Okavango Wilderness Safaris Vumbura Plains, set in the heart of the Okavango Delta World Heritage Site in Botswana, has reopened after an extensive refurbishment of both the camp’s exteriors and interiors. Its refreshed look and feel showcases its sense of place and culture, enhanced by an outstanding menu and superlative hospitality. Vumbura offers travellers a sublime African wilderness journey, with arguably the best wildlife encounters in the Delta.
“We are delighted to have completed this extensive refurbishment of one of our flagship camps – in excellent time, despite the trials of the pandemic. Vumbura epitomises the serene beauty and year-round wildlife diversity of this iconic Delta destination, and I have no doubt that the rejuvenated camp will continue to delight guests and deliver life-changing journeys in this remarkable wilderness area – carefully conserved for over two decades,” said Kim Nixon, Okavango Wilderness Safaris Botswana MD.
The 60 000-hectare Vumbura Plains Private Wilderness Area is leased from five villages, through the Okavango Community Trust (OCT), a partnership that spans 20 successful years of impactful conservation tourism in the area. The benefits of revenue generation, job creation, and alternative sources of income are shared with its neighbouring rural stakeholders. The camp’s new design celebrates this core purpose and partnership with the OCT, with thoughtful detail and bespoke pieces applied throughout the camp to celebrate its sense of place and culture.
Vumbura’s prolific wildlife and varied habitats – mopane, acacia woodland, floodplains and permanent swamp – offer guests an exciting year-round water- and land-based Delta adventure with extraordinary game viewing. Wilderness experiences include day and night drives, walks and mekoro (dugout canoes) activities, with hot-air ballooning – from April to September each year – as well as scenic helicopter flights, making Vumbura an exclusive destination for the discerning adventure-seeker.
Various new design elements also pay homage to this surrounding wilderness with patterns, textures and colours bringing nature inside. All furniture and interiors have been replaced or enhanced to honour the natural surrounds. While significant upgrades have improved the camp’s structure, Vumbura’s (gentle) footprint continues to reflect the immense space of the wilderness area. Making the most of the large, airy suites – including two of the most sizeable family units in the Delta – the improved doors and windows take full advantage of the horizon-wide views.
To coincide with the launch, Vumbura has introduced a revitalised menu, even more closely aligned with traditional local fare, with such local culinary flavours of seswaa, morogo, tswii, mabele pasta and more. Many of its scrumptious dining options celebrate the delicious local, seasonal ingredients of the region, its traditions and Wilderness’ partnerships with the local farmers, suppliers and artisans. Ingredients are purchased locally, thereby reducing the food miles inherent in every meal, and providing neighbouring communities with an alternative revenue stream.
Vumbura Plains’ community concession agreement means that many of the camp teams grew up here, or close by, adding an extra layer of authenticity, true local knowledge and cultural relevance to their roles. Each and every guest’s safari will be tailored to suit their particular interests.
“With its iconic Delta landscapes and phenomenally diverse habitats, Vumbura is truly a must-visit safari choice, one that unreservedly celebrates the best of Botswana’s natural and cultural heritage. It is encouraging to see travellers returning to Botswana, and we look forward to welcoming them to the beautiful new Vumbura Plains,” Kim said.