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
"Wonderful river edge lodge "
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" See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana; 3n in Zimbabwe
"Great camaraderie at Machaba"
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." See all these reviews: 9n in Botswana; 3n in Zimbabwe
"Machaba Camp review"
"Machaba Camp review"
Food was good" See all these reviews: 6n in Botswana
"Wonderful setting, but too many cars"
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." See all these reviews: 12n in Botswana; 2n in South Africa
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.
"A bush experience at Machaba"
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." See all these reviews: 9n in Botswana; 2n in Zimbabwe
"Excellent commercial camp"
"Lively Camp on the Khwai"
"Machaba Camp review"
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." See all these reviews: 9n in Botswana
"Machaba Camp Review"
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." See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana; 3n in Rwanda; 1n in Kenya; 1n in South Africa
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