Reviews of Vumbura Plains
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Vumbura Plains review
The new public buildings are excellent as is the food, the quality of which is extremely impressive given the challenging circumstances of limited supply etc. The position and outlook of the camp are lovely. We enjoyed the variety of bush types and landscapes within the concession.
The layout and concept of the guest rooms are excellent and very spacious however the condition of the rooms are well below par as a result of insufficient maintenance. The condition of bathroom fittings is completely unacceptable at this price point and every other prices point for that matter all the way down to simple B&B's - eg. cracked and chipped sinks, rotten floorboards around the shower and poor quality minor repairs and fixes. Having a pool with each room is a great option but when they are not properly cleaned and maintained the pool became a negative - I doubt that the water quality was ever properly tested judging by the 'tidemarks' around the pool at the waterline level.
The guide was obsessed with finding lions, even if that meant hours of fruitless driving around with EVERY client in the vehicle expressing a wish to focus on the more plentiful games 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.
Two game drive sessions were used to go out on a boat and on a mokoro which were both interesting options but personally I found them dull and I would have preferred to have the option to take a normal game drive as an alternative.
Much of what I have written is negative but I should clarify that none of the points raised had a lasting negative impact on the holiday, we thoroughly enjoyed being at the camp and in the concession and our over riding long term impressions will be favourable.
Expert Africa comments
We're very happy that you enjoyed Vumbura Plains camp and the concession. However, 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.
Vumbura Plains review
A bit over the top but fun to see. Glad we did not spend all 3 nights here.Read more about the whole safari
Great start & introduction to Okavango Delta
Great introduction to the Okavango. Lazzi our tracker and guide was very professional, charming and showed us a variety of game.
Lazzie also had a local guide who accompanied us. He had great local knowledge as he'd grown up in the area. Fun driving in the river ways with our 4x4 The best siting of sable we have seen, they were so relaxed! Good lion and fantastic leopard sittings. We also had a nice relaxing cruise along the Okovango delta in a mokoro. Wonderful lilies and beautiful painted frogs.
The camp is set in a stunning location
Simply the best
Vumbura is simply outstanding in every way. Fine dining, wonderful service and beautiful location.
The game drives were outstanding and our guide ST was funny, knowledgeable and incredibly helpful when positioning for photography. He managed to find us Leopard with young, Cheetah with young and hunting, Lion pride and the male, hyena with young and much much more.
If you don't like this camp your not meant to be on safari.
Vumbura Plains review
We loved Vumbura Plains. The site is wonderful and the Lodge is lovely.
The guides were very good and we saw lots of game.
Excellent Safari, questionable facilities
Vumbura is a fascinating concession for safari. Next time, however, we will stay at little vumbura only.
The architecture of vumbura plains is unfit for the area. It requires continuous maintenance and careful cleaning. Unfortunately, none of the two seem to be a priority. For example, the shade rollers were all damaged and were banging all nite long. The plunge pool looked like it had just been visited by the local hippo. There was not even one chair or stool in the kids room. We wiped the kids closet shelves , and the cloth came out black.etc etc
Outstanding sightings at Vumbura Plains
Must have been outstanding when it opened now in the “shabby chic” stage. They are beginning to update the camp with a new boardwalk being installed and re-thatching the rooms. This is starting with Vumbura North so the South suffers from partial replacement work and less than optimal conditions. I’m assuming this is in part as the owners were waiting to see if their lease was renewed.
I would say the camp is now in the Classic category rather than Premium. Although the size of the rooms is impressive the fittings are dated and in bad repair (stained cushions, filthy outdoor furniture) and the plunge pool looked like a health hazard, stained and uninviting. It was also curious that at many times (afternoon tea especially) there were more staff than guests, yet when a thunderstorm rolled through it was one of the managers who came round to wind down the blinds (I couldn’t figure out how to do it as the mechanical winder was hidden away) so the room furniture, floors, steps and some of my gear was drenched, luckily nothing irreplaceable.
That said the wildlife is outstanding and our guide Ron was brilliant at finding the lions, we also saw leopard and cheetah as well as wattled cranes and a selection of raptors. Would highly recommend for the wildlife and I am thinking about visiting little Vumbura on a second trip.
Expert Africa comments
We contacted the operator Wilderness Safari's regarding some of the comments this traveller made regarding the maintenance of Vumbura Plains. Wilderness acknowledged that Vumbura Plains has an outstanding safari experience year round, which has been Expert Africa's own experience in this concession as well. However Wilderness commented that it has made operations efforts somewhat tricky trying to find the opportune time to undergo the necessary renovations whilst causing the least disturbance to guests. They sincerely apologise to the traveller for any inconvenience as it was their aim to do so without compromising guests experience in anyway.
In this effort they have sectioned off the camps, room by room until all of them receive a new thatched roofs as well as replacing all 1.6 km of boardwalk. This was arranged purely in accordance to availability of rooms. They acknowledge however that housekeeping should have picked up on the state of the furniture both outdoors and indoors and are looking into this and make sure it does not happen again. After the completion of each of the chalets renovations Wilderness have replaced almost all décor and specifically those that were marked or unsightly. The pools have also been overhauled and repaired one by one. So hopefully with all these completed renovations and refurbishments Vumbura Plains is now looking very smart. We will be keeping a close eye on this and will have someone out to see the camp in the near future.
A deluxe experience in the heart of the Delta
Vumbura was everything we expected from this high end accommodation and location. Extremely, luxe and comfortable. Small and intimate, Superb staff and excellent food. Wonderful wildlife presented by engaging and knowledgeable guides.
The quintessential high-end Delta experience.
Wow room on Safari
The rooms here are amazing!
The food at this camp was excellent, varied and wonderfully presented. Thebe even cooked us Ostrich for breakfast one day as the rest of our party had not had it before and ostrich/game was not on the menu during our stay. The evening of entertainment in the BOMA was great fun.
Very varied terrain here from being in several feet of water in the jeep one minute to being on dry plains the next. The mokoro experience was very pleasant for an afternoon activity. One game drive was particularly memorable as we saw many baby animals, elephant, giraffe, zebra and leopard cubs.
Vumbura Plains review
Vumbura Plains was also fantastic and enjoyed it!!Read more about the whole safari