One of my strongest memories from my excursion to Botswana was the scent of wild sage filling the air. Even when I’m cooking with sage, I am immediately transported back to this African gem, and Vumbura Plains in particular.
Vumbura Plains is a Wilderness Safari camp located in the northern area of the Okavango Delta. Its location between the wetland and the dry makes it an excellent combo safari option as it gets the best of game movements year-round. Land and water-based activities include drives, leisurely walks, boating, and mekoros. The camp itself makes quite the first impression. Both public spaces and the private rooms face the vast flood plane and provide picturesque scenic views.
My favorite spot in the camp was the fire deck hanging out over the delta marsh with wide open skies above for great stargazing. The rooms are large with an open plan and stylish, yet understated decor. All rooms have outdoor showers and plunge pools out on the deck. At night, you can hear hippos and elephants wandering around right below your window! Inside, the rooms feature a sunken living room, dressing area and open-plan bathroom with the largest shower I’ve ever seen! This would be the ideal hide-away for honeymooners.
Every morning your game drive begins by bumping over a low-lying bridge that allows for access to the camp when the floods are in. Sightings for the day might include swimming elephants, grazing zebra and giraffe, an energetic leopard, or mischievous hyena. But, don’t forget to look up because Vumbura Plains is full of a variety of birds! My favorite sighting was the unique and beautiful green pigeon.
After your game drive, you might be able to experience an incredible bush dinner with lanterns adorned in the trees and seats around a fire that create an adventurous atmosphere. The bush location won’t detract from the quality of service at all as you’ll enjoy a full bar and enormous brai-style buffet. Or, head to the deck next to a cozy fire and settle in for one of the world's most spectacular star-gazing opportunities.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, be sure to take advantage of the unique and personalized safari activities offered by the camp. The most popular are fishing excursions, sunset cruises, and mekoro safaris. The Mekoro (a dugout canoe) was a highlight of the trip for me. A safari at water level is a completely different experience than one at Land Rover level!
If Vumbura plains is too much for your budget, one of the best hidden gems in The Wilderness Safari Botswana line-up of camps is Little Vumbura. This classic camp is on a small island in the Delta and can be reached by boat. I find myself overwhelmed with the romance of arriving to your safari destination by boat and as you approach, watching this little island emerge from the Papyrus and reeds before your eyes! Little Vumbura is a bit more rustic compared to its sister-camp, but these semi-permanent tents are quite homey and a perfect fit for families or adventurous couples!
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