Botswana has long been recognized as being one of the planet’s finest safari destinations, with Mombo Camp considered to be it’s flagship safari camp. Since being taken over by Wilderness Safaris in 1991 the camp has been constantly upgraded and re-built, and it recently re-opened in its 4th reincarnation.
Still located on the northern tip of Chief’s Island within the game-rich Moremi Game Reserve, the new Mombo has seen Wilderness Safaris re-fine and fine-tune the safari experience so that the lodge still offers one of, if not, the best safari experiences available anywhere in Africa.
Africa Travel were one of the first through the doors recently to see if the highlights still matched the hype. First impressions count, and at Mombo as you arrive and are shown to your ‘room’, they do not disappoint. The nine, newly rebuilt tented suites are more safari houses than safari huts, each resplendent with a lounge area, separate bedroom and large bathroom, complete with shiny copper bath. Outside things have been taken to another level – an enormous deck with sunken seating area, sun loungers, a suspended double bed, an outdoor shower and a plunge pool all overlook one of Africa’s finest floodplains.
A quick headcount one afternoon revealed there to be 62 elephant, 12 zebra, 2 buffalo, numerous impala, 7 warthog, 3 giraffes, 4 mongoose and 1 hippo all visible at the same time – an extraordinary collection of creatures which the safari aficionado would be happy to see in an afternoon‘s worth of game viewing. Indeed at Mombo there is no need to suffer at all from ‘game drive FOMO’ (fear of missing out), with those opting to remain behind at the lodge rather than going on a game drive able to witness such scenes from their own private viewing deck.
Aside from the unrivalled game viewing, it is also the small touches which set Mombo apart from its competitors – toasted sandwiches from the fire served at 06h00 before the morning game drive departs, beautiful leather bags provided for guests to carry their safari belongings in, complimentary mini-bars fully stocked with a wide variety of drinks and snacks, and the fact that all the camp staff knew our names before they had even been introduced to us.
You can dine communally if you want to, privately if you don’t, but the food will always be restaurant-standard – from the varied brunch offerings and the high tea delicacies, to the three course dinners and the camp’s own pizza oven, the cuisine makes you wonder how such things are possible in such surroundings.
The main lounge and dining areas are classically understated, with pale woods and copper to the forefront, and there is a small but perfectly adequate gym, (with the most amazing scenery), a spa room, a boutique which wouldn’t look out of place in Chelsea, and a lap swimming pool where lengths can actually be swum.
Of course, the game viewing is the main reason to visit though. Unlike many safari lodges, at Mombo there was nothing strange about our morning game drive stretching from 06h30 until well past midday – there is no time limit placed on how long the safaris last – if there are still things to be seen, guests and their guide will remain in the bush, often encountering no other vehicles the whole morning. A two night stay resulted in incredible sightings which included a mother cheetah with her three cubs, unprecedented herds of elephant marching in unison across the plain, three lions lazily drinking from a waterhole, a solitary leopard prowling along the road as the sun set, and a rhino quietly minding his own business in the bush.
Yes Mombo is expensive, (think upwards of GBP1400 per person per night), yes it can be difficult to get into, (ideally plan at least 9 months in advance), but if bucket lists were created for one purpose, it would be to put a once-in-a-lifetime visit to Mombo at the top of them. The advice is to save, to plan, and to then ultimately enjoy what is possibly the world’s finest safari experience.
If you are interesting in experiencing Mombo Camp for yourself then get in touch with our experts by calling 020 7843 3500 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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