Friday, June 4, 2010

Scented welcome, smiling faces.....and tents!


Just a short watery drive from where the helicopter dropped us, there was a warm welcome by the Vumbura staff at the camp entrance. In the next three days this was repeated every time we returned from the morning and evening game drives.  Feeling welcomed by such caring staff was really wonderful.


Refreshing herb scented moist towels were offered, and a cool glass of sparkling fruit juice. After a quick look at the main camp area, we enjoyed afternoon tea of spinach quiche and just baked orange flavored cake......and I at last got to try a cup of real 'bush tea' (those of you familiar with The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series will know about bush tea!).  Everything was so yummy and I had a good feeling about all the marvelous food to come! 


This luxury camp sits at the edge of the extreme north of the Okavango Delta.  The water was high but had not flooded the camp.  The raised decks comprised of the bar, dining area, and star-gazing seating area with fire pit.  All were very attractive and it was easy to get comfortable and enjoy conversation with other guests and staff. 


There was also a library which had a great selection of books about Botswana, its wildlife and history.


Below was where we sat around an open fire under the amazing star-filled sky in the evenings, sipping the delicious premium African drink, Amarula.  Distilled from sun-ripened marula fruit and blended with cream, it's very much like Bailey's.  This before dinner get-together was a favorite time of the day. Discussion on animal sightings and getting to know more about guests was interesting.  I also enjoyed learning about the staff, several of whom were English......all were young, adventurous and thoroughly enamoured with their exciting choice of career which revolved around animals and hospitality. 


........oh yes, about those 'tents'..................are you ready for a tour?


Vumbura (which by the way is pronounced 'Vumbra') comprises two seven-roomed satellite camps.  This means you are with a maximum of just twelve other guests and therefore waited on and cared for like royalty!
This was our 'tent' (I was sharing here with Jen), quite rustic looking as we entered into our 'sala' (outdoor relaxation area) through a strong latched gate with total privacy once inside......
   


..............onto the deck overlooking the floodplain where hippos grunted, and lions could be heard roaring across the watery vista at night!
On entering the luxurious room raised off the ground on wooden decks, it comprised of a bedroom, lounge, huge indoor shower area and en-suite bathroom.  Open on three sides (but with sturdy screen walls, plus heavy drop down blinds if required when cold or windy - and the early mornings were like that), the billowing curtains between the areas created a sense of being on a yacht floating through the water.


Sturdy thatched roof ~ sheer billowing mosquito nets......


..........comfortable lounge seating.........


.............most comfortable beds which were pushed apart each evening at turn-down when the nets were dropped.


..........gigantic indoor shower with concrete floor carved with sprays of leaves......


...........and where I took my daily rain shower.......outdoors overlooking the floodplain, a heavenly experience!



As if the showers weren't enough to refresh one, our deck also had a plunge pool with a stunning view.

Coming soon, photos of the incredible animals viewed on the game drives at Vumbura, delicious food - a vegetarian paradise, and the gentlemens' solution to getting stuck in the bush!

Sunset over the Okavango Delta. 

13 comments:

  1. Mary, your photos are stunning. What a beautiful place. Words fail me - keep the post coming!

    xo
    Claudia

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  2. Mary, I'm just catching up on your Africa posts...you've only just begun and I am enthralled. Makes me want to visit Africa...it was never on my destination dream list before!

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  3. I get to come next time right???? Please????

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  4. It looks fabulous! Very colonial looking, love it.

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  5. Like Sara it was never on my destination list either. But OH MY! I could be happy there forever. Amazing accommodations and the sunset and stars, breathtaking, I am sure.

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  6. W.O.W.

    What a wonderful place to stay...it is so beautiful there!

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  7. thank you for sharing!! These photos are gorgeous!! Can't wait to see more!!!!
    What a dream trip!!!

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  8. Wow, my internet has been out for a few days and I am excited to catch up on your trip. The camp looks lovely. I think I could go on a safari like that. I had been picturing you in a real tent in the jungle! So far it sounds amazing. Can't wait to hear more! Carla

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  9. Beautiful photos ... you must have had a wonderful time!

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  10. The photos take my breath away...what a beautiful place to stay. You must have felt like royalty. You experienced my dream trip. Lucky girl!
    Hugs, Rhondi

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  11. And there's me thinking you would be slumming it!
    How did you cope with all that deprivation?
    JJ
    X

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  12. What a beautiful spot! I'm sharing these with my husband. Perhaps he'll get inspired to take this trip with me. LOL ~ Sarah

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  13. Oh my Mary! And this was just the beginning? Sounds heavenly to me! All of that area is totally beautiful, and your "camp"...wow! And here I thought you would be like Mrs. Pollifax on her safari tour!!
    Now to read some more as I am behind, but I wanted to catch up first with your blog.
    Take Care!
    Ulrike

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