The world’s largest inland delta, teeming with game, offering outstanding land and water-based mokoro safaris and world-class bird-watching.
Recommended place to stay:
Little Vumbura Camp
Okavango Delta, Botswana|wilderness-safaris.com|
Official star rating:
This rare Botswana camp has a bit of everything: water-based activities, game drives and walking safaris – and a wondrous setting in a northern private concession of the Okavango Delta, teeming with birds and spectacular animals.
Set on an island in a pretty part of the Okavango, surrounded by beautiful trees and peaceful water channels, its tents are simple but comfortable, with indoor and outdoor showers – luxury is not the point here.
Being so small, it feels quiet and intimate – with communal meals providing a bit of company – and service is relaxed and happy. The intimate feel is a big plus – it never feels crowded here (other than with elephant and buffalo). The food is homemade and fresh, and the wildlife viewing exceptional.
Game & game viewing
Game is generally excellent, notably elephant-watching; this is where hundreds of pachyderms roam, so it’s a good place to get up close to them. You might even see them swimming, trunks out of the water like periscopes. Birdlife is particularly prolific (from bee-eaters to owls) – as are sightings of big crocodiles, hippo and aquatic antelope. On drives, leopards, lions, cheetahs and rare wild dogs are often seen.
Specialised birdwatching and mokoro (canoe) trips can be arranged, along with fishing on a catch-and-release basis. Waters are filled with bream and African pike, and it’s a great way to keep entertained while watching kingfishers and eagles swoop on the waters.
Taking the kids
They welcome kids 6 years and over. Their ‘Bush Buddy’ kids program includes tracking lessons, where guides show them how to track animals and make a plaster mould of prints they find, and fishing for tiger fish. At camp, they’re encouraged to use the environment in arts and crafts, including kids favourite: paper-making with elephant dung.
It’s a 30-minute flight from Botswana’s Maun airport to the Vumbura airstrip, where they will collect you, then a 35-minute journey by road, and 5 minutes boating, to the camp.
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Renowned safari journalist and expert Lisa Grainger recommends her favourite African camps, from savannahs teeming with Big Five, to star-lit desert wildernesses.