gripe? Next time the vehicles are up for replacement they should get some proper Land Rovers instead of the current Toyotas. Yes the 1980s chassis Toyota Land Cruisers are reliable vehicles, but African bundu bashing should always be in a good old Landie.

  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank Gibraltar M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pom Pom Camp

Property: Pom Pom Camp
Address: Botswana
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Okavango Delta
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 71 Specialty Lodging in Okavango Delta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Pom Pom Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Also Known As:
Pom Pom Camp Hotel Okavango Delta
Pom Pom Camp Botswana/Okavango Delta

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