Reviews of Little Vumbura
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Didn’t quite match my high expectations
Very enjoyable stay. Maybe somewhat harshly, I have only given 4 stars, as it wasn't quite perfect on all fronts. 4.5 stars (very good) would be a true reflection of my experience. No major issues, just a number of small annoyances. Little Vumbura has a high reputation (and price tag!), and hence I had extremely high expectations, and it didn't quite achieve top scores.
The room was cosy, more than adequate for one person, but certainly not as spacious as other camps I have stayed in; apparently they are planning to slightly extend the rooms at the end of this season. I enjoyed frequent sightings of elephant, kudu and puku immediately outside my room (#5).
A great addition was the hospitality tray provided in the room, supplied with a fresh flask of hot water, and a great choice of teas. However, the same choice of teas was not offered during the tea break on the morning game drive or at afternoon tea served at camp. After repeated requests they failed to supply the tea of my choice and eventually I gave up asking! If they could provide the tea in the room, why couldn't they also provide it in the central areas?!
I enjoyed the company of the other guests I was paired with for the game drives. However, the general atmosphere in camp I felt was somewhat lacking. JB, the camp manager, did a fantastic job, and when he was around the mood certainly lifted, but at other times when he was absent, it was definitely noticeable, and things didn't run quite as harmoniously.
On arrival the person conducting the briefing sounded like he was just reading from a script, I almost felt I was being lectured to, rather that being greeted and welcomed into camp. At this point it would also have been nice if they had explained the choice of activities which were on offer. But instead, at the start of each day, I was just told what they had lined up for me, i.e. whether that be a game drive, motor boat excursion or mokoro. I've been on safari several times, and at other camps the managers/guides would make suggestions and then the days’ activities would be planned (as far as possible) to meet guest’s desires. After requesting a change to the activities they had assigned me to, they did try to accommodate my wishes.
The food was good. At all other camps we would enjoy a light breakfast sat around the campfire (joined by guides and/or camp managers) before heading out on the early morning game drive. However, here they would formally set out a table for everyone to sit at (guests only, no staff joined), which again added to the slightly less than relaxed atmosphere - it was most strange, a table was really unnecessary, it was a self-service breakfast, and I would much preferred to have been sat around the campfire. We're on safari, I can take breakfast at a table anytime, let's embrace the different surroundings!
Now more of the positives, highlights of the game drives included a group of 4 young adult lions, which were a great source of entertainment each day - tree-climbing females, attempted hunt of impala and watching the antics of the inexperienced males was tremendous fun. And on my final morning sighting the wild dogs was very special.
The boating activities offer a completely different perspective to that experienced on the drives.
The camp is sited in an incredibly beautiful area, surrounded by wildlife. A special place to enjoy all that the Delta has to offer.
Little Vumbura review
The guides at all four camps were excellent, but a special mention should be made of Ona (and one other) who was a delight to be with and to share his knowledge. We even had one evening lesson on how to find one's way using the Southern Cross!
A general comment applicable to all camps about the food. The presentation was first class and the choice remarkable given the difficult supply logistics. All meals were a delight and the temptation to over-indulge difficult to resist. Our only negative comment is that with one exception, the evening meal meat courses were almost always overcooked, or bordering on being so. And conversely, the vegetables had on some occasions merely been shown the water - we quickly learnt to avoid the french beans!
As at all camps, the staff were wonderful
Not as good as I expected
After experiencing wonderful accommodation and hospitality at Wilderness Savuti Camp, I was expecting more of the same at Wilderness LV as it has such a good reputation. Sadly I was pretty disappointed on almost every front.
The staff (with a few notable exceptions) were cold and unfriendly, the food mediocre and the game drives poor both with game and guiding. Our guide (I won't name names) was so intent in finding the other couple with us a leopard (which we never found) that he barely managed to point out or stop for anything else. There were lots of birds which we weren't able to stop and look at but the mammals were few and far between. This is not the camps fault, it just happened to be very poor game viewing while we were there. The accommodation needs a serious upgrade, the mosquito net had holes in it, the bedside fan didn't work and the curtains were covered in stains. I know that one doesn't come to a camp for the decor, but for the price of this camp I expected something better.
Now for the positives. The mokoro trips are brilliant. Being on the water was fantastic and something different. We saw lots of tiny reed frogs and were lucky enough to spot a Pell's Fishing Owl! The boatmen/guides (Johannas, Tom & Gee) were friendly, fabulous and made the trips really special. We also did a motor boat trip with Gee and it was super fun. He was engaging and interesting. He'd only recently passed his guide exam and has a great future ahead of him I'm sure.
I'd totally recommend a stay at a water camp with water activities but I personally wouldn't stay here again unless some serious changes were made.
Little Vumbura review
Excellent in every way. Location, guiding, staff, food, atmosphere.Read more about the whole safari
A very special place.
Our experience here was very special. Our first camp in Botswana, Little Vumbura is set on an island accessible only by boat.
The game drives were an adventure with our very experience guide Sam whose tracking abilities were second to none. We found baboons grouped high in a tress to come around the corner to find lions lying in the track blocking our route!
Sam is also a bird lover and found some beautiful diversions to the search for the big 5. We met some really pleasant fellow travellers sharing stories over dinner and around the camp fire. The set up of the camp is informal, relaxed and gently brought all the guests to bond together. We have no idea who the manager was - we didn't need to know. Everything ran so smoothly.
The food was such high quality. The flavours so delicate! So please we stayed here.
Cozy Camp with Professional Guide
Feedback by Hitoshi E.
1 Nice View: I enjoyed the wide open view over the calm water from my cozy tent room. It has changed my image of Africa.
2 Hospitality: Camp staff sang local songs before dinner every night. Apparently, they enjoyed singing themselves. Such natural hospitality made my heart warm.
3 Expertise: Our guide Sam is a real professional. We stayed three nights. He designed our safaris carefully so that we enjoyed every safari during our stay. We saw lions, leopards, and cheetahs, in addition to many other animals.
To be improved: English spoken by manager too fast
The camp manager explained camp rules at first. But because she spoke too fast, I understood only part of them.
Feedback by Kazuko E.
This was our first trip to Africa, and Little Vumbula was the very first camp we visited in Botswana. Everything about the camp was far beyond our expectations—beautiful island location, friendly staff, and good food. Above all, I enjoyed seeing all kinds of animals, great and small, who were so beautiful and graceful in the wilderness. I was also struck by the artistic beauty of the landscape and skies in Africa. Our guide, Sam, was a true professional with an extensive knowledge of the wildlife. Every safari was full of surprises. All in all, our stay in Little Vumbula was FANTASTIC!
Little Vumbura- the Best there is..
Wow - what can i say about Little Vumbura - from the moment we were picked up by Kaye - who has to be the best guide in Africa - to the moment all the staff danced and singed for us as we arrived at the camp, we knew we were in for a treat and we were not disappointed at all.
Kaye was almost talking to the elephants - really was!! - and it was as if they respected and knew him. He has been at Little Vumbura for 28 years and it shows. If you go there, do request him.. We tracked and found leopards, wild dogs, a majestic male lion, buffalos and the elusive sable antelope with ease. My highlights included the fantastic sundowners looking at fisheagles on the trees, the numerous hornbills, egrets, and a really special sighting on our mokoro trip of a malachite kingfisher - which might not sound special but believe me - when on a mokoro in the delta at sunset and a sighting of this amongst the papyrus, it really was special.
Food and facilities were fantastic and talking to the guests, definitely a better bet than vumbura plains lodge. Everyone here was one happy team. We even had an okovango delta trust inspector called Wilson on our guides and it was his job to monitor the preservation of the delta etc and he was assigned there for 3 months.
All the other guides were winding him up e.g. hey wilson - hope you are behaving yourself etc - and it was all very friendly banter.
My son-aged 24y and daughter aged 22y were having a great time taking photos and videos etc..
Met some nice people from all over the world and some interesting conversations with this guest who was a private guide from Zimbabwe about his penchant for game hunting in Zimbabwe - aaarggh - which proved to be a highly interesting and provocative topic for after dinner drinks around a fire - all conducted positively!
An elephant swan across the lagoon and into our camp also and a leopard had left its kill outside our lodge the previous week - so of course we declined the open air bath tube on our patio!!! Some brilliant photos and videos here which i will ask my kids to add to this review.
If in doubt where to stay in the Delta, then just go to Little Vumbura..
Three nights at Little Vumbura in June
Access to this camp is by vehicle and a five minute boat ride. Game drives are four guests per vehicle and four guests per boat. Our guides were Nas and Sam. They were both very good and worked hard to create great sightings and experiences.
The most memorable sighting was of a herd of large, beautiful sable antelope.
We had two exciting and informative trips by boat going at fairly high speed through narrow channels between reeds and papyrus along the banks.
The staff was excellent, happy and professional. The food was excellent.
Little Vumbura was like being in paradise
We loved the delta and the water. Little Vumbura was a wonderful camp in every way.
The staff went beyond what was expected to provide a most enjoyable stay. We loved being surrounded by the water. Sam was a fantastic guide and Busi was so helpful with every request.
Wonderful three days and nights spent at Little Vumbura
Beautiful Little Vumbura
A wonderful location, the access to the camp by boat was lovely. Not so many game sightings but we did see our first leopard up a tree, tssebee, lechwe and and a glance of a honey badger.
The water excursions were great, especially the mokoro.
Food was excellent, the camp was very friendly and we enjoyed sitting around the fire before dinner and then having the staff singing that our dinner was ready..
Only problem was that it was very cold and windy in the mornings and evenings and the first night our accommodation was cold. The next day we did put up the external covering to the windows and this was much better.