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Vumbura Plains Camp

Vumbura Plains is a superb 'combination' camp in the extreme north of the Okavango Delta, bordering the Moremi Game Reserve. This private concession of over 130,000 acres incorporates some of the most diverse habitat in the Delta, and is probably the only concession in Botswana where one will find an abundance of both the aquatic Red Lechwe antelope as well as the savanna-dwelling Sable antelope.

 

Add in lion, leopard, elephant, cheetah, giraffe, buffalo, as well as the full spectrum of plains animals, and one has an excellent all round wildlife experience in a remote and private part of the Okavango. Birders will love the spectrum of all the Okavango water "specials" along with acacia and dry woodland species.

 

 

The great strength of Vumbura Plains is its diversity - of habitats, species, and activities. Encompassing, as it does, strong elements of both the dry savanna habitats and the Delta's filigree of waterways, Vumbura Plains is an ideal 'combination' camp, offering the full range of land and water experiences.

 

 

Day and night game drives in specially adapted 4x4 vehicles, accompanied by professional guides, provide the most efficient and effective way of seeing and photographing Africa's big game. Guided walks provide a more intimate and interactive exploration of the concession's terrestrial habitats. To explore the waterways and channels of the Okavango Delta, the camp offers excursions by motorized pontoon as well as the uniquely Okavango experience of "mokoro" - gliding silently across the floodplains, being poled along by your guide, absorbing the magic of one of Africa's most exquisitely beautiful ecosystems.

 

Vumbura consists of two separate seven-roomed camps, each with its own dining and sitting area, linked by a raised boardwalk. The tented rooms are airy and spacious, constructed of screened panels which blur the distinction between the comfortable indoors and the wild bush beyond. The sunken sitting area opens to an expansive wooden deck, which houses a private overflowing plunge pool and comfortable "sala" for a peaceful siesta.

 

 

Ablution facilities at Vumbura are stylishly state-of-the-art, and deciding whether to enjoy the indoor or outdoor shower can be vexing. The indoor shower spills onto a sculptural white ceramic tile, with flora inscribed into its smooth surface. Privacy is maintained with gossamer linen textiles draped with chains of delicate leaves. From the secluded luxury of the powerful outdoor rain shower, the uninterrupted sight-line across the floodplains is captivating and awe-inspiring.

 

 

Guests convene at an elegant raised common area for meals, teas and when relaxing during the day. There one will find the dining room, bar, a library, and several intimate sitting areas, along with a larger swimming pool surrounded by comfortable chaise longues. The view across the plains is stunning and the muted understated tones of the camp complement its serene beauty perfectly.

 

 

Vumbura is a refreshingly different 'platinum level' camp offering all the high levels of service, cuisine, and guiding for which the top tier camps in Botswana are renowned. The quality of the camp is comfortably matched by the diversity of habitat, wildlife, and activities, making Vumbura Plains the champion of Okavango 'combination' camps - if you have time for only one camp in the Okavango Delta, Vumbura Plains should be at the top of your list.

 

 

        Conservation Dimension

The Vumbura concession is an exciting example of the way eco-tourism in southern Africa is evolving. The camps came about as a result of a partnership between the rural community to the north of the concession (under whose management this prime piece of wilderness was placed by the Botswana government), and southern Africa's leading camp operator, Wilderness Safaris. The villagers formed the "Okavango Community Trust", and benefit directly from substantial cash and auxiliary returns, jobs, skills transfer, and training. As a result, their disposition towards wildlife has changed significantly, and they have become some of the most ardent protectors of game and wilderness in Botswana. Many believe that it is only through such direct eco-tourism benefits to adjacent communities that Africa's wildlife has any hope of survival, and Vumbura Plains is at the cutting edge of this development.

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