Machaba Camp

Reviews of Machaba Camp

Excellent(91%) From 28 travellers
Excellent
20
Good
5
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
1
Below are independent comments from 28 of our travellers who have visited Machaba Camp, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
PancDoc from Swansea
Arrived on: 11-Jun-2019 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Great camp, disappointing crowding of animals

Again excellent site, accommodation, food and welcome. We especially enjoyed eating dinner outside with hot embers placed under our chairs for warmth!

The guide was good but limited as he was the only one in the vehicle (other sites had guide and tracker). This meant following the crowd at times.

Outside the camp was not a private franchise. This meant large numbers of vehicles at animal sightings: 9 vehicles around a leopard, 13 vehicles watching wild dogs. This meant that, despite a large number of animal sightings, we felt that the crowding was detrimental to the animals, and this detracted from our enjoyment of seeing the animals.

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Mr & Mrs H from London
Arrived on: 12-May-2019 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Loved Machaba Camp

Service was excellent and great welcome from Ponche , who was managing the camp while we were there.

Big thank you as well to the excellent guide Moreme who looked after us with such care and was truly dedicated to his task and extremely well informed.

The best camp of our trip and warmth of our welcome second to none.

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Mrs & Mrs J from uk
Arrived on: 7-Nov-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Machaba Camp review

We had an excellent stay at Machaba, our tent was large, very comfortable with a great outlook over the river where we saw plenty of wildlife.
All the staff at the camp were friendly and efficient and one day brunch was set up for us all out in the bush which was great, and one night we had a bush bbq , everyone had gone to such a lot of trouble to make both occasions very memorable.
The game drives were very good too, our guide BD provided us with plenty of sightings of all manner of wildlife including following wild dogs at speed when they were on the move, it was amazing how he sensed which direction they were going.
The only slightly negative point regarding this camp was the number of vehicles which would be around at some of the less common sightings, this was something that we did not encounter at Lagoon or Gomoti, but inspite of this we still had a great stay.

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Mrs J. from Basingstoke
Arrived on: 6-Nov-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Very welcoming

Wonderful tents, food, wildlife and staff.

We really enjoyed every minute we were at the camp and we were paired with guests with similar Safari experience.

This is so important and will make or break a trip.

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Mrs & Mr N from Australia
Arrived on: 1-Oct-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Plenty of Game

A comfortable & attractive camp. The game drives certainly delivered. Multiple leopard sightings on 3 days as well as lion, hyena, mongoose, giraffe, buffalo. Plenty of elephant & hippo right near the camp. The elephants even walked through the camp a couple of times. We were woken 1 afternoon by a female foraging outside our tent. Some good birding too. Our guide Kitso had a good sense of humour and so made for fun game drives. Other guides we encountered were also good. Keep in mind this is a public reserve and there can be as many as a dozen vehicles at a game sighting. The upside of so many guides is they communicate with each other so the chance of seeing hard to find game is increased. As well as the drives, relaxing mokoro trips are available. This is nice change of pace and a lovely way to enjoy the waterways of the Okavango Delta.

Meals were tasty and offered good variety. Good selection of South African wines on offer. The lounge & dining area was nicely fitted out. Service was generally good. Perhaps some of the elephant dung mulch that we saw at a previous camp could have been put over the dirt in the outdoor area to help settle the fine dust. Nice outlook over the river - mostly with elephants or hippo in view.

Tent decor was quite minimalist which we liked. Very comfortable bed. Also enjoyed a 1st rate massage. Note - massage is in your room. There isn't a spa. This wasn't spelt out when I booked and caused a minor confusion.

We did have some issues with the internet. As we had a little work to do online throughout our African holiday I had checked the internet situation at all accomodation before booking. I understood that Machaba had WiFi in the public area. This sounded like we would have no issues getting a short job done & then return to enjoying our holiday. The reality was a little different. The outdoor Wifi hot spot is away from the lounge, near to the camp office. No problem except that we discovered the connectivity was very poor. We really appreciate that the camp manager Richard went the extra mile to ensure we could deliver a job to a client. He allowed us to work in their office at a time when internet was performing better. So drama averted. The take away from this is, if you do need reliable internet, check exactly what is meant by Wifi. We understand Machaba is getting a new service soon which could change things completely.

We certainly enjoyed our 3 nights at Machaba Camp - especially the abundant game.


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New to Africa from London
Arrived on: 29-Aug-2018 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Chasing wild dogs chasing

This stay was defined by trying to keep up with chasing wild dogs on our first afternoon: a pack of 13 dogs with 9 puppies waking up at the end of the afternoon at the golden hours getting ready for the hunt with their greeting ceremony and then the chasing of impalas. Shame the hyenas stole the kill, but we managed to see them too thanks to our guide Badisa's perseverance in the mopane wood!

This is a sister camp to Gomoti Plains Camp but the tents feel a little bit more tired compared to Gomoti due to the Camp being older. We didn't see much of management but our guide was excellent and very flexible.

Significantly more vehicles in the area compared to Gomoti as the area also attracts self drivers, but our guide was good at trying to minimise locations with too much vehicle movement.

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Mr & Mrs B from Seattle
Arrived on: 23-Aug-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Terrible
Terrible
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Terrible
Terrible
Facilities:
Good
Good

Warning: Think wice before booking

Nice camp with nice amenities, but Machaba fell far, far short of expectations in the most important area (at least for us), that is the safari/game viewing experiences, for the following reasons:

1. The Machaba jeeps did not have canopies. We were told different stories as to why that is the case, but the bottom line is that management has apparently decided the sun is not hot enough to justify installing the canvas canopies until sometime in September. Management is wrong! It was miserably hot for the last one and one-half hour or so of the morning game drives, and miserably hot for the first one and one-half hour or so of the evening game drives. The sun was so intense that we used umbrellas as a shield. We saw jeeps from at least 9 other safari companies operating in the area, and every single one had canopies. All the pictures we saw of Machaba Camp when we were booking showed jeeps with canopies and we read nothing that indicated the clients would be exposed to full sun in jeeps without canopies. Had that been disclosed up front, we would have booked elsewhere. While we get that some clients may prefer full sun, management should get that other clients do not.

2. It was the most crowded concession we visited in Botswana. While we read that we would experience more vehicle traffic, we underestimated how much. During one drive there were as many as 12-13 vehicles following a pack of wild dogs! We much preferred the less crowded concessions we toured while at Splash Enclave and Selinda Explorers.

3. The game was few and far between compared to Splash Enclave and Selinda Explorers.

4. The guides (at least ours) were not as knowledgeable or as enthusiastic as our guides at Splash Enclave and Selinda Explorers (perhaps because of #3 above).

The bottom line, if we were to redo our itinerary, we would not go to Machaba. This camp should not be on Expert Africa's recommended list (or at least it should be earmarked with a warning that the safari/game viewing experience will not match other areas in the Okavango Delta).

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Expert Africa comments

We are sorry that Machaba Camp fell short of this travellers expectations. Machaba has canopies on their vehicles for the hotter months in the Delta, but they remove them for the African ‘winter’ between May and end of August/mid September. This is common practise at the camp, and many others in Southern Africa. The reason that many camps do this is because it allows for better visibility in all directions. It is especially great for birders. Though we appreciate that it is not everyones preference and will talk to Machaba about whether they can on occasion put the canopies on.

The area around Machaba is not private and it is true that it can be crowded compared to the private concessions. I am sorry that this was a disappointment. Though we usually recommend it because the wildlife is exceptional. So we were really surprised to hear that it was not. These travellers were clearly very unlucky with their wildlife viewing.

The guiding at Machaba is usually very good in our experience. We do sometimes hear that the guides spend a little to much time working off what they know other guides have seen. They talk to the other guides to learn where the animals are. But that should in turn lead to great game viewing.

Mr M from London
Arrived on: 2-Aug-2018 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Great game and guiding

Only stayed for a couple of days, but it was an incredible experience - made mostly because we had the camp manager Shaun as our private guide and he was amazing.

The game was fantastic - saw dogs a couple of times, including a litter of about 10 pups and a thrilling time following a chase across the landscape. Leopards several times, including a mother with her sub-adult daughter interacting together.

Amazing elephants - big breeding herds which allow you to get right in the middle of them. Very good birds, particularly owls.

All made incredibly special by Shaun, whose passion for the job made it a real joy - he even made a compilation video of our trip and sent it to us as we were leaving.

The camp itself is very nice, lovely main building, nice food. Would definitely go back....

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Mr D from Richmond
Arrived on: 2-Aug-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Wonderful river edge lodge

Spectacular location on river with elephant and warthog around camp on river .

Guiding / tracking / driving excellent eg following a wild dog hunt .Birds in quanity with particularly eagles / owls .Game wise saw leopard , elephant , croc , hippo , giraffe and most antelope ( particularly waterbuck )A highlight was wild dogs with 12 puppies.Game however was less abundant than at Shinde and guide needed to work hard

Dinner was excellent food / service wise with lovely outside big table .Also they did surprise bush lunch for our party only which was a great treat . Breakfast was however less interesting / rather basic

Makoro trip was very good on beautiful river and bush walk was very interesting .However night drive not very fruitful.

Tents were well appointed with good aspect to river - laundry good . Very nice swimming pool by river with fairly warm water .

Internet connection was poor / frustrating

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Mr B & Ms O from IOW
Arrived on: 2-Jun-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Great camaraderie at Machaba

We arrived at Machaba Camp rather jaded after 30 hours travelling, but after a lovely warm welcome, our spirits were revived as we went out immediately on our first game drive, saw leopard and wild dogs, followed by a surprise "bush dinner", beautifully lit by candles with delicious food.

Machaba has a lovely relaxed and friendly feel and great camaraderie at dinner. The food is generally extremely good and varied with choices available.

The game drives were great, thanks to our very knowledgeable guide BD. There were generally 6 of us in the jeep, sometimes 4, with some lovely sightings of Leopard, Lion, Wild Dog, Elephant and Hippo.

Machaba Camp doesn't have the immediate visual appeal that some other camps have as everything is in tents, but it is far from basic and has the feel of being "on safari" more than others. The tents have very comfortable beds, a double washstand area, a good inside shower, and there was always plenty of hot water. There are recharging points in the tent. At night the wildlife is all around you, hippos grunting and coming on land to feed at night right by the tent, baboons crashing around and lions roaring, which feels very exciting but might keep you awake at night. Bring earplugs if this bothers you.

The camp is very well run with a good management team and we had a brilliant stay there.

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