Travel reviews

Travel reviews by Mr K and Ms S from Roswell, GA


My 2017 October safari

On this trip, I visited Botswana & South Africa between 14-Oct-2017 and 28-Oct-2017 and I travelled with 1 other person.

Overall my trip experience was:

ExcellentExcellent

Trip as a whole was great!

In retrospect, I would have not spent four nights at Machaba (or any probably), but as I spent a day there sick I'm glad I didn't have to fly that day as well. I was disappointed in the suggestion of Machaba, since I had specifically said I wanted to avoid the 20-cars-around-one-animal sort of safari. That only occurred around the leopards and the lions, but still... I had raised this concern specifically with Richard and he assured me that the guides would manage it, but there was no way to manage it with so many camps/lodges and individual drivers.

Feedback response

We’re really pleased that most of this trip went well, but clearly our advice on Machaba’s area – given in February 2017 when this booking was made – was out of date.

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, thinking about this, my recent visits have mostly been in the quieter months, like February, May and November.

This year (2017), two colleagues, Chris McIntyre and Tracy Lederer, have both visited this area within the last couple of months after this trip was organised. Chris stayed at Machaba in August and Tracy in October. Both know Botswana exceedingly well; both reported numbers of vehicles around the top sightings that were high by the Okavango’s usual standards. Chris and Tracy also discussed this issue with the guys on the ground.

Now we realize that this area (NG19 – The Khwai Community Reserve) is probably being rather over-used during the busiest season. There have always been a handful of camps here, like Machaba. However, with a recent increase in the number of campsites (used by for self-driving visitors and temporary safari camps), numbers spiked during the busiest part of this year. The regulations in NG19 aren’t currently well-enforced, so when it’s busy, many safari vehicles will drive in NG19 rather than driving in Moremi itself. Hence the experience of very busy sightings during October.

At Expert Africa we try and give the accurate advice from first-hand experience. In this case – we were out of date. We’re sorry.

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
InterContinental O.R. Tambo, South Africa
14-Oct-2017 review: Comfortable and Convenient
ExcellentExcellent
Camp Kalahari, Botswana
15-Oct-2017 review: Surprising amount of animal life
ExcellentExcellent
Chitabe Camp, Botswana
17-Oct-2017 review: Chitabe revisited - excellent again
ExcellentExcellent
Machaba Camp, Botswana
20-Oct-2017 review: Wonderful setting, but too many cars
AverageAverage
Selinda Camp, Botswana
24-Oct-2017 review: Great camp and the best guide
ExcellentExcellent