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FlyFishGuyNY
Painted Post, New York

Modern Spin on a Classic African Safari Tent Camp

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 11 Sept 2016
After a quick bush plane flight from Maun, we touched down on the landing strip and began our African Adventure. My wife and I spent four nights at Machaba Camp. The staff was welcoming and accommodating, the facilities very comfortable, and the wildlife viewing... simply spectacular! Our tent (#4) was right on the banks of the Khwai River and we were visited by elephants and hippos every night. Yes, it's a bit unnerving the first time you have a big bull elephant breaking trees and feeding right outside your tent flap in the middle of the night, but we felt completely safe and began to look forward to our nightly visitors! Our guide, Kitso was incredible. He knows this area well and worked tirelessly in sharing his knowledge and insight about the Okavango Delta's wildlife and plants. We saw just about everything... elephant, hippo, red lechwe, tsessebe, waterbuck, wildebeest, crocodile, lion, spotted hyena, impala, springbok, kudu, sable, roan, zebra, warthog, baboon, and much more. We even saw leopard every day! The birds were amazing with the highlight being Kitso's spotting of a Pel's fishing owl. Upon returning to camp each evening, we enjoyed the company of fellow guests at a large communal table with good food and wine and even better dinner conversation. Machaba Camp delivered everything and more that we were looking for in a Safari tent camp experience.
Date of stay: August 2016
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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All reviews khwai river wild dogs game drives hot water bottles comfortable beds long table safari experience thought of everything mokoro ride other guests private reserve indoor and outdoor showers afternoon drives african adventure three days his knowledge excellent game viewing
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Reviewed 9 September 2016

I spent several days here with my wife and adult child, staying in the family tent, which was comfortable and perfect for us (shared common are and bath, two sleeping areas which are private). The beds were comfortable, the water system brought plenty of hot water, and it is amazing to look out of the tent in the morning and see an elephant grazing!

The guide, BT, was unbelievably good, and we saw an amazing variety of animals - leopards, elephants, hippos, cape buffalo, giraffe's, antelope ranging from steenbok to kudu, and an amazing variety of birds....

The food and wine were excellent. Several meals were served outside; since it was a little chilly, the staff warmed us with hot coals under the chairs! The cooks were very attentive to my vegan child's diet, and had several vegan options available for every meal and snack. The staff was superbly well organized, and attentive not only to the guests, but to each other.

All in all, this was a wonderful experience, made possible by an exceptional staff that works effectively as a team, and seems to regard each other as family.

Room tip: All the rooms looked good.
Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank 466timothyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 30 August 2016

I would highly recommend this camp. When we arrived at the landing strip, our bags were dropped into the Land Rover and the adventure started immediately with the 15-minute drive through the bush. It actually took us 1 ½ hours to get to camp because we were stopping to look at all the elephants, zebras, baboons and an assortment of other animals- unreal excitement for us! When we finally arrived at Machaba Camp we were greeted by staff with cold towels, welcome drink and were given our briefing of the camp operation. The tents are giant – similar to the ones on the old MASH television show but it stops there. They are luxury with overstuffed couches, chairs, a bar area, beautiful dining room, all overlooking the river. Our tent had dual sinks, wonderful king bed, great shower and toilet area, lounging area and workstation desk.

The game sightings were off the chart and we could not believe it. The elephants were right outside of our porch and many times, walking by our porch and tent. Same with the hippos who lounged in the river in front of the camp. Every day we saw leopards, giraffes, zebras, baboons, bush babies, four female lions, and the list goes on and on.

We found the food to be fantastic and the same with the wine and cocktails. A great job by the executive chef. If you are worried about going hungry – don’t. You have breakfast, then go on your game drive, then stop in the bush for coffee or tea and a snack, then come back for lunch. After a few hours of a break you go for your afternoon game drive, then take a break in the bush at sundown for cocktails, or wine, or whatever you want with a snack. You then drive at night looking at whatever animals are out and then back to camp for a great dinner.

The staff is so fantastic it is beyond belief. A shout out goes to Chase, Jessica and Karl, but especially our guide Jonathan. One thing I would recommend is to take the Mokoro boat ride down the river. The two of you sit with a guide pushing with a long stick and you see everything from a different perspective. So peaceful and wonderful. Again, I highly recommend this operation!!!

Room tip: They are all good
Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank PatrickLongBeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 22 August 2016

We spent one night at Machaba and three nights at Little Machaba. Our party comprised one family of two adults and a family of four.

Machaba camp was outstanding, in a good location on the Khwai river, excellent luxury en suite "tents" and superb food and service levels. Chad the duty manager was great keep us informed but not in our space and Albert the chief guide was superb. Highly recommended

Little Machaba is a smaller (4 tents) newer camp overlooking the Khwai flood plain. Richard the Camp manager and BT the head guide were truly outstanding. It was an experience not to forget. The camp is luxurious yet functional, the service attentive but not overbearing and everything worked well and was tailored to what we wanted to do or see. Food was varied, fresh and delicious and an effort was made to pair wines with the evening meals. Game viewing was excellent with wild dog, leopard, lion, elephant, hippo and the full range of antelope and very good birding for this time of year. We saw a Pels Fishing Owl which was a treat and BT was super knowledgeable on fauna and flora, big and small.

The mokoro trip near sable alley was really enjoyable and I highly recommend doing that. Having travelled throughout SSA, this camp is definitely one, where for me the bush experience is perfectly pitched.

Well done to both teams

Room tip: we stayed in the family room (sleeps 4 very comfortably) which were closest to the main area (but not too close.)
Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Richard G
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 17 August 2016 via mobile

My wife and I were at Little Machaba Camp for 4 days and three nights. It is hard to find words to say how amazing was our stay. The staff was absolutely pleasant to be with, with the histories about the place, the people, animals, plants, birds and so on. They are very careful and take great care on all one does. The food is fantastic!!!! In fact, almost too much if you don't pay attention... Breakfast at six, brunch at 11, tea at 1500 and dinner 1900. Dinner is announced by the chef while you savor a glass of wine or you preferred drink and wine pairing is also described by the waiter, so you won't miss anything.
Then there are the games, one early in the morning, soon as you finish breakfast, and another in the afternoon, right after tea. Guides are great experts and follow footsteps and other signs to show you the best of all. Not enough, you might stop for a drink to stretch your legs (and widen your belly...) during the three hours on the jeeps.
The rooms, bathrooms, oh, you feel like a King....
I think that there should be a treadmill or a bike to allow one to burn some of the calories ones collects there...and that's because one can't just walk by oneself. There's always risk of animals wondering around the camp.
Don't miss it!!! It is a must!!!

Date of stay: August 2016
Trip type: Travelled with family
1  Thank Ricardo B
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 2 August 2016 via mobile

This was the second stop on a trip to Botswana and Zambia by my 18 year old son and I. We were picked up at the airstrip by Sean who was then our guide for the next two days and who was excellent. We arrived at the camp and were greeted by so many people - very friendly. We walked through the covered arrival section with dining area on right and lovely lounge on left out to the open and first views of the Khwai River - hippos grunting to the left - elephants bathing to the right and the remains of a leopard kill near the water's edge. We really had arrived in Africa! Accommodation was excellent - an enormous permanent tent with two very large kind sized beds and a sitting room area. Bathroom to the back which had indoor and out door shower - I loved the outdoor shower. We did four safaris whilst here - 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. I am not gifted enough to bring to life in words just how wonderful those drives were. The landscape around the delta is I think breathtaking, open grassland, vast woodlands, meandering waterways. We saw so much wildlife - including lions, leopard, elephants and much much more. What made it so special was the enthusiasm of Sean our guide. He would track diligently the animals we were searching for and position us for some magical moments - watching 4 lions come down to a waterhole, a leopard trying to catch 4 giant cranes, young bull elephants frolicking in the water as the sun went down, so many grunting hippos. At the camp which is managed by Sean's wife - the service and food could not have been better. Aperitifs by the camp fire were followed by dinner under the stars and a chance to speak with other guests. Had to be escorted to bed and collect water bottle on the way - the lions, leopards and hippos regularly walk through the camp and could be heard at night. Definitely one of the best safari venues I have stayed at.

Date of stay: July 2016
Trip type: Travelled with family
1  Thank gaz0209
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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