Reviews of Vumbura Plains
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Vumbura Plains review
Absolutely fantastic location, and the guiding was excellent. We were given a family room, which was well over the top for our needs. Hosting, management and food was as expected for a camp of this high standing.
The eco system was quite different to the other camps we visited, much more lush and water based. Again, we had fantastic wildlife experiences: four leopards (including a mother and her cub), a pride of eight lions, two lone wild dogs which we tracked through mopane for some time and large herds of elephants.
We particularly enjoyed dinner in the bush, which was arranged as a surprise and it certainly was.
Unfortunately a premier camp like this attracts some rather garish and ignorant people who insisted on talking throughout what should have been wonderful wildlife experiences; i.e. talking loudly whilst lions were drinking at a waterhole. This should have been a lovely experience.
Wildlife was abundant. Due to a lack of predators, herds of every species were quite relaxed, allowing a closer approach by our jeep. Our guide here, Mork, is a stellar example of the best you can imagine as a guide & teacher. He provided tremendous insight about the whole ecosystem here. We enjoyed every moment of our time with him.
The mokoro excursion was relaxing but not particularly memorable. It would be best suited to the season when birds are more abundant.
We also had a fabulous evening dinner under the stars with staff putting on a wonderful program of singing and dancing.
The luxury of this place--particularly the enormous living area, including expansive patio & private pool--were for us excessive. I think it is suited more to those who might not want to mingle with other guests & plan to stay at least 4 days. Unless you skip the game drives, there was no time in 2 nights to avail ourselves of this.
Vumbura Plains review
After 3 nights in the Kalahari desert, Vumbura looked like the Garden of Eden - lush and green, with a multitude of ponds and animals big and small everywhere. Magical!
When first entering the camp (Vumbura North), we were greeted by the glorious sight of the lagoon.
The rooms are just like on the Wilderness website, huge and luxurious with modern furniture. Ours looked like a picture from an art & deco magazine, with its own outdoor lounge and plunge pool...
Annabelle and Roger were excellent hosts, we always had a good time at dinner with either - I enjoyed sharing a glass (or two!) of wine with Annabelle by the fire after dinner by, and I must thank Roger again for taking such good care of me when I was sick one day.
The food was top class - we were surprised with a dinner in the bush one evening, what a treat to be eating al fresco under the stars!
Service was very good but could be a little uneven at lunchtime, as sometimes there was no staff to be seen in the restaurant area - not a big deal though.
Our guide, Lazarus, was the best guide on our Botswana safari. We had some pretty good sightings with him, including an elephant/lion showdown by sunset, and a female leopard that we followed for about an hour - the height of excitment for everyone in the car! We managed to take some impressive shots of her jumping across a stream.
A good beginning at Vumbura Plains
Overall staff very helpful though one or two of the restaurant staff seemed a little bewildered sometimes.
Dinners were generally good, breakfast and brunches perhaps less successful (especially when compared with Duma Tau) but still perfectly OK.
Good variety of game both prey and predator. Sometimes very bumpy tracks.
Got a general feeling that some of the other guests were a little 'pampered' but suppose that is a result of it being a premier camp.
Rooms were huge - maybe unnecessarily so.
Guiding (Lazarus) was good, although he seemed to concentrate more on the larger animals rather than highlight some smaller birds/plants, however would still give him high marks.
Vumbura Main Camp.
Again a very good visit. In comparison with Chitabi we missed some of the informailty. The staff were very pleasant and helpful but we missed the informailty of all guests and staff eating together.
Guides were excellent, knowledgeable and went out of their to make the visit a great success. We were particularly impressed with all the guides knowledge.
We took a half day trip on a boat in the Delta. This was a little disappointing
Excellent Safari at Vumbura Plains
Vumbura Plains North is an excellent camp.
There are two Vumbura's North and South and the North side has a more modern main area and is a bit larger and certainly my preference. Vumbura's landscape is very enjoyable. If this is your first safari, the terrain can be quite different from area to area. Vumbura had a great open plains feel while also having other areas that look completely different which gives a great diversity of plant & bird life. We saw all the Big 5 except the Rhino which is no longer in this area, hippos, a few small crocs, zebras, giraffes, wildebeest's, mongoose, impala, kudus, red leche, etc and an outstanding assortment of Bird life.
One of the highlights of the trip was tracking a mother and 2 of its lion cubs. After an exciting, search, there they were and we followed them for over an hour as they were on the move right in the open in search of food. Animals were abundant and all different varieties. Another highlight of the trip were the elephants. There were many babies some of which were just born and in the two days we were in the camp, the elephants kept us company including during our candlelight dinners. Sometimes the mother wasn't happy that we were so close to her baby, but she soon realized we were not a threat and went along her business. This area is much greener than the Linyanti area in the time of year that I traveled (first week in Oct) and the safari drives are not as bumpy as some of the other camps.
We also had an opportunity to do a Mokoro. Although there is really no animal presence during this canoe ride, it is a great way to relax from the bumpy drives. My brother also went on a fishing boat do some small recreational fishing but more like relaxing. Because Vumbura is a premier camp, the drives were only the 3 of us on the trip and we were able to have private dinners as well. All of the staff were outstanding , the rooms were very large with a plunge pool and had everything from a hairdryer, all the incidentals such as shampoo, conditioner, bug spray and a fully stocked fridge which was not found in my Classic camp. October was hot but dry and the advantage was the evenings were not cold and there were hardly any bugs. Our guide was excellent and one thing to make note of is to tell your guide everything you are interested in seeing and he will do his best to find the animals for you.
One thing I wish I was a little more prepared on was the ammenities. I brought a few too many extra things and was quite surprised how the rooms all had shampoo, conditioner, bug spray and even outlets to charge your camera equipment. If you are traveling in the hot months, I highly recommend bringing rehydration salts and or a powdered gatorade. I have never had problems with heat before but because I was taking Malaria pills, I was dehydrated for one of the days (malaria pills tend to dehydrate you faster). Luckily I had a rehydration salt and made a quick recovery. Gatorade or Powerades were not available. One other small thing to make note of is that it is customary for all the staff to shake your hand. Certainly not a bad thing but If you are a germaphobe, just carry a small bottle of purell with you at all times. Also, what is great is that all the staff will know your name. Rooms were very large and the decor was beautiful.
This camp exceeded my expectations and I highly recommend it.
A wonderful camp with fantastic rooms and amazing views in the heart of the bush. Brilliant management team, guides, staff and hippos that definitely went bump in the night!
We can't praise it enough.
Loved the communal dinners with our fellow guests, guides and managers particularly the one out in the bush where the hyenas were waiting to join us!
Vumbura - outstanding rooms, cuisine & location
We arrived at Vumbura after a 10 minute scenic flight which once again showed that the high water levels were still rising higher. The camp was absolutely fantastic with a very unusual but eye catching main deck, bar and dining area. Our room was awesome! Very spacious and extremely comfortable. We were at the end of the walkway and so our views were superb – I've never taken a shower for so long before!! The food and service were excellent with a choice on the dinner menu which was a nice touch.
We did mostly game drives and one Mokoro trip which was brilliant as it was so peaceful and gave us a different perspective of the wildlife we saw on the water's edge. The drives were wet and dry and on some occasions the water level rose above the bonnet of the vehicle. I guess the game viewing was the only slightly disappointing part of the trip ( at both camps) as on many drives we or rather the Guides worked very hard to spot what we did. The water levels obviously had an impact on the game in that area, especially pushing out the big cats and so sometimes it was very quiet indeed but it did not in any way spoil things at all.
We were again looked after very well by Noku (Nick, I think), Kate and the staff. (I appreciated the typical English sense of humour of Noku). On the final morning the flight mode and times changed by the minute as water levels threatened to flood the airstrip. Only when we arrived at the airstrip was there an announcement that it would close and after some time we were then whisked away to Maun by helicopter – as you can imagine, a 35 minute flight at low level over the delta by helicopter was one hell of a way to finish off our holiday.
Vumbura Plains review
Beautiful rooms in a lovely location. Excellent service although they did seem to put out too much food!
A bird guide in the library would be a useful addition although our guide was particularly knowledgeable on birds.
A bush dinner was an unexpected and very memorable surprise.
Vumbura Plains review
We hade a excellant bush dinner at night.
But we felt more distant to the personnels, not so warm and engaged.
we had a lovely mokoro ride