Reviews of Muchenje Safari Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Muchenje Safari Lodge review
Overall we enjoyed our trip.
It was good for you to arrange our interconnecting flights.
We probably would have been happy doing 2\3 days in Chobi not 4 and 2 days in Kanana was fine
We would have appreciated a bit more up front discussion about tipping in our early conversations as we were taken by surprise at how established the arrangements were and there was no sense that it could be at our discretion. We had read that $10 a day was recommended for guides, but at Kanana we were told it was between $35-40a day- when I said that was outrageous the manager backed down and said it was up to us but there was a lot of pressure and we just hadn't budgeted for that level of tipping. Given the high cost of staying at the camps I would have expected that the guides were well paid already (and one said he was!) - as a well qualified teacher if I am paid for my teaching sessions I don't expect to get further tips from my pupils!
Both Muchenje and Kanana gave us good services and accomodation and the guides were excellent and well informed. Muchenje had the better atmosphere more informal and easy - Kanana felt a bit forced and formal. The current manager made me feel a bit uncomfortable (probably not to share it just was a feeling).The food was variable at Kanana
Mac Air gave one very turbulent flight because of forest fires but they were effecient and on time. SA was ok but you always wish you could afford better seats on a night flight!
Left Luggage at Oliver Tambo was everything you said and proved most useful.
Your comments about the wear and tear on my back were correct but oddly the up and downs in the jeep gave my back exercise so I was less stiff than if i had been sitting in a more comfortable seat for a long time!
Muchenje Safari Lodge review
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Muchenje. The setting is really spectacular, sitting on top of a hill looking out over the fertile plain. The moment we arrived, we were met by the friendly staff who made us feel welcome and immediately got us some lunch (we arrived quite hungry!). The attentiveness to our needs was one of the great things about this camp. They laid out the activity options and let us decide how we wanted to spend our time.
The accommodations are relatively simple, but quite nice. The rooms are not super spacious, but given the limited amout of time that we spent in them, they were more than adequate. The shower worked great, with plenty of hot water available. And the view from the rooms is incredible, with a nice deck in front to sit and take in the scenery. The camp also has some limited excercise equipment, which can be nice for people are used to keeping an active lifestyle. Given the location and density of animals around, there are limited places to get out and walk. So this was a very nice feature for us.
The food at the camp is buffet style, and quite tasty. They do a very nice job of offering several different food entrees to accommodate everyone. And I really enjoyed the local flavor that they instill in many of their dishes. Spending three nights at Muchenje, we never found the food to be repetitive.
We were very happy with our guides and the game activities that were offered at Muchenje. The amount of wildlife in the area is incredible and our guide new exactly where to take us. Of course you are not alone in Chobe, and the number of other vehicles that you run into can be annoying at times. But that is a reality of Chobe and there is no avoiding that. The full day boat excursion that is offered is highly recommended, because you see things from a different perspective and there is less traffic. We also went on a short walking safari with our guide, which is recommended for learning about the area and seeing things from a different perspective.
The Total package
A very well run lodge which has the full package. In reality if one only had 3 days to see wildlife in Africa this is the place one would need to visit. We saw hundreds of elephants, hippos, crocs, a range of fantastic birds, lions with 3 lion cubs and a leopard.
There was a whole range of drives from morning, evening and all day. Rooms were great even the hornbill pecking at the window as our alarm clock in the morning, very tastefully decorated loved the copper wash hand basins. In the room was a little book which you could keep a log of the animals you had seen, a very nice touch. The view from our room was totally breathtaking.
The reception areas and dining room was spacious. Staff very informative and helpful. The lodge was busy compared to the others we had stayed in but we still felt our individual needs were catered for. Everyone sat down for lunch and dinner together which we really enjoyed.
Excellent facilities and well maintained, highly recommended.
Muchenje Safari Lodge review
An excellent first place to start our safari in every way. Fantastic game viewing on the trip along the Chobe river - one of the highlights of our stay. Watching Elephants swim across the river in a line was wonderful.
Our 4x4 vehicle did breakdown on the way back to the lodge, in the dark but on a main road within the Chobe National Park. But a replacement was quickly sent. Relaxed and comfortable - but more like a small hotel than a traditional lodge. Key selling point is the wonderful view from the lodge across the Chobe Flood Plain - something which I never got tired at looking at.
Would thoroughly recommend this lodge as a FIRST stop for a safari tour - given its structure and the limitations in place because of the national park closure at 6.30. The visit to the school was a fabulous idea and I thoroughly recommend it. We took some pens and pencils for the children which appears to be the done thing. It gave a chance to see the real Botswana rather than the "safari" industry view we were receiving.
Muchenje Safari Lodge review
The lodge is very well located on the bluff with excellent river valley views. The rooms are a little dated and could use some TLC, but they are nice, clean, and comfortable. Guide staff did a great job and we really enjoyed our excursions, great game viewing.
My only negative comment is that staff joined guests at the dinning tables and initiated conversation; thus limiting quiet time or friendly conversation with other guests.
Enjoyable day on the river with Muchenje
Muchenje is a very nice lodge, with wonderful people around, but we felt too much time was spent traveling not only to get there and back through the Kasane Airport, but to get to the boat ride also based out of Kasane. Even driving into the park for safari was a lengthy drive, which unfortunately our guide took very slowly on the smooth paved roads, while driving relatively much faster on the rough rutted dirt roads, and they were very rough.
Our day on the river was wonderful. We had the boat to ourselves, though we'd been warned this would not be the case. Though there were many boats out, it was not as busy or commercial as I'd anticipated. Our guide was very attentive, zipping the boat here, there, anywhere, and everywhere so we could watch and/or photograph a wide variety of animals and birds. Eating our lunch in the boat was delightful, floating on the water with ellies nearby.
The most memorable animal was an adolescent male elephant, suffering the trauma of rejection by his family; it was time to make it on his own. Trumpeting, screaming, crying as he charged up and down the river, shaking his head and threatening anything that got in his way, including a group of 4-batchelor kudu who seemed surprised to find themselves running from an angry young elephant.
Muchenji Safari Lodge
The rooms at Muchenje were very comfortable and clean. A mosquito netting was placed around our bed by the staff before we went to bed. The managers - Gee and Cathie, were always available to answer any questions and our guides , Nick and Rambo were quite knowledgeable when out on our treks. The meals were delicious and eating with the guides was a great way to learn more about the area. There are rest areas and seating on large wooden platforms from which the enormous flood plain can be viewed. There is a small pool where we have seen pictures of an elephant who sometimes comes for a drink. Very exciting.
The game drives were into the Chobe National Park where we went on early morning drives (6:30!) which was the best time to see the animals out and about and around the water areas. After returning from our morning treks, we would have a lovely lunch and then a rest period and then out again for a late afternoon drive, returning to the lodge by 7:00 pm. On way back in the late afternoon we would stop by one of the water areas for a sundowner - snacks and drinks. Our three days there was very enjoyable and we would certainly recommend this lodge.
Three nights at Muchenje Safari Lodge
We were especially impressed with the all day safari which included a boat trip on the river. We wish we could have stayed much longer.
Muchenje safari lodge
Overall this was probably our favourite place to stay fort he whole trip.
Although the accommodation was as not as grand as elsewhere, the cabins were very comfortable, with a small sitting area, good shower and outside area, with wonderful views. The main area where we ate was excellent with lots of comfortable places to sit with wi fi and outside viewing areas of the river and water hole. The staff were really fantastic. Everyone made you feel so welcome.
The food and wine were excellent. You eat at a communal table which worked fine, and the guided activities were taken with the same guide and other guests so by the end of 3 days you really felt as if you knew everyone very well. The managers would greet each trip as we returned with genuine interest in what we had seen and experienced. The wildlife experience was fantastic with lions each day, great river trip with elephants and lions, lots of zebra and giraffe, Kudu, impala etc.
We even met 3 elephants on the path to our cabin one night - decided they had right of way and beat a hasty retreat back to the main reception. As usual the night drives were disappointing, but one day we will see something interesting at night - it does not matter where we are int he world have never had any luck with night drives.
When we go again which I am sure we will, will plan for 4 nights so we can have a day of relaxation at the lodge as has one oft he top 10 for me views in the world over the chobe river.
Muchenje Safari Lodge review
Into Botswana for the second time. We had been in Namibia for 2 weeks and seen only about 20 Elephants (not that they are the only way of assessing a holiday!). As we crossed Ngoma Bridge into Botswana we saw around 100 in the river, and as we left the Botswana border post a procession of Ellies walked cross the road in front of us.
Muchenje occupies a stunning position looking across the river flood plain - I don't think we have ever seen anything so spectacular.
The managers made us feel very welcome and indeed all of the staff were very helpful and friendly. The room was very nice and the food was excellent.
We missed the elephants that had walked past our bungalow in the night (a shame) but we were walked to and fro in darkness by the lodge's security staff. We went on an afternoon game drives then the next day on an all-day boat trip and game drive which was very rewarding - but perhaps too long and a bit uncomfortable. We didn't count them , but we must have seen over 2,000 ellies in a day and a herd of 1,000+ buffaloes. The sheer quantity was staggering when compared to time spent in Namibia. The highlight was probably lunch on the river trip with ellies palying in the water just a few feet away.
Simply Wonderful - wished we had stayed there longer.