Reviews of Mombo Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mombo Camp review
The setting of Mombo is simply fantastic, it was possible to sit for hours and watch the game activity on the plains in front of the camp. The public buildings and guest rooms are stylishly laid out with a sense of quality and care, they are all generously proportioned as are the private decks with each guest room. Maintenance and presentation is excellent.
The food was first class, amazing really considering the challenges associated with catering in the bush.
Game viewing was excellent and varied and the landscape was just beautiful. We were lucky enough to have really good sitings of the Big 5 plus cheetahs and a full range of plains animals.
By and large the staff are well trained, pleasant, happy people who provided high levels of service, however the company standard approach to clients wasn't to our (and other clients) preference - Wilderness seems to want to treat everyone as if they are part of 'the family' and the approach is a Disney level of insincere friendship. The synchronised waving by a group of staff members every time a vehicle entered the camp was nauseating. In my view luxury isn't treating everyone the same its providing what each individual feels most comfortable with and for our part we actually didn't want to meet every member of staff and every other guest we wanted to enjoy a private holiday. The management seemed to want to play host to the guests and be larger than life, front and centre whereas I would have preferred the management to be accessible but low key and discrete.
Expert Africa comments
We're delighted that you enjoyed the setting at Mombo, as well as some fantastic game viewing. We're sorry the management style was not to your liking. Some guests really love the singing and dancing and larger than life hosting, but as you say it is a matter of personal preference. The hosting style does vary between camps and we would always encourage our travellers to talk to us about what suits them.
We were a little concerned about whether Mombo was right for us which I'd discussed with Megan before we booked. We were worried that we wouldn't meet like-minded people who are keen to be out in the bush rather than in camp and that our very casual safari gear and battered bags might be out of place. We needn't have worried - we met some lovely people and only saw one set of Louis Vuitton suitcases in 4 days.
The camp is picturesque, tents beautiful but in keeping with the bush (no glass, no air con, no private plunge pool - a big tick from us), service and food were fantastic. The food was just as good as at a top London restaurant - top marks to all the catering staff - and we enjoyed having a table for 2 for most meals after being used to communal dining.
Our guide was Moss who was very articulate, amusing and knowledgeable. He was so keen to show us all that the concession has to offer. General game was in much higher numbers than at our other camps, we had some good leopard sightings but it was lion that we saw more of. Lions sleeping, mating, prowling, calling and hunting. We were following 5 male lions when they chased and took down a buffalo just outside camp. A bit gruesome but amazing nevertheless. Our other highlight was seeing a rhino. We'd been following tracks and looking for signs when another guide came on the radio very excited to say they had found a rhino. We had a thrilling rollercoaster ride to get there with some awesome driving from Moss and then saw our first rhino. What a sight!
Overall, a wonderful stay and we were sad to leave. There were a lot of repeat guests and we could understand why!
Mombo Camp review
We have travelled a lot before and it has happened that we got sick and it happened again at Mombo. But what a sevice!! The whole team worked for us. In a second I had warm hot-water bottle, vitamin C, hot tea and the asked what medicine I needed. Then they organised for a nice dinner in our tent.
They were very concerned that everything I wished for they tried to get me. I felt so pampered. The next morning we got the breakfast in the tent also. I´m very thankful and feel very warm at my heart for what they did. You don´t meet it everywhere.
The wilderness is superb.
Mombo Camp review
Updated rooms were a nice treat, communal areas are very comfortable and have a fantastic aspect to the lagoon. Staff are extremely attentive and can't do enough for you. This camp is located in a 'Garden of Eden' as far as quantity and quality of game. Every turn in the road is filled with a series of sightings not just a solo animal.
Our guide, 'The Dr.', was excellent yet again and definitely enhanced our viewings and knowledge of the area. It's hard not to be infected with enthusiasm by a guide who is passionate about their job and their environment. This camp is priced high, but does not disappoint.
The landscape views at Mombo are pleasing enough, but for wildlife our long stays with Legadema and her cubs with a kill were certainly the highlight. Getting close to buffalo on the boardwalk each day was life affirming, only topped off by an elephant that gave our jeep our goodbye kiss upon our departure! Wonderful experience.
Mombo Camp review
As you know there was an issue with missing money but the camp, staff and guides were wonderful. Wildlife amazingRead more about the whole safari
Expert Africa comments
Sadly these guests noticed money missing from their room safe during their stay at Mombo Camp. Although their safe was not locked, the matter of stealing is always taken very seriously. Mombo Camp followed up on the matter with their staff immediately and investigated the situation thoroughly. No guilty party was found. However, the camp has implemented additional systems to make sure all guests’ valuables are stored safely.
Mombo Camp has extended their sincere apologies to the guests for this incident. As a measure of good faith, and so that their memories of Mombo were not marred in any way, the camp refunded the amount lost. This is not admittance of fault in any way, but rather a gesture of good faith.
Mombo Camp review
See my review on Trip Advisor.
[Ed: ... which reads as follows:
I spent 12 days in Botswana and Zambia at the premier Wilderness Safari properties and this was the best in terms of game viewing, spacious accomodation, great food and attentive service.
This is the most expensive camp in Botswana (and Africa) but then you get what you pay for. People book 12-18 months in advance to get into this property and its top rated guides and premium service. This is also the only place to see rhinos (black and white) in Botswana and home of Poster--the top rhino expert in Botswana on these animals who gives a fascinating evening presentation to guests a few times a week.
Main Mombo has 9 guest roooms for 18 guests. Little Mombo has three guest rooms for 6 guests looking for a more initmate experience, small groups or families. (Children have to be at least 12 to stay at Mombo. If children are younger you have to book the whole place and Little Mombo is handy for that.) Both camps have the same food prepared by a fabulous local chef who has trained with the best. expat chefs. Accomodation is in tents on a wooden platform but so spacious you wouldn't know you are in a tent. There is lots of privacy and each room over looks the plains. Hippos and buffalos come right up to the camp so you need to be accompanied to your room by a guide at night! (If you are a light sleeper bring earplugs as the animals and tiny painted reed frogs will serenade you through the night.) There are multiplugs for US, SA and European plugs to charge your cameras, etc. Like most premium camps in Botswana, there is no Internet or telephone as people are here to get away from it all. You can ask to borrow a hairdryer though none are provided in the rooms. There is a nifty little gift shop but their selection of post cards is not so good. Mombo will, however, post your card for free.
Mombo is in a national park and so no game viewing is allowed after 6:30 PM. To compensate for this, you are woken up at 5:30, get a light breakfast at 6 AM and start your game drive at 6:30 until about 11:30 Am. You then get brunch and have the afternoon to relax while the guides do transfers to the airstrip. Tea is served at 4 PM and you then do another game drive from 4:30-6:30. It's pretty intense and tiring so relaxing at a water based camp in the Delta like Jao with less emphasis on game viewing after Mombo is a great idea. This is not a camp you want to arrive at jet lagged (65% of guests are from the US and many come straight off the plane after more than 22 hours of flying!) as it would be a shame to pay all that money and sleep or not feel up to the game viewing. Unless you pay for a private safari, you will be in a land rover with a total of 6 other guests--though they try to reduce this to 4 guests per vehicle and no more than one change of other guests in the vehicle for your stay. (This gives the guides a chance to get to know guests and balance the needs of those who have already seen game from the just arrived who are initially mesmerized by every graceful impala.)
It can get very cool in winter so bring warm clothes if travelling then. (They sell nice fleeces, gloves and hats in the gift shop.) You get a hot water bottle in your bed and even on game drives during the winter months!
I loved this place and recommend it to anyone who can afford it. I will definitely be back. ]