Little Mombo: Our full report
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.
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.
Country manager: Botswana
- 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.
- The lodge has an airstrip 20 minutes drive away, and from there it's a half-hour flight to Maun.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- 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.
- 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 ideas for Honeymoons
- Mombo is a birder's paradise. Chief’s Island has dry-country birds, whilst surrounding waterways are home to fish eagles and a variety of kingfishers, waders, darters, egrets, herons. If you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of a Pel's fishing owl!
- See ideas for Birdwatching
- 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 ideas for Wildlife safaris
- Offering some of the best game viewing in Botswana, Little Mombo provides professional, attentive service and some superb guiding. The luxurious suites are eminently comfortable and spacious. In high demand, you’ll need to book early to include this camp on your luxury safari.
- See ideas for Luxury
- 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
- Generally recommended for children
- Mombo’s quite an adult camp, and the need to pay for a private vehicle will deter many. If the cost of this isn’t a problem, then slightly older children who are keen on wildlife will enjoy it here. They will be sensible enough to take care on the walkways, and they’ll find the rooms spacious enough to enjoy
- 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.
- 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
Rhino Reintroduction Project
A simple throwback to the 1990s shows the negative impacts of poaching in Botswana: fewer than 19 white rhinos were still present in the wild and black rhinos were already classified as ‘locally extinct’. A year later, there were no wild rhinos left in the local area. In pursuing the local reintroduction of rhino species, Wilderness Safaris initiated an exciting collaboration with the Botswana Government in the early 2000s. Efforts involved the translocation and release of populations of both white and black rhinos into the Okavango Delta World Heritage Site, in areas carefully chosen for habitat suitability and higher security.
Located in the heart of the Moremi Game Reserve which is widely-known for its unique ecosystem, Little Mombo Camp plays an important role in the Botswana Rhino Reintroduction Project. Donations made in the early stages of the project helped financing the purchase of the first three white rhinos and the construction of livestock enclosures traditionally known as ‘bomas’, or were used to cover transportation and monitoring costs. Appreciated by many guests, photography safaris can be organised in the Okavango Delta which provides plenty photographic subjects including the newly reintroduced rhinos as well as dramatic landscapes, herds of plain’s game and spectacular birdlife. During their stay, guests can learn more about the conservation project from on-site trained monitoring officers and sustainability coordinators.
Proving its success once again, the Botswana Rhino Conservation Programme has also won significant awards such as the ‘Natural Award’ in the Connoisseur Circle Hospitality Awards or the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Award in the Environment Category.
See more great sustainability projects in Botswana
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- 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. Please note that it is only possible to fly out of camp during daylight hours as the bush airstrips do not have any lighting at night.
- 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.
Guided walking safari
- 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.
- 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.
Room types at Little Mombo
The three suites at Little Mombo are reached by a high walkway, which wends its way through the indigenous trees growing in the camp. Each suite is luxuriously and individually crafted, and they are widely spaced, giving plenty of privacy.
Note that the suites at Little Mombo are exactly the same as the suites at Mombo Camp.
Little Mombo's suites are entered from the back, via a very thick and heavy carved wooden door. The view is the first thing that you will see – and this is enhanced by the long outside deck along the front of each suite which also houses a “sala" – a thatched lounging area overlooking the plains in front of Mombo.
Inside each suite at Little Mombo there is a large comfortable bed, with a walk in mosquito net and bedside tables with individually crafted reading lamps. The bed is low and decorated with neutral-coloured cushions with simple swirling designs and big fluffy pillows. Each bed has an uninterrupted view over the floodplains in front of the camp, and the room has fold back wooden doors with mosquito netting which open right back, giving a wide view and letting a refreshing breeze into the room.
In the centre of each suite at Little Mombo is a large sofa and footstool, and a dark wooden polished chest of drawers – this has various plug points, enough to charge a good range of batteries. On top of the desk is a silver tray with filtered and bottled water and glasses, and sherry and port in sparkling decanters as well as a selection of wildlife and birding magazines.
Each suite at Little Mombo has a wardrobe (which has been designed to look like an old travel truck turned on its side). Within this you will find the electronic safe, insect repellent, bug spray and a box of tissues (each in its own individual leather cover). This wardrobe, along with an ottoman, is in a “walk-through" area, which leads to the enormous bathroom.
The bathrooms at Little Mombo are at one end of the suite, where it opens out into a large room with a double shower, plenty of storage space, a full-length mirror and a washstand at the front of the room overlooking the plain. The washstand has two curving pottery bowls in shades of brown, and there is a good selection of complementary toiletries, and a big bale of soft brown and white fluffy towels for each guest. A small white shelving unit in the corner has more towels and toiletries, and the bathroom can be separated from the main bedroom by a thick white curtain.
At the end of the bathroom is a separate room housing the flush loo with a view over the plains, and a door to the outside leads to the open-air shower, with an oversized shower rose and hot and cold running water. This outside shower is surrounded by curving canvas walls on three sides – the fourth being open, to give stunning views over the plains in the front of Mombo. There is a metal and cushion chaise longue outside the bathroom area.
Other lodges in Moremi Game Reserve
Alternative places to stay in this same area.