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Indium49
Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Special Place

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 02 Jun 2021via mobile

Old Mondoro must mean special place because it certainly is. That’s why guests keep returning to this very private camp with just 5 cabins fronting the Zambezi. Each of the cabins is very private with a deck facing either the Zambezi or an inlet off the Zambezi. You can sit on your deck and see all the game you’ll ever want to see, but even so you won’t want to miss the game drives. We had four encounters with a pack of 21 wild dogs while we were there, and each encounter was truly special. We watched them for several hours over three game drives, one time for over two hours. We watched them sleep, and play, and eat. The precision of their hunting and killing of an impala was fascinating. Thanks to our guide James for this incredible experience. Our night drives with our spotter Samora were wonderful. And thanks to Monde our server who greeted us for every meal and return from our game drives with a huge smile and a cold drink and to everyone else for an absolutely wonderful experience. There don’t seem to be many places left where you truly feel you’ve left all of the trappings of the outside world behind, where you can watch totally undisturbed animals, watch elephants playing in the inlet just feet from your deck, fall asleep to a chorus of frogs, and wake to a symphony of hippos. The hospitality is truly genuine without being over the top or obsequious, and the food is the best we’ve had in all of Africa. Baulene, the head chef, and sous chef Chris are masters of healthy and delicious food. We had a wonderful time with hosts Mark and Madeleine, sharing stories about experiences in the bush and around the world. Like I said, this is a very special place. Get there as soon as you can.

For those with Covid concerns, Old Mondoro will put you at ease. It is very spread out with more than enough room for social distancing. Our temperature was taken when we arrived. Hand sanitizer was plentiful and the staff all wore masks. We were greeted with hand sanitizer after every game drive. All of the staff were also vaccinated. Africa is the place to be if you’re worrying exposure to Covid. They have taken things really seriously and are waiting with open arms, socially distanced of course.

Thank you to all our Old Mondoro friends. We’ll be back.

Date of stay: May 2021
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Grant Cumings, Owner at Old Mondoro Bush Camp, responded to this review
Responded 08 Jun 2021
The wild dogs are just incredible at the moment with fabulous sightings at Old Mondoro, Chiawa Camp and Puku Ridge. Thank you for your review and for visiting Old Mondoro again. Blessed are we to share this planet and National Park with this incredible wildlife. Safe travels and we hope to welcome you back soon.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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      23 - 28 of 284 reviews
      Reviewed 24 May 2020

      Wow, what an amazing place. The staff were just amazing...the most amazing guides who know the wildlife so well. Such a privilege to spend time with them. So knowledgeable, so kind, so much fun. I learnt SO much from you. Food was amazing! How they can cook up such extraordinary food. And the wonderful sunset drinks. The accomodation...oh wow! Just sitting on the balcony watching the elephants in the lagoon in front of you, buffalos, baboons, and so much more. You do your morning and afternoon game drives, or game walks, or boat. But when you then chill in your room for a few hrs after lunch....oh wow the wildlife right from your balcony!!! And possibly THE most amazing experience...having to jump out of my outdoor bathtub because a huge elephant turned up to drink my bathwater. Oh my goodness, the most awesome experience that will be with me forever. Amazing wildlife...saw my first ever aardvark, thanks guys!! SO many elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo. Just too spectacular and such close up experiences. Thanks everyone. I have raved about your place, so hopefully other aussies rock up. thankyou so much and i hope i can return!!! One of the most wonderful places i have ever been to. I have been to africa a few times, but this was so very very special. thankyou everyone

      Room tip: on the lagoon, rather than the wide river side
      Date of stay: October 2019
        • Location
        • Rooms
        • Service
      1  Thank skitch16
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed 4 March 2020

      The camp itself it located right on the Zambezi river bank. At night you can hear the hippos come up to graze and you fall asleep to their sounds. The staff at the camp are amazing and will take very good care of you. And the food is wonderful! Make sure you go out on the river for a sunset cruise. Beautiful!

      Room tip: I believe there are only 5 "tents" at the camp. All the rooms face the river or a lagoon.
      Date of stay: September 2019
        • Value
        • Cleanliness
        • Service
      1  Thank cherrylc2017
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed 16 February 2020

      I have been remiss in getting this review written. I think because I'm struggling to find superlatives that haven't been used by all the other guests who have given this camp five stars!

      We spent 3 nights at Old Mondoro as the last camp on our 9 night safari in Zambia. It was by far my favorite camp. It is smaller, with just 5 chalets, which I enjoyed because it felt more intimate. More rustic than their sister camp Chiawa (another camp you must visit). One night my husband and I, and the other couple we were traveling with, had the camp to ourselves.

      Our chalet, #3, had a view of the river and the lagoon/water hole behind the chalet. In the afternoon you can sit on your deck and watch Africa walk by, photograph the cape buffalo in the lagoon, or take a bath while watching an elephant giving himself a mud bath. The last luncheon one elephant stuck his head in the dining room - not ten feet from where we were sitting. Awesome!

      The camp was recommended to me by a woman who I know from her animal welfare foundation. She has traveled to Zambia over 20 times and usually stays 3+ weeks at Old Mondoro each trip. We met a couple the first night who had come to Old Mondoro over ten times. I fully understand their desire to return year after year.

      Juliet, Sebastian and the rest of the Old Mondoro team are attentive to every need and clearly passionate about what they are doing. The attention to detail is outstanding. One night on the way back to camp our spotter saw a leopard kill with two leopards and a hyena, so we didn't want to return to camp, but rather stay out late and watch. Fortunately, it was the night we were the only guests, but the chef and staff held off making dinner, which made for a later night for them, but such a great experience for us. The first morning we had amarula oatmeal. The bartender soon figured out it is a favorite of mine, so without even asking an after dinner drink appeared, and the next morning, one for my oatmeal.

      The meals are exceptional - very much 5 star dining. We had heard about nshima, a staple of most Zambians, and asked Juliet if we could try it. That night for dinner it was on the menu and she showed us how it is traditionally eaten.

      I appreciate that the guides only use red lights at night. Sebastian helped me with my camera settings to get those nighttime shots. The guides, trackers, boat captains are all knowledgeable about the animals. Even the young man who drove us to Jeki International for our flight to Livingstone had wonderful information on zebras and the peoples who had lived in the area before the formation of the national park. One afternoon we saw a carmine bee eater (wasn't expecting to see one in June) and I made our captain go up and down the river searching for more, and he happily complied.

      We had to laugh, because every time I told Sebastian something else we wanted to see - boom it would appear. I said we have not seen a jackyl, I kid you not, not even five minutes go by and there was a jackyl. We had not seen the elusive honey badger, but on the very last evening drive not five minutes out of camp, there was our honey badger. I really appreciate that the guides and trackers are not just searching for the predators, but also looking for civets, porcupines, leopard tortoise and great about pointing out the birds.

      I will get back there one day!

      Room tip: Chalet #3 has a view of the river and the lagoon.
      Date of stay: June 2019
        • Value
        • Cleanliness
        • Service
      3  Thank tdh42
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed 18 November 2019

      This camp is absolutely gorgeous. It perfectly ties luxury that fits into the bush. The rooms all face the lagoon giving great privacy with perfect views of the visiting wildlife! I couldn't sleep in the siesta as there was just too much going on I wanted to watch!! the outside bathroom was gorgeous and the bath can double as a plunge pool in hotter months! The management couple were fantastic and so friendly and the food was great. I had the drive of my life in the morning (having spent 10 years going on safaris this is quite a feat) with hunting hyena, lions, leopards and elephants within meters of each other, honey badger in the day, elephants, fish eagles hunting... the list goes on! thank you so much team - cannot wait to get back!

      Date of stay: November 2019
        • Sleep Quality
        • Cleanliness
        • Service
      Thank chloemcck
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed 6 November 2019

      For our first trip to Africa, Old Mondoro provided a spectacular introduction to safari life. The "tents" (luxury personified), the staff, the food and the setting were wonderful, and the games drives and guides gave us the opportunity to see so much wildlife. To have elephants wandering past while sitting in the huge stone bath, then coming back to drink the water was the most incredible experience. We even managed to see the elusive pangolin while we were there - a sight I'll never forget. Mark, Madeleine, Sebastian and James treated us to one of the best life experiences we've ever had. If we could ever go back, I'd be there in a heartbeat.

      Room tip: All 5 of the tents are fabulous - each one looks out on a close vista of animals and water.
      Date of stay: October 2019
        • Rooms
        • Cleanliness
        • Service
      Thank Jennie B
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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