Tour Tails: Vumbura Plains, Chitabe Camp and Mombo Camp
My home for 20 years and one of, if not, my most favourite places in Africa. I’m not sure if it’s just because I’m a sentimentalist, or if it’s just genuinely hard to find comparable beauty.
Botswana’s inconceivable vastness and isolation never ceases to overwhelm both myself and my tour group, yet it still leaves us wanting more. This last seven-day safari took us through three stunning camps in and around Botswana.
Here is a summary of the highlights and amazing wildlife sightings we experienced during this safari. Enjoy!
It is always a pleasure to arrive back at luxurious Vumbura Plains. The first time I visited was over a decade ago in 2002. It is truly a privilege to be able to return on a regular basis.
Vumbura Plains sits in an area with a mix of water and dry land, creating opportunities for diverse wildlife sightings and safari encounters. It is one of the few areas that offers both land and water activities game drives, mekoro (dugout canoes), motorboats and even hot air balloons. It never fails to deliver an all-embracing African experience.
On the second day, we spotted a leopard that is particularly close to my heart. You may have even heard me speak about her before. I first saw her when she was a two-week-old cub. Now, she is an old female leopard. I’ve been following her for about 14 years, so there is a lot of history between us. More on that in another month’s blog.
We also had a few great lion and sable antelope sightings. The diversity of Vumbara Plains is particularly noteworthy. It’s an area I love exploring.
The views of the extensive floodplains from Chitabe Camp are remarkable. This campsite is built on elevated decks amongst the trees in the wilderness of the south-east of the Okavango Delta – providing a unique, panoramic view.
The African wild dogs have a den there at the moment. This is always special to see as Botswana has one of the few remaining large populations of this endangered animal. There are also massive elephant herds on the Gomoti River. Botswana has the world’s largest concentration of African elephants.
We were also spoilt with an incredible leopard sighting. He slinked right in front of our camp while we were having dinner – a definite highlight.
Lastly, the lion sightings were abundant, very exciting and full of action. We witnessed the Chitabe pride taking down a giraffe just outside of camp. We also spotted a few other prides on the move in the area.
Mombo Camp is locally known as “the Place of Plenty” as the area is home to vast numbers of game and predators, which is a recipe for incredible wildlife interactions.
On the very first afternoon we encountered two leopards fighting over a baboon carcass. The African wild dogs have a den there as well – great to see! We also had amazing hippo, male lion and croc sights – almost the entire Big 5 at one camp. Overall, Mombo Camp just has incredible diversity and beauty – pure wilderness.
I’m jumping on a plane now and heading back to Mombo Camp for four nights and then Duba Plains for three nights. Thereafter, I will be gorilla trekking for three nights at Bisate Lodge in Rwanda.
Join me next time?