Mombo

Known as a ‘Place of Plenty’, Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp has long been considered the quintessential African bush camp thanks to its idyllic, remote location just off the north-western tip of Chief’s Island in Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve. Set beneath huge trees on the edge of a broad floodplain dotted with giant umbrella thorn trees and illala palms, Mombo is a magical place of wild, unpredictable beauty. Here, the landscape is relentlessly modified by the ebb and flow of the delta waters and it is this accessibility to these transient
waters that makes it so highly sought-after by an enormous number and variety of animals. No wonder it’s the stellar game-viewing destination that it is.

Thirty years on since it was opened and with three very successful incarnations of Mombo Camp (comprising 9 tents) and Little Mombo (tucked away and comprising just three tents) to their credit, Wilderness Safaris closed the camps last year for a period of time to undergo extensive renovations and refurbishment. Not known to rest on their laurels, Wilderness wanted to up the ante of both in terms of accommodation and experience. And so their brief to architect Nick Plewman and interior designer Caline Williams-Wynne, was to reimagine the camps in such a way as to maintain the beloved traditions and history of Mombo but to offer the highest and most innovative standards of design, hospitality and luxury.

This they have done with aplomb, taking both Mombo camp to a new level of luxury that makes it undoubtedly one of the most luxurious offerings in Botswana. ‘We heeded the call from our ever-increasing high-end customers who are used to private jet and first class travel, to experience Mombo in similarly ultra-luxurious accommodation,’ says Tim Farrell of Wilderness Safaris. Wilderness’ emphasis on luxury and service excellence is integral to sharing and honoring the amazing natural environment in which they operate. And so each tented suite has been built on exactly the same place as the previous one – with a slight increase in size out towards the floodplain to facilitate a pool deck. By remaining the same width, this has allowed all the vegetation – particularly the large trees that are in between the units – to remain, ensuring minimal impact to the environment. Wilderness even hosted a tree expert in camp to ensure that the trees were properly cared for and professionally pruned. It’s this attention to detail and commitment to preserving the spectacular wilderness of Mombo that has undoubtedly contributed to, and will continue to contribute towards, Mombo’s phenomenal success over three decades.

‘We wanted to create a showstopper in the new Mombo,’ says Caline Williams-Wynn, who, by using deconstructed furniture in classic styles with antique brass finishes, vintage leathers, copper lighting and copper-clad fireplaces combined with marble and natural oak floors has created an earthy yet glamorous interior to match the magnificence of the setting. ‘Luxury of space was key to creating the new design,’ she adds. ‘Each tented suite now comprises an expansive entrance, a sitting room with a bar unit, a separate bedroom and bathroom with a dressing area, indoor and outdoor showers and a bathtub to create a sense of absolute indulgence.’ And with views out to the floodplain uninterrupted thanks to the use of wood sliding louvre shutters that can be open or shut completely, the feeling of absolute seclusion has been heightened. Furthermore, spacious decks are perfect for in-villa dining and private plunge pools and swing beds offer the perfect base for midday relaxation and siestas.’

And the camp’s new executive chef, Johan Van Schalkwyk and his experienced food and beverage team, have redefined Mombo’s food culture too, including more traditional Botswana fare and interactive meals, such as cooking over the coals in true African style. ‘Mombo’s cuisine has always been true to its surroundings, using locally-sourced ingredients prepared with great care and respect,’ he says. ‘But we’ve changed the focus slightly to bring guests, guides and hosts together to share experiences and stories of present and past at Mombo within a family-style environment.’ Flexibility will remain a central focus with plenty of private dining options available that Mombo’s experienced team will be on hand to craft according to your specific preferences. ‘Whether it’s enjoying a meal under the stars in the open-air boma or a romantic, candle-lit dinner for two in the privacy of their villa, we’re committed to offering guests an authentic yet refreshing and stylish dining experience deep in the remote Okavango Delta.’

If you would like more information on a luxury African safari in Botswana that includes a stay at Mombo or Little Mombo, email welcome@roarafrica.com