Little Mombo

Little Mombo: Our full report

Rooms
3 tented suites
Traveller's rating
Excellent (93%) From 3 reviews
Children
Best for 8+
Open
All year

Little Mombo Camp overlooks a grassy floodplain dotted with tree islands in the north of Botswana's Moremi Game Reserve, within the Okavango Delta. It is set within a private concession, in an area renowned for having Botswana's highest density of wildlife – making Little Mombo a real 'flagship' safari camp for Botswana.Little Mombo is the smaller sister camp of the adjacent Mombo Camp, and is linked to it by a long, undulating, wooden walkway. Guests can walk alone between the two during the day but must be escorted at night due to the high game levels. The camps are essentially very similar, except Mombo has nine rooms and Little Mombo just three.

Little Mombo is raised on wooden decks, sometimes 4–5m high and with great views over the plains. When we arrived in April 2013, we were able to see elephant from the main deck – plus a variety of plains game.

There's no denying that Little Mombo is a spectacular camp. High wooden walkways lead through indigenous trees to three luxurious tented suites, giving Little Mombo a slight 'treehouse' feel. Often guests can spot game beneath the walkways; when we last visited a buffalo enjoyed some grass beneath my tent while I used the outside shower! The suites are widely spaced and feel very private, each with a section of walkway leading to its carved wooden door.

The view is the first thing that you will notice – enhanced by a long deck along the front of each suite that also houses a ‘sala’ – a thatched lounging area overlooking the plains. Inside the suites, each large, comfortable bed shares this uninterrupted view, aided by wooden doors with mosquito netting that fold right back, letting a refreshing breeze into the room.

The bed is low, made up with big fluffy pillows and decorated with neutral-coloured cushions with simple swirling designs. There’s a walk-in mosquito net and bedside tables with individually crafted reading lamps. The centre of each suite features a large sofa and footstool, and a dark wooden polished chest of drawers with enough plug points to charge a good range of batteries. A selection of wildlife and birding magazines sits on the desk, alongside a silver tray set with filtered and bottled water and glasses, and sparkling decanters of sherry and port

A walk-through area leading to the enormous bathroom houses an ottoman couch and a wardrobe, this last designed to look like an old travel truck turned on its side. Here you’ll find an electronic safe, tissues, insect repellent and bug spray. The bathroom itself, which can be curtained off from the bedroom, boasts a double shower, plenty of storage space, a full-length mirror and a washstand set with two curving pottery bowls overlooking the plains. Sharing the view are a separate toilet, and an open-air shower with curving canvas walls on three sides, an oversized shower rose, and hot and cold running water. Completing the set up is a good selection of complimentary toiletries, and a big bale of soft brown and white fluffy towels.

The decked main area has both dining and seating areas, which are thoughtfully and authentically decorated with big comfortable sofas, cushions and an array of tribal and local arts and crafts. There is also a well-stocked bar.

To one side is the firepit where guests can take drinks before dinner and where afternoon tea is often served. Beyond this, steps lead down to a boma area, which plays host to a traditional meal each week.

Little Mombo has a small plunge pool, surrounded by decking and with a few sunloungers, while further comfort comes in the form of a shaded 'sala', with a large daybed and plenty of cushions. This, too, has a good view of the surrounding plains.

As Little Mombo is within the Moremi Game Reserve, activities are limited by national parks’ regulations to only daytime 4WD game drives. However, the game in Moremi is very prolific (and also seems relaxed and well used to cameras), the guiding is excellent, and the area is exceptionally private, so you are unlikely to see other visitors. Although we weren’t lucky enough to see one of the white and black rhino that have been reintroduced here in recent years, we did see lion, elephant, buffalo and a good variety of plains game.

Our view

Little Mombo is a superbly run safari camp staffed by a very professional team including some excellent guides. It's an exceedingly comfortable camp in a beautiful spot that is teeming with game, and is one of the few places in northern Botswana where you might glimpse rhino. However, with a price tag to match its reputation, it is also one of Botswana's most expensive camps, and being small it’s in high demand, so is always worth booking well in advance.

Geographics

Location: Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

Ideal length of stay: 2–3 nights at a minimum, although it'd be very easy to spend longer here, as the game viewing is excellent and it’s a luxurious camp.

Directions: The lodge has an airstrip 20 minutes' drive away, and from there it's a half-hour flight to Maun.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Wilderness Safaris

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: When last we stayed at Little Mombo, the food was excellent and varied.

For breakfast, before our morning activity, there was a selection of cereals, fruit salad, toast and a fresh pot of tea or coffee.

Our one brunch during our stay was taken in the main bar area – and to our amazement we were served a delicious calamari (with a further option of sticky chicken) with a good selection of salads and piping hot fresh bread.

The afternoon teas before the drives were just as good – banana smoothies, cheese scones and an enormous chocolate cake were on offer, along with tea (from green to peppermint) and coffee, fruit juice and freshly made lemonade.

We were taken over to the main Mombo Camp for a traditional dlodgeer, which is offered to guests on a weekly basis. This consisted of the traditional nshima (mealie-pap) with a good selection of either chicken, pork, lamb or beef relishes, traditional vegetables such as pumpkin leaves with groundnut sauce, and a range of salads. For the slightly less adventurous, a barbecue was also serving chicken and beef kebabs and steaks.

Dining style: Group Meals

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Drinks included: Soft drinks, bottled water, spirits, local beers and a selection of (generally) South African wines are included. Imported wines and spirits and champagne cost extra – and may even need to be requested in advance

Further dining info: Not available

Special interests

Honeymoons: For excellent game viewing, attentive service and an exclusive safari, Little Mombo is perhaps the ultimate location for a Botswana honeymoon. Ideal for a romantic escape, its three luxurious tented suites are set far apart and feel very private.

See more ideas for Honeymoons in Botswana

Birdwatching: Mombo’s area is one of the best birdwatching areas in Botswana. Chief’s Island has dry-country birds, whilst surrounding waterways are home to an endless variety of kingfishers, waders, darters, egrets, herons and fish eagles. We even caught a glance of Pel's fishing owl!

See more ideas for Birdwatching in Botswana

Wildlife safaris: The Mombo area of Moremi is probably the best place for wildlife safaris in Botswana. It has excellent populations of the big predators, herds of buffalo and elephant, both white and black rhino, plenty of spotted hyena, and a very wide range of plains game.

See more ideas for Wildlife safaris in Botswana

Children

Attitude towards children: Children over the age of six are welcome at Little Mombo.

Property’s age restrictions: Children of 6 years and older and above are accepted, although families with children aged 6–12 are asked to take a private vehicle at extra cost. Children between six and 16 years must share a suite with an adult/s.

Special activities & services: None

Equipment: None

Notes: Little Mombo is a very open camp with dangerous wildlife frequently wandering through. The suites and walkways are raised on stilts and are not suitable for very small children.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Generator

Communications: None. For all intents and purposes you should consider yourself deep in a pristine wilderness environment and out of contact with the rest of the world. However, in emergencies and special circumstances it is possible to receive and send messages via the camp’s office.

TV & radio: None

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: All of the managers are first aid trained – the nearest doctor is in Maun which is a 30-minute flight away. The lodge also has radio communications with a nurse in Maun who can give advice.

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Security measures: There are unarmed nightwatchmen on guard, and guests are always walked back to their rooms at night. There is also a horn in each suite to summon attention in case of emergency.

Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers outside the suites and in the common areas.

Extras

Disabled access: Not Possible

Laundry facilities: A complementary laundry service is included at Little Mombo. Clothes are collected in the morning and returned, washed and ironed, in the evening.

Money: There is an electronic safe in all the suites.

Accepted payment on location: Visa and MasterCard credit cards are accepted, as is cash in US dollars, UK sterling, euros and South African rand.