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“Beautiful Botswana. At its Best”

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Muchenje Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 15, 2012

Having driven the length and breadth of Namibia, staying at relatively small luxurious lodges our arrrivel at Muchenje was quite a shock to the system.

Our transfer vehicle driven by a charming young man, managed to get bogged on the drive to the lodge, and an emergency vehicle came out to rescue us. Robert, the manager and his staff were very gracious about the whole episode which turned out to be amusing in the end.

The lodge houses twenty bungalows, which are very well appointed although, quite noisy. The people in the next bungalow obviously thought there was no-one else to be considered and the night time guards certainly let us know they were around. The views over the water are spectacular.

The Communal areas are large and meals are served at specific times, to two rectangular tables. Before dinner is served the staff and some of the guides sing and dance in the bar area, their beautiful African voices and gyrating movements in dance were inspiring. It was a great privilege to watch.

The food is well presented, substantial and quite delicious, with eggs being cooked in a large pan in front of us for breakfast and the selection of food good.

Our guide, KG,( short for King George although we reckon it should be kilogram, for he was worth his weight in gold), was really good, very knowledgeable and keen to show us as much as he could. On our last safari he found not one but two leopards. Note to visitors , this guide is not afraid of speed and if he hears of an elusive sighting he will put his foot down to get you the area.

Whilst we enjoyed our stay immensely we preferred the exclusivity and more personal service we enjoyed in Namibia

Room Tip: All bungalows afford a similar view.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Finchamrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 13, 2012

RObert and JOy make the experience all that it is. The details of the lodge and your room are fantastic. KG, you are a special person and you made the trip. Wish we had more time to just sit and stare.... renee and finis.

Room Tip: NOT a place for kids. Leave them at home.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank reneemillermiami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

Good lodge, plentiful game viewing (Chobe NP), superb view of the river, happy and fun hosts.

Accommodation - cosy smallish rooms, all have views of river, small landing with deck chairs, comfy bed, washbasin, loo and shower inside, coffee/tea facilities, lamps, overhead fan, lockable safe, mosquito net, insect spray, power points (for recharging). No air con/heating.

Main Lodge - large, open plan, thatch roofed structure (includes dining, lounge and large bar area) plus an upper mezzanine area above main lodge with lounge chairs. The main lodge has river views all round. Dining area was 2 large communal dining tables, and a buffet type set up for meals. The bar - run by Jay Jay - was always flowing and fun to hang around.

Meals & timing - Quality of food was good. Meals are coordinated around activities and usually have a specified time. Breakfast was served around 8.00am, lunch around 1.00pm, dinner around 8.00pm.

Facilities - small plunge pool overlooking river, with sun lounges. Complimentary laundry service, same day. Male and female toilets near bar area, curio shop, and large decked area just outside main lodge with open fire pit (superb views).

Advice - you must carry your passport with you when on activities!

Activities included - Day trip leaving 9am (game drive), picnic lunch in Chobe NP, then afternoon boat cruise along Chobe River arriving back after sunset. We viewed plenty of elephants, giraffe, impala, zebra, hippos plus the usual sightings of warthogs, mongoose, other antelopes, 2 lionesses, vultures, crocodile, water monitors. The day trip was a very long, hot day (hat, sunscreen, water). Two o.k loo stops during day (take loo paper/tissues).

Travel - flew Mack Air (part of package) ex: Xakanaxa Camp, took 1hr 10mins in a GA 10 (7 seater) to Kasane, picked up and 40mins by car from Kasane airport to Ngoma.

Best - our guide, game drives, lodge bar atmosphere, the views.

Improvements - Dinners felt rushed. Our guide interacted with us, but other guides did not.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank DacPsaTravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2012

My wife and I stayed here as the finale to a two and a half week southern Africa trip and it really ended with a bang.

The lodging was great and nicely maintained. Our room/hut had a fantastic view of the floodplains and grasslands below. All the bedding, showers, towels, etc were great.

The staff were all very friendly. The owners have loads of funny stories so don't be afraid to pick their brains.

Meals were delicious and served to all guests at a big table providing the setting to get to know the staff as well as other travelers. The staff was always available to provide a cocktail or snack.

What made this unique to us was how much wildlife surrounded the camp. At night when we were having our nightcap by the campfire you could hear the elephants trampling down the hill and trumpeting to the impala. In the morning when we got up we could see monkeys hanging out on our rooftop. I'm told during the day, while we are on game drives, the baboons lounge in the swimming pool. We even had an elephant come and drink from the swimming pool one night. While that sounds alarming, I never felt unsafe. The staff are all experienced and understand what the animals can do and will do so we were always watched over and kept from any harm.

The game found in the Chobe National park is outstanding. Where other parks you might come across 1-2 animals, Chobe presents you with dozens if not hundreds at a time. We were in awe of the hundreds of elephants that paraded down to the river for an evening drink, or the hundreds of cape buffalo lounging in the shade around the road. Even the boat ride on the river showed us numerous hippos and elephants from a different point of view. Watching an elephant swim out to the center of the river using it's trunk as a snorkel is a sight I won't forget. Nor will I forget seeing dozens of vultures drying their wings by the Bobo trees. The best might have been the pride of lions eating an impala only to be chased away by an elephant. Crocodiles, giraffe, monitor lizards, sable antelope, mongoose, guiny foul, tortoises, monkeys all sandwiched our views of the bigger game. The guides were very knowledgable, but occasionally had to refer to a wildlife book to confirm some animal's markings, habitat, behavior, etc. None the less, they ensured our game drives were eventful, fun, and respectful of the animals.

I'm told we were there during dry season, which was ironic because the river was flooded. What that meant was the trees were dry and dying off so the animals had to move more to the river to find food and get a drink. However during the wet season the river is not flooded and the valley is filled with lush grass that brings hundreds of animals all day to feed. So take that into consideration when planning your trip.

We loved our stay and cannot wait to return someday.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Michael F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2012

We visited Muchenje in late May after having spent 3 days at Arathusa Safari Lodge in Sabi Sands near Kruger in South Africa. This experience was very different from Arathusa. In Sabi Sands the Ranger assisted by a Tracker is covering property within a concession. He could therefore leave the track at any time and get right up close to the game in the bush. At Muchenje the game drives were primarily through the Chobe National Park and the Ranger (no Tracker) was required to stay on the beaten track. We heard lions in the distance but since they were not near the trail we could not go after them. There are two other main differences between the two safaris. Chobe is on a river and the boat ride was very exciting. We got to see a lot of the game from the water especiially elephants, hippos and crocs. The other difference is where Kruger has all the Big 5 they were in small numbers. The Chobe National Park had herds of animals. We saw one pod of Hippos that was about 30 plus strong. Chobe is also know for its large herds of elephants and we saw them in great numbers. We did not see any lions or Rhinos (none still exist at Chobe).

The Muchenje Lodge is situated overlooking the Chobe River. It was very nice and the cottages were very private. The food was plentiful but was always served via a buffet. The help at dinner were fun as they sang and danced for us. The Ranger on our Rover was very knowledgeable. The other two couples in our Rover were interested in birds and the Ranger knew all that we saw.
Like our earlier experience at Kruger we had early morning (6 AM) and afternoon ( 3 PM) game drives. Unlike Kruger the Ranger took us out for a late night drives (9 PM) where using a strong spotlight was able to track down a leopard on the lodge property. I really enjoyed seeing the two different safari experiences.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Larry K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2012

Hi stayed here in early June. A very flexible team dedicated to flexibility around your needs. In our case splitting a day so we could do all that we wanted. Here it is all about the river so make sure you do it. Team were great, visit to the school interesting, bring pens,sunglasses give sways.team also do a great song before dinner.
Lots of animals but a bit harder to find some days. A different experience than to a private park in Sa but well worth it

Room Tip: All good no bad rooms
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Clatu28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2012

I stayed here for 2 nights after spending 10 days in the Okavango Delta and the Kwando Concession. The view from the lodge is simply spectacular.Furthermore,I could see both sable antelope from the lodge. The guest area made mixing with guests easy,and lots of fun.
I felt the food was good,although not extraordinary. There was plenty of it.
I took the all day river tour which was superb. Lips was my guide.I saw lots of elephants,including a dead one being eaten by a swarm of vultures. I also had lunch with five gigantic crocodiles. There were plenty of hippos. I saw more sable antelope,roan antelope,as well as a puku. I had the fortune to see a honey badger,hyena,and two cheetahs.There were lots of girafes. Needless
to say the birds were spectacular.
The rooms were comfortable.I couldn't find fault with them.
I highly recommend Muchenje as the wildlife,view,and guiding are all superb.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank africanman_840
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Muchenje Safari Lodge

Address: Private Bag K31, Chobe National Park, Botswana
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Chobe National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 22 Specialty Lodging in Chobe National Park
Hotel Class:4 star — Muchenje Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Small, Owner run property situated on the edge of the Chobe National park. Our remote location means game drives do not reach the masses that inhibit other Chobe Lodges.Recently upgraded, Muchenje offers Rustic luxury accommodation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Muchenje Safari Hotel Chobe National Park

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