Machaba Camp

Reviews of Machaba Camp

Excellent(91%) From 30 travellers
Excellent
22
Good
5
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
1
Below are independent comments from 30 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.
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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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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