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“Superb wildlife, but less engaging than other camps”

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Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp
Sebastopol, California
Level 6 Contributor
154 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Superb wildlife, but less engaging than other camps”
Reviewed 26 July 2014

Four superb days at Duma Tau set a high standard, but two at Little Mombo did not disappoint in terms of game drives with Cisco. Spent a good hour n the soft light of late afternoon observing and photographing a leopard devouring an impala it had dragged up into a tree, plus a lot of hippo activity close by on a trail. Many eagles appeared over the course of a day, including the stunning sight of a martial eagle swooping down into a low-flying flock of Egyptian geese and taking one to the ground, which it carefully guarded while we watched from 50' distance. The eagle stood immobile on its catch, glaring until we drove off in hopes of spotting two lion cubs whose mother reportedly was off hunting. When that effort proved unavailing, Cisco drove us back to the eagle, which we watched kill the writhing goose with its talons before spreading its huge wings and trying to fly off with the goose. The photographers among the three guests got excellent closeup shots of the eagle struggling to gain altitude with its dangling prey, then gliding into a nearby bush to devour the meal. An extraordinary sight.

Bird life around Mombo was astonishingly varied, especially the various weavers, lilac-breasted rollers, saddle-billed and open-billed storks, and a gorgeous giant eagle owl perched in a tree that Cisco somehow managed to spot. Saw large elephant herds with very large bulls and a good number of infants , a solitary female lion calling for her pride, a good number of handsome giraffes and a large croc, while a white rhino leaving very fresh tracks managed to evade us and cheetahs were nowhere to be seen. The entire surroundings, whether acacia woodlands or permanent marshes, were lush and vivid despite the winter season.

Accommodations were luxurious. The tent was extremely large, extremely well-finished and well-furnished (including a decanter of sherry and an ice chest stocked with good liquors and snacks), looking out across a gorgeous marsh where a fish eagle was perched on the opposite side and birdsong filled the air.

The significant downside of Little Mombo was the restaurant-like atmosphere at meals, where the food were selected from a printed menu and eaten at individual tables, without the camaraderie or at least social contact that typified the buffet-style meals eaten communally at "classic" camps. Beyond fewer food choices, Mombo's dining style eliminated the opportunity to eat with the guides, a pleasant and informative time at other Wilderness camps. The service at meals also seemed somewhat impersonal, and breakfast definitely had a routine quality about it, including mediocre coffee. In short, very glad to have experienced the beauty and rich wildlife of Chief's Island once in a lifetime, but don't feel compelled to return here as opposed to other camps in the general vicinity.

Room Tip: Little Mombo room 1 was extremely appealing.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Don L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Guest Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp, responded to this review, 20 August 2014
Dear Don L,

Thank you for your delightful review, we can see that with Cisco's guidance you were blessed with some phenomenal sightings. We are so glad to hear you had a good time with him and will be sure to pass on your praises.

With regards to the Dining style at Mombo and how it differs from DumaTau, we do offer the different dining experiences i.e. plated or buffet and more often than not for the plated menu guests are seated at private tables and not the grouped tables experienced at buffet menus. Please note that where some guests might enjoy this change and privacy on occasion should you rather wish to be seated as a group a simple request to management or staff and as long as the other guests are in agreement, we would be happy to make this happen for you.

Thank you again and we hope to see you soon
The Mombo Team.
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225 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Opunake
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014

This was one of four camps we stayed at with Wilderness Safaris. Each camp has its own unique character but Mombo was special. The wild life was abundant and the guides very knowledgeable.
We were visited by a herd of elephants while swimming in the pool which made for some great photos. Lions roared outside our room one night - loved it.
The food was great and plentiful, not to mention the self help bar at the pool and in your room!
My husband and I had the pool to ourselves each day as most of the other guests opted for a siesta - we had 05.30am starts to the day. Also a few bikes and treadmills if you need to work off a few kilos.
We were the only Kiwis there with the other guests mainly from America and a bit older than us, but everyone is very friendly there.
We would highly recommend staying at Mombo as part of your safari trip , it is a great treat to go there.

Room Tip: Some rooms are quite a long way from the dining area. We got a bit longer in bed in the mornings as...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Stevo00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Guest Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp, responded to this review, 22 July 2014
Dear Stevo00,

Thank you for your great review we love recieving feedback that we can take back to the staff and share the happy feelings.

It really is a special time, if you can manage it, to stay awake while everyone else takes their nap during siesta time. To be one of the few people wondering around the camp really gives you an amazing feeling of being isolated in the wild. Only being brought back to reality by an interupting staff member offering you a drink or a snack.

We are glad you were able to enjoy this special feeling.
The Mombo Team
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Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2014

After a stay at Vumburra Plains which we loved, Khwai River which we disliked and left a day early for Mombo we arrived in the imaginable place. Could not have been better in sense of wildlife, so many animals in one place and interacting..the best food...the greatest new manager Neal..can not fault it.

We were the only people from The Netherlands in the camp with mostly Americans. We were probably the youngest in camp (34 and 41) but were very lucky to be with a great couple from New York.

What can I say? We are very spoiled and travel a lot. I hardly ever take the time to write a review but I think this is the place everybody who likes nature in his purest form should see.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MargotVandeRiet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Guest Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp, responded to this review, 23 July 2014
Dear MargotVandeRiet,

Thank you for your great review.

Neil is a great assit to Wilderness Safaris and is currently stationed in Mombo as a relief manager while some of our other dedicated staff are taking a much deserved period of leave. Neil grew up in Kenya, but started his tourism and hospitality career in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. He accepted a position in Madikwe Game Reserve, where he worked as a Camp Manager at the 5 star Rhulani Safari Lodge. He remained in Madikwe for a number of years; moving to the well known Jaci's Safari Lodges where he gained experience at the highest level of service and hospitality. His extensive experience in tourism allowed him to move to Botswana and into the employ of Wilderness Safaris where he managed Xigera for just over a year.

We are glad to hear that you had such a positive experience while in camp with Neil and the team.
The Team at Mombo
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Southport, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
97 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2014

This was our fourth visit to Little Mombo camp.
Yes, it is very expensive ... and yes (after 15 years) some of the buildings and elevated walkways are showing their age and could use some maintenance or repair.
But, it is the wildlife viewing, the quality of the guides and the quality of all the staff that continue to draw us back.
Wonderful wildlife sightings are guaranteed ... but their nature cannot be predicted. If you have high expectations of a particular sighting eg rhino, you may be disappointed (and would probably be better off going to South Africa or Namibia to improve your chances). On this occasion we were excited to see four leopards we have not seen before, but we encountered fewer lions than on previous trips. But through multiple visits, and by coming at different times of the year, we have been able to appreciate the different dynamics affecting animal populations, why their numbers rise and fall, and the pressures that cause their territorial boundaries to change. And through the knowledge and tracking skills of our guides (we have had Tsile on three occasions and Cisco once) we have seen things that we would otherwise have missed and learned a great deal about animal behaviour in the process.
The luxury tents are well appointed and spacious. The food and wine is of high quality and well presented. And the staff are very friendly, courteous and helpful. Many have been employed there for a number of years and it is a pleasure to see them again on our return. There is a family-feel to the place, and returning guests are made to feel part of that extended family.
Dinner evenings in the Boma are special ... both for the ambience and the singing and dancing of the Mombo choir.
Lunch out in the floodplains at a distance from the camp is also a special treat.
On this trip we visited three classic tented camps (Tubu Tree, Chitabe and Xigera) prior to our arrival at Little Mombo. All were wonderful experiences, but there is just something special about Mombo. For us though, it is not about the luxury ... it is the wildlife and the staff that will bring us back again.

Room Tip: We have stayed in Room 2 and Room 3 on our visits. Both have excellent views of the floodplain and a...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Angela H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Guest Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp, responded to this review, 22 July 2014
Dear Graham A,

It really is great to recieve still glowing reviews from returning guests. Thank you for taking the time to submit this to us.

Tsile Tsile was born in the small village of Sepopa, in Botswana’s most remote and pristine wetland, the Okavango Delta. He is a member of the Bayei people, who first introduced mekoro to the Delta. He grew up on a cattle post and credits Sepopa with being the place that first inspired in him a love of wilderness and wildlife. After school, he was employed by the Botswana Police Force as a policeman for three years, but quickly came to the realisation that he was destined for other things. And so he joined Wilderness Safaris, first as a bar tender, and a year later, on acquisition of his Professional Guide’s Licence, as a guide – the career for which he was born. After four years at “classic” Duba Plains he was seconded to Mombo, one of Wilderness’ premier camps, where he has been for the past eight years, working his way from guide to Head Guide and now Manager Guide. His experience, expertise and passion for nature and astronomy is one of the reasons Mombo has been voted best destination by Condé Nast three times in a
row.

We will be sure to pass on your kind words to Tsile and all the staff.
The Little Mombo Team
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Brooklyn, New York
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2014 via mobile

Mombo a 5 star luxury safari with a suite for accomodations, outdoor and in door luxury showers, personal bar and gourmet food and wine. But the best part is the game we saw with our excellent guide Doc the first drive such as the white rhino, lions, herd of elephants , hippos, giraffes and more up close and personal. Every day they worked tirelessly to provide a wonderful experience. Boma on Mondays with local African staff dancing and singing was great. Wine tasting fun! Well worth the experience and more. Don't miss it

Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Dawn828591
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Guest Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp, responded to this review, 22 July 2014
Dear Dawn C,

Thank you for taking the time to write this great review. We are thrilled to hear you had such great animal sightings during your game drives.

Our Bomo/ Camp fire evenings are always a big hit and also a staff favourite. it is great fun to see the staff singing and dancing around the camp fire, and even more fun to join in as everyone is welcome to join in on all the fun.

Thank you again for your kind review,
The Mombo Team
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Las Vegas, Nevada
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2014

Lots of animals and the tents great. Compared to Abu and Zarafa, always seemed crowded, a little disorganized and impersonal. Maybe because of all of their publicity.
The guide was very disappointing
Still a great e pertinence, but I think u can do better

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank boxdoc7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp, responded to this review, 7 July 2014
Thank you for your review received regarding your experiences at Mombo Camp. We are really disapoointed to hear that you were so disappointed with your guide as all our guides are very experienced and we often receive rave reviews about them. Sadly the guide was not mentioned and we are therefore unable to investigate this matter further. With regards to the camp we are happy to hear that you enjoyed the wildlife and your tent but were a bit disappointed with atmosphere in camp overall. We can only think that this is perhaps due to the fact that both Zarafa and Abu Camps are smaller by comparison than Mombo Camp. We do hope that we will be able to welcome you back again one day soon.
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Houston, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2014

We arrived in Mombo curious as to why it was so famous... After 2 game drives with big five and a Serval cat fighting a Hyena, what could I think?
But that is not all, about Mombo! the people who work there are truly special, they all love their lodge, and Botswana, and they make you feel like visitors not guests. They treat everyone as a regular, and they provide perfect service! The food and wine delicious. The tent with mesh all one side so as to feel in the wilderness while basking in luxury are incredible! It is lovely, but it is still a tent, with all the trimmimgs. The outdoor treadmill and pool have a view of elephants and hippos.
The game guides are so proud of their animals and truly want to find them for you, especially if you have a real interest. This is the place you might see the hundreds of lechwe, a leopard hunting, a croc just as you enter your room, or wake up with a hippo under the stilts of the tent. This place is those who want to see it all up close!
But the breakfasts overlooking the lagoon, and the lion-hippo nightly serenades are the best of it all!

Room Tip: Number 8 is in the shade, but all nine are beautiful
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ena G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp, responded to this review, 22 July 2014
Dear Ena G,

Thank you for taking the time to wirte up this fantastic review for us. We are fantastically blessed at Mombo to have such great staff and game viewing.

Bird and mammal checklists detailing the species found in the region are available in the room and for your use during your stay. Please advise the camp manager if you do not have one and feel free to take it with you for the rest of your journey.

Hope you can come and visit our family again
The Mombo Team
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Additional Information about Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp

Property: Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp
Address: Mombo Island, Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Region: Botswana > North-West District > Okavango Delta > Moremi Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 29 Speciality Lodging in Moremi Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A nostalgic look back at our roots as safari pioneers in Botswana, Mombo Trails Camp is a light-footprint tented camp that has been specially erected to provide accommodation during the rebuild of Mombo and Little Mombo camps. As such, there are no permanent structures, but all the luxury and comforts of a Mombo experience, along with Mombo’s world-famous spectacular game viewing on offer. Eight elegantly furnished and spacious guest tents with en-suite facilities are situated on slightly raised decks to minimise impact on the site, all under large, shady trees, and often within sight of a variety of the area’s wildlife. Set under towering jackalberry trees, the dining, bar and lounge area offers beautiful views over the floodplain. Delicious meals are enjoyed here or under the stars, while veteran Mombo guests, guides and staff gather around the campfire to relive the history of one of our longest-running camps. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mombo Camp Hotel Moremi Game Reserve

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