Vumbura Plains

5 Unique Safari Sightings at Vumbura Plains

Our Collective


Tenneil Zondagh


In the far north of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest inland delta on Earth, lies captivating Wilderness Vumbura Plains, offering an impactful and unparalleled safari experience. Perched on raised decks in the midst of a vast melapo – annually inundated grassland – Vumbura Plains seems to float over water radiant blue and pure enough to drink.

The 'melapo' and offer good seasonal viewing of elephants, giraffes, impalas, sable antelope, kudu, zebras, common waterbucks and reedbucks, tsessebe, wildebeest, red lechwe and Cape buffalos. Hippso and crocodiles are common in the waterways. Predators include the African wild dogz, several resident prides of lions, as well as leopards, cheetahs and African wildcats. Birding is exceptional all year round.

Walk through the bush with a qualified guide to appreciate the Okavango’s smaller life forms…Adventure into the skies, soaring in a hot-air balloon or braving helicopter flips…Change your pace on the water, drifting among the reeds in a traditional mokoro or humming through the channels on a six-seater Delta boat.

Vumbura Plains is an artful, contemporary balance of wood, glass, and canvas, reflecting the colours of its wetland surrounds. Its 14 spacious suites include indoor and outdoor showers, an en-suite bathroom, private plunge pool, and outdoor sala from where you can view the never-ending wildlife parade.

A truly Okavango experience – even just watching the sunrise, where sun, Earth, and water meet, with the promise of new adventure.

Lions and Buffaloes in Battle Throes

Lions are a ferocious apex predator, but can find still themselves under pressure when the animals they prey on turn the tables and refuse to go down without a fight. While buffaloes are frequent prey for lions, it becomes a formidable opponent in its own right, in the right numbers. Armed with a set of deadly horns, the African, or Cape, buffalo, has few other predators and is known for its ability to brutally retaliate against lions. A rare sighting for the most part, but the Vumbura area is known for these intense interactions.

Pel’s Fishing-Owl

One of the birding world’s holy grails, the Pel’s is one of its ultimate lifers. It is a large owl of reddish colour which, yes, fishes for a living. Being an owl, they are nocturnal hunters. But it is their large liquid chocolate eyes that seem to see into the soul. A mere photo can create the desire to see this otherworldly being. They are range-restricted to waterbodies in Southern Africa, which only adds to their allure.

Reed Frogs, as small as they are Loud

The painted reed frog is the most widespread species of reed frog in Southern Africa. Painted reed frogs are generally quite small, with a maximum body size of approximately 33 mm. A mokoro ride along the waterways of the Delta will get you closer to these colourful creatures, but if you don’t spot one, fear not, you will definitely be able to hear its call from your suite as you are lulled to sleep by the music of the bush.

Best Antelope Diversity in the Delta – Particularly Sable

Finding a sable antelope is always a special sighting. They prefer savannah woodland with grassland and widely spaced, broad-leafed, deciduous trees. Sable are regarded as one of the most attractive of the species. Most predators are extremely wary of the long impressive curved horns. When threatened, it backs into bushes, drops to its knees and slices it horns through the air to deter predators.

The Rare and Whimsical Sitatunga

Arguably the most aquatic of antelope species, the sitatunga is a powerful swimmer and has elongated, splayed hooves and flexible foot joints that enable it to traverse swampy ground. Sitatungas are one of the most secretive and least-known of Africa’s large antelopes. They frequent the deepest, densest parts of a swamp, where they make themselves even more inconspicuous by moving very slowly and deliberately, standing and often ruminating in water up to their shoulders, often submerging with only their noses above water, in order to avoid detection.

Let’s plan your next journey


When we say we’re there every step of the way, we mean it, literally. From planning the perfect circuit, to private inter-camp transfers on Wilderness Air, and easing you through Customs. We’re with you on the ground, at your side, 24-7, from start to finish. Ready to take the road less travelled? Contact our Travel Designers to plan an unforgettable journey.