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Reviewed 10 June 2019 via mobile

My husband and I had the most amazing 4 night stay at Vumbura Plains North Camp. From the time we entered till our departure- nothing was less than 5*. Our accommodation in a luxury tent was more than comfortable - with an indoor open shower, relaxing lounge area overlooking the estuary, fully stocked mini bar, Africology bathroom products, “loo with a view”, private dipping pool on the deck and a second outdoor private shower.
The food was prepared with quality ingredients and its presentation was nothing short of excellent. The chef extraordinaire, even gave me some recipes to take home.
The Guest Relations Manager, Corlia Olivier, spent time with all the guests going out of her way to make everyone comfortable and welcome. After a cold afternoon 3-4 hour safari drive, we were welcomed back to the lodge with hot chocolate. We were surprised with a table laid brunch out in a clearing one morning with a mobile sink, handwash and towels!
And how can we forget the animals? We were lucky to have seen elephants (the closest like 1metre away as the camp isn’t fenced), wild dogs, leopards, hyenas, lions, impala, warthogs, vultures, giraffe, hippos ( in the estuary right outside our room), and countless different birds. Our game driver Chris was extremely knowledgeable on every topic related to the safari.
Would recommend this camp over and over.

Date of stay: June 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank TANYAW268
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilderness_Safaris, Public Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Vumbura Plains, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2019

Dear TANYAW268,

Corlia and Chris will be delighted to read your kind words. Luxurious Vumbura Plains lies in an area that is a mix of water and dry land. The wildlife is diverse, so that both land and water activities on vehicles, mekoro and boats deliver an all-round African safari experience. We hope you will both visit us again soon.

Thank you
Wilderness Safaris

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2019

This will be one of the nicest places you ever stay. The cabins are wonderful and the views over the water with the animals are pretty special. The staff bends over backwards to make the guest's visits memorable. The guides are outstanding and really know what they are doing. Everything is first class.

Date of stay: May 2019
Thank DLPrattCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilderness_Safaris, Public Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Vumbura Plains, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2019

Dear DLPrattCA,

Thank you for your beautiful words and high praises. We cannot wait to share this with all our staff in camp and hope you will visit us again soon to make many more great memories together.

Kind regards
Wilderness Safaris

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Reviewed 21 May 2019 via mobile

This camp has beautiful rooms with great views. They are open to the weather be it hot or cold so be prepared! The rooms are screened and in open air.
The food was of average quality both in the camp as well as on the safari drives. Most of the meals were buffet and the camp is only lit by flame so it’s tough to see what you’re eating. The game drives has minimal snack foods available. Nothing really special.
Wake up service doesn’t include coffee or tea as do other lodges.
The process of coming into camp was not enjoyable. We landed mid afternoon tired and hungry wanting to go to our room first to change, maybe get s quick bite and then go out. Instead we went right out from the airport, had a mediocre snack, then met up with another driver and went out until about 6:30. Upon coming back we had little time before we had to go to dinner. No time to clean up. Then the next morning we were up and out early still with no down time. The deal is we didn’t seem to have a choice.
The staff here is very nice and extremely helpful. They did something special to celebrate my wife’s birthday. Really nice people.
The camps management at the top levels need to look at bringing their product to luxury level. It’s not quite there yet.

Date of stay: May 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Tonypose
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilderness_Safaris, Public Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Vumbura Plains, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2019

Dear Tonypose,

Thank you for your review, we are very grateful for your suggestions and opinions. It is often found that guests prefer to embark directly on a game drive as they arrive in camp - however is supposed to be voluntary and the guide should ask what your preferred action is, game drive or directly to camp. We will be sure to pass all your comments on to our camp managers to ensure they work on this in the future. We hope you will come back and see how we can improve on this for you.

Bush regards
Wilderness Safaris

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2019

I’m writing the review that I wish I had read prior to making my decision on what lodge to book. I have been to Botswana twice, both times in the green season and stayed at several different lodges. This was my least favorite. We had a three night stay.

There are so many choices with so many great reviews that it can be hard to differentiate between them. I think many people are swayed by the large guest rooms and seductive camp name. You can do much better at the Sandibe camp, still with your own private pool and lounge area, better trained hotel staff, a guide AND a tracker and superior dining. Every detail at the And Beyond Sandibe lodge was better. Even my bird sightings were better.

When I book a luxury five star accommodation, and a price to match, I anticipate and evaluate the product based on that standard. I have also stayed at five different lodges over the Green season for a total of two weeks over two visits, so I have a realistic basis for comparison, during this sometimes challenging game viewing period. I might have been able to overlook the weak hotel side of the operation at Vumbura Plains had the game viewing not been so sparse, even in terms of general game (forgetting about big sightings).

I can be easily amused by sitting and watching birds or elephants interacting with each other. Having just come from the Sandibe Lodge run by &beyond, everything here was “less than” by way of comparison, including the rooms. When it’s over hundred degrees for a week at a time in the green season, no air in the bedroom area=bad sleep quality.

Game drives-At Sandibe, we regularly saw a broad range of general game, more birds and also had super hard working guides and trackers that located a pack of wild dogs, a lioness and cubs, etc. There are no game trackers at Vumbura Plains, which greatly decreases the opportunity to find game, and follow it. The guide made no secret that this lodge is more about the general ambiance and the views. I had expected to see more birds and a greater variety and that was also a disappointment. If I was just spending a week in Botswana, I would put myself in a more dense game environment (especially in the green season). In terms of general comfort the tracker at Sandibe always made sure that our seats were covered with blankets so that the plastic of the seats didn’t create a pool of sweat in the heat of the day. There was always plenty of cold water, in reusable glasses and they carried non alcohol beverages for me.

There was also no comparison in the mid morning coffee service and evening sundowners either. The food was much more varied at Sandibe with fresh muffins on our morning game drive. By comparison, the food was nothing special at Vumbura. same stuff every morning and afternoon drive. Afternoon tea was weird. On one of our hundred degree afternoons it was a chocolate cake and a hot potato appetizer. By comparison, there was a fantastic spread very afternoon at Sandibe, and over our four days, lots of variety.

On the positive side Vumbura Plains is a in lovely setting attended to by well intentioned staff. The warmth and kindness of the local people working at the hotel is genuine.
There are two main complaints and one piece of bad luck.
The single largest negative is the lack of oversight by highly trained and competent management.

People are given responsibilities literally above their pay grade.

We had the maintenance fellow give us our camp orientation, which was the beginning of the lack of effective communication. Basic things like not being showed how to properly operate the radio (which lead us to being stranded in our room after dark) or not being understood when we asked for a plug adapter should not happen. Stuff like there never being towels in the lodge bathroom happened again and again. I got tired of reminding them. Our cabin was the furthest from the lodge, about 7 minutes on a hot uncovered boardwalk, so I often used the facilities which were convenient before and after drives and meals. One morning we were not met at our cabin by our guide at 5:30 so we had to walk alone in the dark to the lodge since our radio didn’t work. They don’t bring coffee at the morning wake up at 5am. Instead, you can either make it yourself, or hope that you get collected in time to have coffee at the lodge. Why can’t they bring coffee at wake up like other places at this price point?

The most rude and insulting part of the experience, our last night in Botswana, was a misunderstanding over our scheduled afternoon activity. We showed up at afternoon tea and were ready to go at 4:30. Well, the time had been changed at the request of other guests to 5pm and we were never told. By 4:45 we found someone who explained that we should have been notified in the change of time. At 5pm, no other guests. I asked that we go out, but we were told we had to wait. At 5:30 the other guests finally awoke from their nap and started to uncover the afternoon teas service to have their snack. It should not have been left to me to tell them that it was time to go. No one on staff was comfortable directing them to the Jeep. As sundown is at 6:30 we had a very truncated afternoon, met up with a group for sundowners when they were already finished.

To top it off, when we were waiting to leave the next day, a member of the staff told us about the fantastic new cameras they have for guests which are especially well suited to capturing birds in flight. What? Maybe should have been informed of this prior to our departure.

Date of stay: March 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank JackieDz
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 13 May 2019

We recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary with a 3 night stay in the Okavango Delta. Staff welcomed us warmly and attended to our every need. The room was luxurious and private complete with our own private plunge pool. An elephant during the afternoon rest period and a hippo at night made sleep seem unimportant! Games drives starting at 5:45 a.m. were led by two professional guides who taught us so much about the habits of the animals we were viewing. Our stay at Vumbura Plains helped to make this the trip of a lifetime.

Date of stay: May 2019
Thank CMcW
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilderness_Safaris, Public Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Vumbura Plains, responded to this reviewResponded 13 May 2019

Dear CMcW,

Congratulations of 40 wonderful years of marriage, that truly is a fantastic achievement and we are glad to see all our staff helped make it a memorable one for you. We hope you will both visit us again soon.

Kind regards
Wilderness Safaris

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