Reviews of Machaba Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
29 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Machaba Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"laid back fun"
our guide, moreri, was terrific and ensured we had an unforgettable experience. a wild ride to spot a leopard before it disappeared into the bush was successful and we tracked him as he strolled, unconcerned, into a brush area where he settled down for a nap. thrilling. we saw a wide variety of wildlife and learned about the area and the small village nearby.
an unforgettable experience." See all these reviews: 11n in Botswana
"Dogs & Hyena galore "
The rains came the morning we arrived which meant the game was now going to be a little sparse. We didn't see too many elephants, except a few bulls but there was still game about which meant there was still going to be predators about too. We were not disappointed with a wild dog hunt and kill on our first full day right on the river in front of the camp (we were woken from our siesta by impala running past the tent in hot pursuit by a wild dog). The dogs remained in the area for a couple of days and we enjoyed a few encounters. Lions weren't really playing ball and we had to drive into Moremi to find a couple of big males that had been spotted one afternoon. We had a couple of good leopard sightings, plus plenty of visits to the communal hyena den to see the cubs. There was good bird life on the river brought in by the insects and reptiles the rains bring out and the Hippos were really entertaining to watch from the comfort of our tent.
The shared vehicle was a bit busy with 7 guest in it during a few drives, this did mean agreeing to do what other people wanted to do which got a little tedious at times with safari newcomers who didn't understand what the rains do to plains game wanting to find Zebra and Giraffe when there were wild dogs in the area but we had to go with the flow. I would consider booking a private vehicle if I ever return." See all these reviews: 10n in Botswana
"Great camp, disappointing crowding of animals"
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." See all these reviews: 10n in Botswana
"Loved Machaba Camp"
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." See all these reviews: 7n in Botswana; 3n in Zimbabwe
"Machaba Camp review"
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." See all these reviews: 9n in Botswana; 2n in Zimbabwe
"Very welcoming "
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." See all these reviews: 6n in Botswana; 3n in Zimbabwe
"Plenty of Game"
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." See all these reviews: 7n in Botswana
"Chasing wild dogs chasing"
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." See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana; 2n in Zambia
"Warning: Think wice before booking"
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)." See all these reviews: 10n in Botswana; 4n in Rwanda
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.
"Great game and guiding"
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...." See all these reviews: 7n in Botswana
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