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“Mata Mata”

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Mata-Mata Rest Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
97 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Mata Mata”
Reviewed November 8, 2012

The campsite at Mata-Mata rest camp has a mixture of small, well-shaded, and unshaded stands, all with electricity (generator, until 10pm) and water. They are numbered, but not otherwise demarcated, leading to frequent "discussions" as to the relative positions of people's tents and vehicles.

The toilet block is clean and well-serviced with showers (there is a bath in the ladies only). There is also a scullery.

The pool is small and unshaded, but there is a shaded lounging area to one side with some loungers available. It was a little green while we were there, but was clean and refreshing.

There is a fairly pointless hide (as nothing else is hidden, the campsite is all around) overlooking a floodlit waterhole which sees regular animal traffic. The hide is not particularly well-maintained with a lot of graffiti and holes in the floor. The steps leading up to it are in need or repair and may present a hazard in the dark.

The camp shop is reasonably stocked but has no card payment facilities despite the fact that the camp office, 20m away, has. It is quite expensive, so you would be advised to stock up before arriving. There is a farm shop on the Namibian side which border guards are happy for you to walk to selling meat, etc.

Fuel is available, but once again no card payment facilities, so be sure to bring cash. The nearest ATM is at Twee Rivieren, a good 120km and 3.5 hours drive away.

Chalets are also now available at this rest camp.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank thepeckster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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134 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
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English first
Rome, Italy
Level 6 Contributor
344 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,180 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2012

The camp is situated on the banks of the Auob River on the western boundary of the Park. The camp borders Namibia and is surrounded by thorny Kalahari dune bush veld. Giraffe, typically adapted to these arid conditions are a favorite sight around Mata-Mata. The camp has a reception, swimming pool, shop and fuel facilities. A generator provides electricity for 18 hrs per day and there is no telephone or cellphone reception.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
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4 Thank serendypita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2012

We camped at Mata Mata. It was more crowded than Nossob (campsites closer together) and the hide is not as exclusive, but the surrounding landscape was quite different which allowed for very different animals sightings (including cheetah!). The camp pool was a welcome relief from the heat. Make sure to keep an eye out for the warthog that visits the camp! You are not going to get luxury accommodation at this national park. It is dry and and you will get dusty (so don't expect anything to stay very clean for very long) and very hot. But it is worth it for the privilege of seeing so many animals in their natural habitat!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank CapeTownCaitie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kenya
Level 6 Contributor
171 reviews
114 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 254 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2012

4 of us stayed here for one night, in the FCH6 chalet and cost R1,040 per night. This was basically a big room divided by a few walls. The two bedrooms had two single beds and that was about it. The kitchenette had basic cutlery, a hot plate and a fridge. The bathroom was okay with enough hot water for 4. Lights out by 10 pm.

The chalet could have been cleaner. It felt like no one had occupied it in a couple of months.

There's no restaurant here so make sure you have enough supplies as there's not much available at the rest camp shop. The old river bed near Mata has a lot of wild life. We saw quite a few lions, caracal and cheetah and we also heard that some of the other residents were also lucky enough to see a gemsbok-leopard encounter.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank ashah_008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
johannesburg
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2012

The new riverside chalets are very nice indeed. We switched on the aircon and the air was warm so I climbed up onto the bed and opened the front flap of the aircon and the filter was thick with sand and dust - I don't think it has been cleaned since it was fitted! Once clean the air was cold BUT then at about 23h00 every night the power it switched off and you start sweating! This isn't a problem in winter but in summer guests will suffer.

The other issue was the fact that there are TWO waterholes 140 meters apart. The old waterhole in front of the hide was closed when the new one in front of the riverside chalets was built but then many campers started complaining on the SANParks forum and management then decided to reopen the old waterhole. I empathize with the campers - they were used to their old waterhole but I don't think what Kgalagadi management did was the right thing. If you are sitting at the hide (where the campers are) and animals come to the new waterhole you will struggle to see and photograph them and you cannot go nearer as only the residents in the new chalets can view the new waterhole. So on night one we had genets and brown hyena at our waterhole while the campers had nothing at their waterhole. On night two, however lions came to drink at the old waterhole - at least we could grab our cameras and race to the hide to see them.

What management should have done was to build a one new waterhole in between the existing two waterholes (and then close the other two of course) so that both lots of people can see and photograph and the animals have just one water source.

If you are a wildlife photographer you will get very frustrated at this camp - Murphy's law - you will be staking out the one waterhole and the cheetah will go drink at the other one!!

Room Tip: If you are a photographer and you want to photogrph at night try and get riverside cabin 5, 6 or 7 a...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank KrugerToKalahari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2012

This is on the border with Namibia. So some through traffic prob less than 10 vehicles a day!
I noted the thatched roof of the River Lodges and questioned the petrol pump attendant about bats (see Twee Rivieren). No problem he said.
Got keys , and went in. Lovely rooms, big open seating area with well equipped kitchen and electric fridge. Nice bedroom with air con making an L shape enclosing a well set out courtyard overlooking riverbed (dry). Good bathroom /toilet. And someone will cook fresh loaves on site, sounds idyllic. Ah well.
In one sense the attendant was right, not bats, bats and mossies. I have never seen so many mossies inside a room (getting through thatch) and bats were trying to get mossies. Entertaing for about 5 mins. In case anyone thinks I am a softy Uk type, I have lived in 2 areas of rural Tanzania in villages where they would have been appalled at the mossies. No malaria of course but no nets. Complaining was a waste of time. You also have no electric, so putting the light on doesnt work and torches not enough.
Go to the wilderness camps, they are brilliant.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank john222333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lechlade, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2012

We had a wonderful stay at Mata-Mata. The wildlife viewing was wonderful. We took a basic chalet, and it was very hot, especially at night when the electricity shut down (and fans). The basic chalets have all you need, and are clean.

Room Tip: During hot periods, seriously conside taking one of the more expensive new rooms (river chalet).
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Steve1942
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mata-Mata Rest Camp

Property: Mata-Mata Rest Camp
Address: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Northern Cape > Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Number of rooms: 13

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