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In the heart of Africa’s untamed wilderness, where nature is honored and reigns supreme, lies a trio of luxury safari camps that redefine the concept of opulent exploration. Wilderness Safaris presents an unrivaled collection of sanctuaries – Vumbura Plains, Duma Tau, and Mombo Camps – each a masterpiece in its own right, to discerning travelers for an extraordinary journey into the heart of one of the most pristine ecosystems on earth – the Okavango Delta. These camps offer not just accommodation, but immersive experiences where guests are enveloped in the sights, sounds, and sensations of the wild. From the moment you arrive, you are transported into a realm where wildlife roams freely and the rhythms of nature dictate the pace of life. Whether you seek heart-pounding encounters with Africa’s iconic wildlife, serene moments of reflection in the midst of breathtaking scenery, or simply the chance to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with the natural world, these camps promise an unforgettable journey into the heart of wilderness luxury. Come along as we continue to discuss the three best ways to Safari in Botswana.

Best Times to Visit:

June to August is definitely the best time to safari in Botswana in terms of weather conditions. The rains have stopped, the delta is flooded, and foliage is sparse which makes for the best game viewing. However keep in mind it is their winter, so temperatures can get low into the 40’s in the mornings.

The months of March, April or May are you next best bet for a great shoulder season option – it is not too hot or too cold, where as from September/October to about December/January are the hottest months by far. The rain is yet to come so there is not much in the way of cooling down from the scorching temps (that can get as high as the 100s!) other than in your plunge pool.

Our visit was is January, the rainy summertime season. You wouldn’t recognize the delta with it being so green. Animals were certainly harder to come by due to the density. It rained at some point almost every day, which we welcomed because it kept the weather a perfect temperature during what is still considered some of their hottest months – it is summer after all. Water was low, so we made sure to stay at camps where water activities were still available year-round. There were very few people at the camps since it is considered low-season. If you are looking for a tranquil time to go, and lower pricing, this time of year could be perfect for your safari in Botswana!

The best time to visit Botswana in terms of optimal wildlife viewing experiences also varies depending on the season. From May to October, Botswana’s dry winter season offers excellent game viewing opportunities as animals congregate around water sources, making them easier to spot in the sparse vegetation. This period is particularly renowned for the spectacle of large herds of elephants, buffalo, and antelope gathering around permanent water sources like the Okavango Delta and Chobe River.

Additionally, the dry season is ideal for predator sightings as they concentrate around waterholes, increasing the chances of witnessing thrilling predator-prey interactions. However, if witnessing the spectacle of the zebra and wildebeest migration is your priority, visiting during the wet summer months of November to April is recommended, especially in the Kalahari and Makgadikgadi Pans regions. Despite the seasonal rains making road conditions more challenging, this time offers the opportunity to witness the annual migration, as well as the flourishing birdlife that accompanies the wet season. Therefore, the best time to visit Botswana for unparalleled wildlife encounters depends on whether you prioritize specific animal sightings or are open to experiencing the diverse rhythms of nature throughout the year.

safari in Botswana

Photo’s Courtesy of Vumbura Plains

Vumbura Plains: Where Delta Beauty Meets Luxury Comfort

Vumbura Plains Camp is a testament to the seamless integration of lavish living and untamed nature. With its contemporary design and minimalist elegance, this camp offers classic comforts while preserving the delicate ecosystem that surrounds it. There is a rule on construction here – anything that stands can’t be a permanent structure (meaning yes, you could take it all apart giving new meaning to “leave no trace”! Many camps have moved locations in this way as a matter of fact).

Facing east you’ll wake up to glorious sunrises and a symphony of bird calls, as you set out on exclusive water and land-based safaris, encountering the Delta’s diverse wildlife up close. These moments and room requests are something to consider when planning any luxurious African safari. 

Special Activities at Vumbura Plains:

  •  Mokoro Excursions: Glide silently through the waterways on a traditional mokoro (dugout canoe) and witness the Delta’s aquatic wonders. This activity was one of our favorites during our safari in Botswana.
  • Night Drives: Experience the magic of nocturnal safaris, spotting elusive creatures under the moonlit African sky.

One of the most unique features of Vumbura Plains is that this camp is leased on the land of five local tribes – most of whom work at the lodge! This provides an unparalleled authenticity. You truly feel like you’re staying among family and friends because you are!

Photo’s Courtesy of Duma Tau

Duma Tau: A Wilderness Oasis on the Linyanti River

Flying north a short 30 minutes, you depart the Delta, and are now on the banks of the Linyanti River near the Namibian border for another unique take on northern Botswana.

Duma Tau is a contemporary safari camp at its finest with clean lines and design inspiration of the life-sustaining waterliles that abound. Tented suites exude understated elegance, providing a front-row seat to the drama unfolding on the riverbanks such as fantastic elephant crossings. Explore the diverse landscapes on both water and land safaris at this privileged lagoon-side location, immersing yourself in the untamed beauty of the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve.

In terms of wildlife viewing, visiting Duma Tau during the dry season from May to October offers prime opportunities to witness the annual migration of elephants along the Linyanti River, as well as sightings of predators such as lions and leopards attracted to the concentration of prey near water sources. Moreover, bird enthusiasts will delight in the prolific birdlife that thrives in the riverine habitat, including colorful kingfishers and majestic fish eagles. Whether embarking on a sunset boat cruise or venturing out on a guided game drive, Duma Tau ensures unforgettable encounters with Botswana’s mesmerizing wildlife against the backdrop of breathtaking landscapes.

Activities at Duma Tau:

Activities at Duma Tau extend beyond traditional game drives, offering guests immersive experiences that showcase the diverse ecosystems of the Linyanti region.

  • Bush Walks: Embark on thrilling bush walks, connecting with nature on an intimate level under the expert guidance of seasoned guides.
  • Boat Safaris and Barge Dining: When staying at this camp every effort is made to have your group experience dining on their fantastic barge – whether for lunch, tea, or dinner, and you can also opt to zip around by speedboat catching glimpses of hippos and learning about the local ecosystem, as an alternative to a game drive.

One of our favorite things about Duma Tau and many of the Wilderness camps, was the fact that dining is so plant-forward. American guests are the number one visitors for many of Botswana’s camps, so dishes cater to those who value nutrition. Expect meals topped with micro-greens and a variety of veggie inclusions. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of meat options though. One of Botswana’s top exports is beef, so be sure to indulge while on your safari in Botswana.

safari in Botswana

Photo’s Courtesy of Mombo Camp

Mombo Camp: The Predator Capital of the World

Perched on the northern tip of Chief’s Island where the Okavango Delta begins to split into it’s channels, Mombo Camp is renowned as the “Place of Plenty” and is arguably one of the best year-round game-viewing destinations in Botswana due to it’s prime location. We can certainly attest to that, having happened upon three leopards, and a pride of 13 lions in what is considered the most difficult season for game viewing. You will not be disappointed at these flagship camps while on your safari in Botswana.

Activities at Mombo Camp:

  • Big Cat Safaris: Witness the mesmerizing presence of lions, leopards, and cheetahs, as Mombo Camp boasts some of the highest densities of these predators.
  • Bird Watching: Explore the rich avian diversity of the area, with over 400 species of birds to be spotted, including vibrant kingfishers and majestic eagles.

Our favorite part of staying at Mombo – other than all the incredible game we saw – was indulging in the lavish suites. In short, it was very Indiana Jones if Harrison Ford had ever gone on Safari. The decadent burnt caramel hues of wood, walls of Venetian blinds, and a classic leather sofa are reminiscent of the safari experience you expect to have, and provide an unforgettable setting on your wilderness adventure. With an abundance of animals in view from your suite, it was extra special to watch the elephants from our plunge pool.

There are numerous ways to experience the unrivaled Okavango Delta, and our trip with Wilderness Safaris to their Vumbura Plains, Duma Tau, and Mombo Camps was nothing short of bucket list. No matter what you desire to see and where you ultimately choose to stay, the BTA team is here to help discern the best camps no matter the season, budget, or request. Immerse yourself in the heart of Africa’s wilderness and let the extraordinary people, animals and luxury of the camps be the backdrop of your safari adventure. When should we expect to start booking your safari to Botswana? We’re ready when you are. We recommend booking a safari at least a year in advance!

For more about BTA Advisor Jackie Kotsovos’s journey through Africa check out her previous blog!

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Boutique Travel Advisors is a full-service, luxury travel agency. We specialize in creating bespoke itineraries for discerning clients around the world. Please visit our website or call 480-787-1477 to speak with a dedicated travel expert. 

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