Mombo Camp has arguably the best big game viewing in Africa. Located in the Mombo Concession on Chief's Island in the heart of the Okavango Delta, Botswana, the sheer numbers and variety of wildlife all year round defy description. Mombo Camp is the Africa only seen in documentaries: from elephant to buffalo to tiny steenbok, vast herds of herbivores are trailed by numerous predators!
Mombo Camp is located in the Mombo Concession on the northern tip of Chief's Island within the Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. This area boasts enormous concentrations of plains game and predators – providing arguably the best big game viewing in all of Africa.
Built under large, shady trees and overlooking the floodplains which teem with wildlife all year round, Mombo Camp comprises nine spacious tents raised two metres from the ground. Bathrooms are en suite, with both indoor and outdoor showers. Magnificent vistas are the order of the day, with all the rooms, the sala, long veranda and lounge area taking advantage of the very best that the Okavango Delta has to offer. Mombo Camp's main living and dining areas are under thatch, but a boma adds traditional flavour to a delicious dinner under the stars. There is also a plunge pool in which to relax.
The best big game viewing experience starts on the veranda at Mombo Camp, with wonderful concentrations of game occurring right in front of the camp. Guests often find animals wandering past, right under their rooms!
Activities at Mombo Camp include morning and afternoon game drives. Open 4x4s provide an excellent vantage for viewing the high concentrations of plains game and all the predators - including the big cats. Lion sightings are frequent. Guests at Mombo Camp can also expect to see leopard, wild dog, spotted hyaena, large herds of buffalo, elephant, white rhino, southern giraffe, blue wildebeest and Burchell's zebra.
Black and white rhino have been reintroduced to the region with outstanding success (albeit most are further away from Mombo Camp), thanks to the Wilderness Safaris Botswana Rhino Project.
Conservation activities at Mombo Camp are centred on the protection of both the black and white rhino. For over 16 years Mombo Camp has been working in close collaboration with the Botswana Government and Wilderness Wildlife Trust to do so. Previously, both species were on the brink of extinction (white rhino) or locally extinct in Botswana (black rhino), a situation that these concerted efforts have begun to reverse.
Starting in 2000 with white rhino, a series of translocations have been carried out in partnership with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks with assistance from South African and Zimbabwean governments and the Botswana Defence Force who provided logistical support and security. Since this initiative began, healthy founder populations of both white and black rhino have been reintroduced into the wild with direct assistance from Mombo Camp in the Moremi Game Reserve. The animals have settled down well and formed viable breeding populations. Mombo Camp has continued to focus its efforts on protection and monitoring of the animals, and to that end has hired full-time staff who work closely with the anti-poaching unit from the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP). It has also funded several other research and conservation efforts on threatened or endangered species within Moremi Game Reserve.
A key challenge at Mombo Camp remains the large elephant populations and their potential impact on vegetation and other wildlife species. As a result it has partnered with Elephants Without Borders to investigate home range size and space utilisation of elephants in Moremi on the northern tip of Chief’s Island where Mombo is situated.
In terms of EMS, Mombo is 100% solar powered and uses a 110KW system, saving 96 344 litres of diesel annually when compared with 2012 figures. The camp uses energy-efficient appliances and timers, above-ground sewage treatment, water saving shower heads, tap aerators, dual flush toilets and energy saving lights. The camp was also built using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved wood and positioned off the ground to minimise direct impact. The use of concrete and bricks has been limited. Solar geysers are used to heat all water for the camp. All waste is separated and all efforts are made to recycle as much as possible. Reverse osmosis water filtration is used in conjunction with reusable water bottles in order to cut down on bottled water use. Since 2012, bottled water use has decreased by 53% across all Wilderness Safaris camps.
Wilderness Safaris has developed a protocol for cultural tourism in the form of the Wilderness Safaris Ethics Charter and Codes of Conduct for Cultural Tourism. These documents incorporate the main principles which govern Wilderness' cultural tourism and engagement with communities living in and around the conservation areas in which they operate.
Mombo promotes local indigenous culture through the display of local arts and crafts both as decoration in camp as well as for sale in the camp curio shop. The Botswana Cultural Map seen at camp provides information on local culture and aims to raise awareness amongst guests and encourage them to engage with the staff to learn more about their culture.
Celebration of the Annual Wilderness Heritage Day in the camps encourages staff to wear their traditional attire, to talk about their culture and share stories with other staff and guests.
Mombo is a successful sustainable tourist destination that offers thrilling wildlife sighting that begin virtually on the camp’s sumptuous decks, with the surrounding floodplains, explored by 4x4 vehicles, teeming with game year round. One of the key focuses of the business is providing employment for local communities providing continued support for its conservation efforts. It actively invests its profits into the other 3Cs as it has adopted the 4Cs (conservation, community, culture and commerce) approach across its entire business and reporting framework.