The Mombo and Chief camps share the same concession within the Moremi Reserve area on Chief Island and the distance between one and the other is 25km, that, in the Okavango Delta, is a considerable distance; so it is unlikely to meet vehicles of one camp in the area where the other usually carries on its safaris.
The environment in this area is no different from other areas of the Okavango Delta, but here, unlike elsewhere, it has always been protected, never inhabited even in the past and can therefore be defined as uncontaminated (pristine).
The most interesting and most photogenic habitat of this area is undoubtedly that of the alluvial plains that surround the extreme North of the Chief Island.
This area is relatively close to the permanent swamps that are the base of the Panhandle, this is why the floods here are more regular and predictable than in the Southernmost part of the Delta.
These seasonal floods give rise to the very photogenic low grass plains, here are some small islands with some wild palm trees, also called Senegal palms (wild date palm) or Phoenix reclined palms; this is one of the most distinguishing and iconic landscapes of the Okavango Delta, a bit recalling the Busanga Plains in Zambia, in the North of the Kafue National Park.
In the dryer areas of the Island, the majestic forests of mopeds or Colophospermum mopans dominate, where off-road safaris are concentrated during the flood season of the Okavango Delta.
Inside the forest there are some dry and sandy beds of ancient rivers that now no longer receive water, not even in the flood period, here are some species of plants that prefer sandy soils such as the Terminalia sericea (silver cluster- Leaf), the Lonchocarpus nelsii (Kalahari appleleaf), the Combretum imberbe (leadwood tree), the Acacia erioloba (camelthorn) and the Acacia tortilis (umbrella thorn).
Here and there in the forest you can meet some old baobabs or Adansonia digitata, they've probably been here for so many years that they've seen the environment around them change.
Where the earth meets the water there is a riverine forest that includes the Lonchocarpus capassa (raintree), the Kigelia africana (sausage tree), the Diospyros mespiliformis (jackalberry), the Garcinia livingstonei (mangosteen), the Ficus sycomorus and the Phoenix reclinata (wild date palm).
The Mombo and Chief areas are the most densely populated by animal throughout the entire Okavango Delta, some claiming of all over Sub-Saharan Africa; surely the safari here are the best in all of Southern Africa.
Given the large number of specimens present, the sighting of large felines is virtually guaranteed.
Here, there are lions, leopards, cheetahs, storks, jackals, wild dogs, and in particular Mombo was famous in the ‘90s because there was a herd of wild dogs of 40 specimens in its area, now that herd was divided into several herds and has scattered across the territory and the entire Eastern area of the Okavango Delta is an ideal place to spot them.
Among the herbivores most common sightings are impalas, tsessebes, zebras, giraffes, common warthogs, elephants, buffalos, who usually gather in large herds during the dry season.
The Red lechweas are common in flooded areas even if they sometimes venture into the dryest part of the reserve.
Sometimes wildebeests, kudus, reedbucks and steenboks are also noticed, while roans and sable antelopes are almost never noticed.
In addition, rhinos were reintroduced in this area after the native ones were extinct from poaching in the early ‘90s; the first white rhino was brought here in 2001, while in 2003 it came to black rhinos to return to Botswana and the Okavango Delta, both species are present although sightings are not so common.
The nocturnal animals that can be seen near the fields are the honey badgers, the porcupines, the springhares and, seldom, the civets.
This is also a paradise for birds thanks to the different habitats present, various portions of dry territory alternate with alluvial planes, and this allows all the species available in the entire Okavango Delta to be present; in particular, there are several species of vultures due to the high density of animals in the area, in particular the lappet-faced vulture, the hooded vulture and the white-backed vulture, you can also see specimens of white-headed vulture and palm-vulture even though they are more difficult to find.
Both the species of oxpecker, the yellow-billed oxpecker and the red-billed oxpecker, are present, although the yellow beak seems to be a bit diffused than the other species.
As the water pools drain, the fish are increasingly concentrated at the only sources of water remaining, and in these places many birds that feed on fish, such as pelicans, saddle-billed storks, marabou storks, black herons, gray herons, and the goliath herons, just to name a few, can be found; observing well you can also see specimens of other species such as the greater painted snipe.
The wattled cranes can be seen on alluvial planes of low grass, while on dry land it is possible to spot the secretary bird and the Kori bustard; while, in the high grass plains, it is possible to see the African crake.
In the water you can see, among others, the African pigmy goose and the African jacana, here there are also good chances to spot the slaty egret.
There are also several species of kingfisher, bee-eater and hornbill.
The best time to visit this part of the Moremi Reserve is during the dry season, that is, during the months of July to October, since the sightings of animals are facilitated by the less vegetation, this is to keep in mind that here animals are all resident on Chief Island and do not abandon the Okavango Delta, as they do elsewhere, so they can always be spotted; besides, during the dry season the structures are priced higher.
The Mombo Camp and the Chief Camp mainly propose off-road safaris, the Chief Camp also offers mokoro safaris but it depends on the water level, so it is not guaranteed that this activity can be carried out all year round.