Reviews of Little Vumbura
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Little Vumbura Visit 6
Little Vumbura remains one of our firm favourites and one of the 'must visit' lodges in the Okavango. Having requested Kaye as our guide we were delighted to spend another 3 days with him. He is one of the grand old men of Delta guiding and we greatly enjoy his company and knowledge.
Being constrained by space on the island to just 5 tents and surrounded by water, the camp ensures excellent contact with the other guests. Once again we made some good new friends. Oddly and for the first time in 6 visits we failed to see a single lion but were amply rewarded by the full range of Okavango sightings including treed leopard, buffalo writ large and a host of wonderful birds.
A lovely, small camp.
Great water location even in dry season
We were really pleased we booked a trip to Little Vumbura as even in the dry season there was water! The location is fantastic and gives the option to do water activities all year round.
All the staff are friendly and helpful and are present in noticeable numbers (compared to other camps) so all runs very efficiently.
The tented rooms were slightly smaller than other chalet style rooms, but very comfortable.......a little warm in high temperatures though.
This was a slick professional camp which would be expected from Wilderness given their huge operation.
As usual there is potential tension between people who are on Safari for may be the first time and want to see "everything", and those who want a more leisurely and specific drive from the camp may be focusing on a couple of animals. An example overheard is the US couple who did not want to look at wild dog but insisted the guide went to see the lions. Perhaps it is a good idea to advise people they can book private drives for themselves.
Flying in on a small-plane is a something of an experience. Unlike others we had a longish trip from Kasane but we were on our own for the first part of the flight and the pilot asked us if we wanted to take the direct route or follow the Chobe river and fly low to see the game - guess what we chose!
After landing at the air strip we were met by the guides from the camp and taken by Land-Rover along the dirt roads for about 30 minutes with lots of game viewing en-route. We arrived late morning so we were taking direct to the camp for lunch but other guests who had arrived on the afternoon flight from Maun had gone directly on an afternoon game drive ("from London to Leopards in less than 24 hours"). The last part of the trip is by motor boat as Little Vumbura is on an island. Or arrival at the camp there is a great welcome with cool wet towels and welcome drinks from smiling staff and a super lunch.
Our room could hardly be described as a tent. For sure it had canvas style walls and roof but inside with varnished wooden floor, a huge king-size bed, desk and comfy chairs, en-suite shower room and toilet it looked like a huge stylish hotel room but with great views over the delta. We had a shaded balcony with a sofa and loose chairs and a great view of Kudu grazing just below.
Game viewing is great at Little Vumbura. Each guide is typically allocated two couples but some take larger groups if they arrive together. On our last day we were out on our own with the guide as the other couple had left for their next camp. The concession includes other camps ant Vumbura North and South and so game viewing is shared with others but the guides have strict instructions not to have more than 3 vehicles at each sighting. Regular communication on radio aids tracking of game and we were able to see a lion kill and great extended viewing of a leopard and her cub as well as lots of elephant, giraffes, impala plus wildebeest and buffalo. Altogether the guide identified 60 different birds.
We were lucky to be there for the Monday Boma meal with entertainment by the camp staff. The show was great and they clearly love doing the show even if some are a little shy. The fire and food cooked over open fires was great - tasty and a huge variety, including local dishes to try. Other dinners were also taken communal style with a buffet - ladies first please. There was a good choice of food, manly international style with good flavours and lots of vegetables and garnishes to accompany meats and fish and a vegetarian option.
Breakfast is taken before the morning game drive at 6.30 with a good choice. After the game drive brunch is served with a good range including freshly-cooked eggs. High tea is taken before the afternoon game drive at 4.30 pm but we were glad to take rest and perhaps have a sleep in the heat of the day (especially hot in October while we were there).
The staff at Little Vumbura are super-friendly and we were sad to leave. Most guests only stay for 3 days but you feel that the staff could be your friends for ever, even if they greet the next guests with the same enthusiasm soon after you leave.
Beautiful Camp on an Island
Little Vumbura is a beautiful camp on an island at the border of the Okavango Delta only accessible by a short boat ride. So you have both: water and mainland activities - game drives, boat cruises, mokoro, fishing. Even during daytime the camp was visited by elephants and we also saw several times Kudus and baboons close-by to our tents.
When we arrived nobody seemed to expect us but after a while somebody of the management appeared and welcomed us. Except of this management and staff was very friendly and helpful, the (only 6!) tented rooms are comfortable and spacious, the food very good. The pool area is fine and the perfect place for cooling down during siesta.
The Vumbura concession is fantastic: a pretty area with different landscapes and great game viewing with varied species. Our guide was Kay, probably one of the most experienced guides around the delta! The boat cruise was nice but we only saw a few herons - as Kay told us late September is not the best time for boat cruises. But the game drives were amazing: We saw beautiful male lions, leopards every day (mother with 2 cubs!), hyena cubs at their den, a pack of wild dogs and also rare sable antelopes, many different bird species and, and, and .....!!!
Little Vumbura review
Lovely camp - our favourite of the 3. Plenty of variation in the activities due to its location in the Delta. Robes and slippers supplied.
Al the staff wore name labels - so very useful. I wish all camps would follow suit.
The Land Rovers were covered and the seats seemed extra padded - very comfy when bouncing about on the "roads" having an "African massage"!
Guides very good.
Unforgettable lepard on a tre
Outstanding location, extraordinary landscapes (mix of dry and wetland) which allow a wonderful mix of activities (car, boat, mokoro).
The lodge is very beautiful, the staff was nice and effective across the board. The service level was outstanding. We experienced marvelous drives (highlights were a lion family and a leopard from very close) during which we learned a lot. The food was absolutely delicious and we enjoyed great dinners with some very interesting co-guests.
Also, we much appreciated our siestas with swimming in the nice pool.
Not much to say - good or bad. But the staff need to know when to back off. We aren't there to entertain them and teach them English.... it was impossible to be on your own as soon as you left your tent. Our guide, Kay, has I am sure seen it all and is very experienced (at 58 years old) but we haven't and we found it very odd that he was the first to tuck in to the snacks at sundown drinks!
Great location but there didn't seem to be much wildlife - the mokoro trip was worthwhile but we frankly got bored on the game drives.
It is a very pleasant lodge, with comfortable rooms.
The staff and guides were very good.
Little Vumbura review
Little Vumbura provided an appropriate ending to a memorable trip overall.
Our guide, Russell, had a genuine fondness for the animals which he allowed us to see at such close quarters. Highlights here have to include a pair of adorable, 2 month old leopard cubs climbing a tree in which their mother had stored an antelope kill and watching five 6 month old lion cubs working out what to make of their two 2 month old half-siblings being introduced to them for the first time.
We thoroughly enjoyed our first mokoro adventure here, made even more memorable by the fact that Tom, our poler, located an unexpected bonus for us on the island where we stopped for sundowner drinks; a 6 foot black mamba returning inoffensively into its hole in a tree for the winter. This was the story of the day around the campfire that night!
The staff collectively took a personal interest in all their guests throughout their stay, contributing significantly to the special atmosphere of this lodge.