On a private island within Botswana’s Okavango Delta lies a safari camp often described as the best safari experience in Africa – if not the world. With one of the densest concentrations of wild predatory animals in the modern world, Mombo proves a sort of uber-luxury Jurassic Park that wows those long past the Singita’s and chain safari companies of the world. To visit Mombo, you need to plan well in advance as it books up literally years in advance and has become a jetsetter right of passage for global adventures and bon vivants looking for the ultimate safari experience.
For those expecting the usual luxury African safari experience of gilded tents and opulent service, Mombo delivers on first sight with a circular drive and suspended walkway that leads to the glamorous main camp. Mombo is a different kind of safari camp and walking toward the lodge you are made well aware that you’re part of the African food chain at this unfenced wildlife camp where wildlife lurks around almost every corner. The main camp is divided between two large thatched roof lodges accented in native African décor of natural hides and locally quarried stone with a modern colonial vibe. Connecting the two lodges is a massive deck with circular fire pit with sequestered pool area that rounds out the main lodge. Style mixes native African design elements like natural hides and locally quarried stone with a modern colonial style that’s almost constantly upgraded to maintain its standing as the premiere safari camp in Botswana.
While some safari camps are cluttered with honeymoon couples and posh families, Mombo has a different pedigree that includes celeb couples and adventure-seekers on six-week breaks across Africa with private guide (and plane) in tow. The camp itself includes only nine tents that look more like abstract extraterrestrial villas suspended 15-feet above the ground to allow for uninterrupted passage of animals. Inside, these canvas tents are divided between living areas that open to long terraces with your own outdoor observation deck. Bedrooms feature dramatic four-poster beds next to open-flow bathrooms with double showers that access an additional outdoor shower that we weren’t ever brave enough to use following too many “man dies on safari” google searches. But it’s the wildlife that is the true star of Mombo, with its 20-count prides of voracious lions and close-encounters with wild dogs and hyena that make it the best safari lodge in all of Africa.