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.
Mossy 1940 from UK
Arrived on: 3-Apr-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Machaba Camp review

This must surely be the most friendly of camps. There was a welcome dinner (held every six days) on the first night when we met many other guests as well as some of the guides. On the final night, we had a dinner on our own, with wines and served by 'Tom' who was well versed, cultured and friendly. Our guide was 'Albert' who was exceptional.

Read more about the whole safari
Mrs C from London
Arrived on: 23-Jan-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Machaba Camp review

Great camp, excellent game drives
Food was good

Read more about the whole safari
Mr K & Ms S from Roswell
Arrived on: 20-Oct-2017 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Average
Average
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Average
Average

Wonderful setting, but too many cars

I would love to rate Machaba camp higher. The camp itself has the nicest setting of all the camps we were at. The tents, though zippered, were the best ventilated of all the camps we've been to. Food was great, the public areas were nice, great views from the breakfast tables.

Unfortunately, I don't go on safari for food or tents. I go to see animals, and to have a quiet, somewhat private experience with them. Both of these are difficult (not impossible) at Machaba.

The number of individual animals seemed much lower than we had seen at other camps. Long periods of driving with only birds to see. At first I blamed our guide, Kitso, thinking he was just not pointing them out to us, but I think they just weren't there. Part of the reason is that the concession is just across the river from the Moremi Game Reserve. Animals can stay on the reserve and not have to be bothered by those annoying tourists.

And there are a lot of annoying tourists - at least compared to the private concessions I've been in elsewhere. On our first night, a male leopard in a tree was spotted, and there must have been twenty vehicles surrounding the tree - exactly the kind of encounter I did NOT want to have. There are seven camps (I think) that share the concession, and numerous self-driver/campers. At the private concessions, the guides work to ensure no more than three vehicles at any sighting. Here, there's no control so it's just a free-for-all.

In spite of the above comments, we did see lions, leopards, hyenas, baboons, elephants, giraffe, and a few impala. In fact, one day I was sick in camp and four elephants came into the "front yard" of the tent and grazed for a while, then a few members of a troop of baboons trooped on past.

The government is apparently considered changing the rules to reduce the number of camps and self-driving campers in the area. I truly believe they should do this, because I feel like this experience hurts the Botswana "brand". It Machaba was the only camp I had ever visited, I'd probably have been thrilled with what we saw, but having seen what else is available, I was not satisfied.

Read more about the whole safari

Expert Africa comments

The Khwai area has always had some of the best game viewing in Botswana; it’s a stunning area and the camps are great – but we do appreciate than many safari-goers value peace and tranquility over luxury and high game densities, so it is important to bare this in mind when travelling to this area.

I (Richard Ball) have been going to the Khwai area for the past 20 years. Last year (2016) I visited three times, each time droving myself and staying for 3-5 days. This year (2017) I spent 5 nights there in May. I didn’t experience high volumes of traffic here. Around the most interesting sightings I only saw about 3/4 vehicles.

However, this year there’s been a spike in the number of visitors in this area – especially during the very busiest months (mid-July to mid-October), enabled by extra campsites for self-drivers and mobile safari companies.

It is still possible to have a quiet and private experience in the Khwai area, where Machaba is, but clearly we need to take into account the time of year, and the popularity of the camps, more than we have to date.

Dr & Mrs T from Kent
Arrived on: 28-Sep-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

A bush experience at Machaba

Machaba was a slightly simpler camp than our other 2, but we loved it for this. The feel is more one of camping with simpler though very comfortable, rooms and sandy tracks rather than raised walkways.

The view over the river with elephants and hippos was the best we have come across in 5 camps. The staff were a delight and the behind the scenes tour should not be missed. The food was the best we had even at much more expensive camps. A nightime dinner in a bush clearing lit by lanterns and candles was a really luxurious highlight.

Less good is that the area, whilst superb for game, is busy with several lodges and self drives. Expert Africa had warned us of this. Many vehicles can arrive at a scene and there was not the peace which we value so much in Botswana.

It would make a better first camp then go on to a quieter place. We saw fantastic things and would not have missed it.

Our favourite camp but not our favourite location.

Read more about the whole safari
Peter LeVine from USA
Arrived on: 17-Sep-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Excellent commercial camp

Everything runs like clockwork at Machaba Camp. The guides are very good, the staff excellent, and accommodations and food first rate. Compared, however, to lodges and camps I have stayed at in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and elsewhere in West/Central Africa the camp is very commercial. The ambiance is very much like that of a very efficient, high end five star hotel. At times I felt like we were staying at a Serena Hotel or a Ritz Carlton - which undermines the sense of a being in an exotic region. This is not meant to be a criticism but rather a comment on the experience. You will not, I suspect, find many well traveled independent guests at Machaba Camp. Rather, you will find like travelers who are visiting Botswana for the first time and want an excellent introduction and overview of the Okavango Delta. For a first time visit to Botswana I recommend Machaba Camp. If, however, you want a place that is less commercial I would recommend somewhere else.

Read more about the whole safari
A, T & H from London
Arrived on: 29-Jul-2017 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Lively Camp on the Khwai

A great camp set on the banks of a river. An informal and youthful atmosphere predominates. The guiding is done with buoyancy and excitement. It is interesting to visit the nearby village of Khwai.

Read more about the whole safari
Mrs H from Bedford
Arrived on: 18-Apr-2017 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

This was a very attractive and comfortable and well appointed camp. The staff were all extremely welcoming, friendly, helpful and keen to ensure that we had the best possible stay with them. The food was very good.

Our guide Kitso was excellent and looked after us extremely well throughout our stay. He was very knowledgeable and worked hard to ensure that we had many wonderful wildlife encounters. His tracking skills were amazing and we saw a large number of animals, birds, and reptiles. We enjoyed a trip on a Mokoro.

A great place to stay.

Read more about the whole safari
Ms F from Hertfordshire
Arrived on: 2-Oct-2016 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Machaba Camp Review

Level of service was spot on - attentive but not in in your face. Very genuine staff. Serving staff the best of all the camps we stayed at.

Moreri was an excellent guide. Sean was an excellent manager/front of house.

Really nice surprise BBQ dinner in the bush.

Fabulous wildlife sightings. Downside is the number of other vehicles and self drivers around but we felt the excellent wildlife offset the negatives of a busier area.

Good combination of individual breakfast and lunch dining and then communal dinners.

Read more about the whole safari
Mr B from Basel
Arrived on: 21-Jul-2016 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Great place to start a safari

We really enjoyed our stay at Machaba and it was a great place to start our safari. The game around the camp was excellent, with lions, a leopard, wild dogs, hippos, elephants, giraffe and much more (including a mongoose!). The Kwai concession is quite busy, with lots of camps and self drivers (but we were expecting this and sometimes it helps to find exciting sightings).

The camp is run as a very slick operation, with good staff and guides. The rooms are very comfortable, although the shower was not as good as some of the other places we stayed. The food was very tasty and incredibly plentiful!

The only downside to Machaba for us was that it felt a little more "corporate" than some of the more relaxed camps.

Read more about the whole safari
Mr & Mrs H from Oxon
Arrived on: 2-May-2016 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

3 night stay

Great camp - enjoyed the canvas tents and the closeness to wilderness. Guide was experienced - Albert - and did a good job of keeping us engaged on game drives.

Particular mention must go the camp manager Elke and her husband Shaun together with Jake - very skilled at blending different guests together and making this a particularly social experience.

Great TLC when arriving in camp "under the weather". Watching elephants in the river from outside our room - perfect.

Read more about the whole safari
X  Close