mombo camp vs chiefs camp?

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Jan 4th, 2004, 03:01 PM
  #1
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mombo camp vs chiefs camp?

hi guys, i was curious if anyone has been to either of these 2 camps (preferably both) and what the difference in terms of wildlife and activities. i know chiefs island in botswana is considered tops in terms of wildlife and all i ever hear about is mombo camp but it seems like chiefs camp is on the same island so i would assume the wildlife would be similar but i could be wrong. anyway, i am heading to moremi for the first time in a week (staying at duba plains and mombo) so i will be able to see what the hype is about mombo first hand but still would like to hear what other people think and what they know about chiefs. thx.
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Jan 6th, 2004, 11:43 PM
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Big, I was at both camps about 7 months ago. Wildlife is fluid of course, so the experience one gets is something of a snapshot in time. I was excited about Mombo because here on Fodors it has such a reputation but our time there didn't live up to it due to a variety of things that now Mombo will hopefully not repeat. Also we discovered once we were there (when we asked) that the wild dogs had moved on and had not been spotted at Mombo that year. Since the websites had touted wild dogs, that came as a disappointment. Also no sightings of their famous predator cats other than some sleeping lions. An old timer, a guest at Chief's said he had heard stories like this about Mombo lately. But friends have had great viewing at Mombo, and that was just not a good time, and my guess is you will have wonderful game viewing. BTW, had more bugs in the room at Little Mombo than anywhere else - perhaps because it is over the swamp. Great fun having the symphony of frogs though and the buffalo below shaking the walls.

Chief's had two of the best managers in Africa, really nice couple who were total professionals and yet warm and friendly. They treated us like kings, helped us with medicine, everything. Prince William had been at that camp a few months previous. Even though it is much more modest and basic than Mombo in terms of accommodations, the staff is so nice and the atmosphere is more like a camp (however I prefered the group brunch/lunch at Mombo - Chief's has small tables where you eat alone at lunch).

Wildlife was good, not as great as Singita for us, but then we were not there as long. Chief's also had a really terrific boma night where we all sat at a long table, a variety of people from all over the world.
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Jan 7th, 2004, 03:33 AM
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clematis,
thanks for the info. i heard that too about the wild dogs moving out of the mombo area. big bummer. i'm taking off for botswanan in 2 days so hopefully the big cats will have reappeared when i get down there. this is my first time going to the bush in the rainy season (i couldnt afford mombo any other way) so hopefully the weather is manageable and the wildlife good. by the way, did you at least get to see rhinos?
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Jan 7th, 2004, 03:42 PM
  #4
DJE
 
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Hello Big,

We were at Mombo in the main camp last July and had a very good experience overall. We spent 5 nights there and were fortunate to see a multitude of wildlife including a couple of rhino and a mother leopard and cub. On one game drive some Mombo people did bump into a group from Chiefs camp travelling in the same general area.

Because animals can be so unpredictable we went with a very open mind in terms of wildlife viewing and really didn't have a lot of expectations but were very pleasantly surprised with our experience. This was also probably due to the fact that we spent a considerable amount of time there on game drives which afforded us lots of opportunities. Also enjoyed just hanging around the camp area and experiencing those surroundings.

All in all it was a great time. I hope your time there is memorable as well.
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Jan 7th, 2004, 07:09 PM
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thanks for the feed back DJE. i'm not going any with any expectations; i really like the uncertainty of the whole wildlife experience otherwise i wcould just go to the bronx zoo hehhe. but seriously one animal i would kinda like to see is the black rhino. wild dogs are my favorite animal but i've been fortunate to see them on 2 separate occassions (kwando and kings pool) so missing them wont be the end of the world. the black rhino i've never seen before and they're so rare so that would be a thrill. anyway, i'm am real excited to check out duba plains as i've heard rave reviews about the wild action there other the past yr. we are 2 nights their and 4 nights at mombo so like you, i should have enough drives to get my share of good sightings. i let you guys know how it went and hopoefully have some decent photos to share.
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Jan 7th, 2004, 09:37 PM
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Big, I didn't see rhinos at Mombo (or Chief's). Tracker didn't even attempt rhinos. Did see the white rhino (up close- love to watch them munch) at Singita (where we had incredible game viewing, saw the big 5 in three days). Have a great trip! We look forward to your report!
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Jan 8th, 2004, 08:16 AM
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Bigcountry:
If I read your replies correctly, you will be leaving tomorrow. However, if you're like me, you got a ton of packing to do today, so I don't know if you'll get to read this before you leave.
I believe the rhinos at Mombo are all white rhinos. When we were there, our guide, Julius, didn't make an effort to find them. I was disappointed, not because we didn't see rhinos (I understand game is unpredictable), but because Julius didn't try very hard. After spending that kind of money, I expected more. With that said though, Nick - the rhino guy - is great. He was one of my favorites at Mombo. If Christy and Nico are still there as managers, they are great too.
I look forward to your trip report when you return. I will be interested in finding out how much game you can see in the "green season". My wife and I are planning a trip back to Botwana in March, 2005. Also, could you please give me some information on Kwando when you get back and recover from the jet lag?
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Jan 8th, 2004, 06:47 PM
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hey joey,
you did read correct; we're on our way in less than 24 hrs and you were also correct in saying that my packing was not done hehe. i just finished though and can write for a sec. about the rhinos, i heard that not too long ago (maybe oct) they were releasing a handful on black rhinos to go along with all of the white ones already released. so when you went there were none but now their may be a couple. i'll soon find out. anyway, i'll fill you in with a full report when i return and give you some thoughts on kwando. talk to u soon
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Jan 8th, 2004, 08:48 PM
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DJE
 
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Big, Do have a wonderful time and I hope you are as fortunate as we were with our game viewing. You are right that the 2 rhino we did see at Mombo were the white ones, still great to view.

We also had Julius as our guide and he couldn't have been more accommodating with us, unlike Joeys experience. He specifically tracked the rhino for us on my last game drive, as they had been spotted on one other occasion where I had chosen to stay in camp. He was very good with us trying his best to cater to our wishes. I couldn't have been more pleased. I will be interested to see how you make out with your time there.

When were you at Kings Pool? It was also one of our stops in Botswana and I also enjoyed our experience there with the night drive and being able to do a walking trek as well.

Safe travels.
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