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“A wonderful safari experience”

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Muchenje Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester
Level Contributor
148 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“A wonderful safari experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2010

It started off badly when the lodge didn't have our booking due to our tour operator taking it upon themselves to book us into large hotel in Kasane instead of the luxury lodge in the bush that we had booked. Fortunately a room was available so despite the hotel sending a car to try and get us to go there and demanding a 100% cancellation fee if we didn't go, we stayed put and I'm glad we did. Shaun (owner) and his team looked after us and made so welcome.

Stunning views from the escarpment were the lodge is situated across the Chobe river.

Room are very nice but a little on the small side and are due for some refurbishment. Owners know this and Shaun was telling me that the first one has been extended and the rest will be done later this year.

Food was good and we enjoyed the communal dining.

Full day safari with our guide Neo was a really wonderful day. It was a great contrast to have a 3 hour river safari in the middle of the day to see the animals from a different perspective and to get close to the hippos and crocs.

A great place now and will be even better once the rooms have been re-done

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ian_Stanworth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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384 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
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English first
Manhattan, Kansas
Level Contributor
48 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2010

muchenje safari lodge was everything they promised and more. the room was authentic botswana outback, without the stresses of tv, radio, internet, etc. the view from the room was amazing, overlooking a watering hole in namibia that drew numerous game in the mornings and at dusk. elephants even entered the compound at night and a monkey pooed on our bed, but it was all part of the natural, authentic experience! the muchenje team was very professional and personal. the staff catered to our wants and the safari was the best we've done... even saw both a lion and lioness one morning (thanks go out to our knowledgeable guide neo!). lorna, the owner, and her wonderful family took us to a school in the nearby town one afternoon and we met the children and had a very nice time; it even inspired us to send school supplies upon our return home. bottom line: the food, the social atmosphere in the evenings, the staff support, the location, and the lodge itself were 10/10 in our book. we stayed 3 nights and could have extended another week without worry. thanks again to the muchenje team... apologies for our year long tardiness in posting a review! todd & danielle

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travelturner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra
Level Contributor
272 reviews
90 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2010

The view on arrival is unexpected and quite stunning, looking over the Chobe River to Namibia. The cabins are comfortable. The staff are very friendly. The game viewing was excellent. The boat trip on the Chobe River was really enjoyable.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CanberraJenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
suffolk
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2009

On a trip that included four lodges along the Mamibi/Botwswana border this was the highlight. Best rooms? – no we had been in more comfortable. Space in the communal areas? No there had been more luxurious. Cost? There had been cheaper.

Location, beautiful. Food and service – varied and personal. Game drives and location – without fault.

Out lime here was a real joy. The last of four lodges on this trip we arrived mildly concerned that we were safaried out and perhaps a little blasé. Cathy and Rod who run the lodge are the perfect hosts. Ex Zimbabweans they know the country and through their engagement with the local community schools and orphanage, connected to Botswana. They are supported by an experienced team and our guide for the stay, the lusciously named ‘Lips’ made the stay very special.

The location on the border between Botswana and Namibia on and escarpment overlooking the Chobe river provides each room with a deck with a view. You can spend time watching the eagles soar across the river from above and observe movements of Buffalo, Elephant and Zebra whilst sipping your morning tea in your nightie.

We took the all day drive on our first full day and despite some reservations about being all day in the Chobe National Park, were surprised by how quickly the time passed. A Landrover drive was followed by a transfer to a small boat on the Chobe for some of the finest birding and game viewing we have ever enjoyed. Approaching Elephants and hippos from the water provides an up close and personal view often as close as twenty metres from family groups behaving quite naturally. With birding as out key goal we were rewarded with close encounters with both Black and Slaty Egret, Goliath Heron, four kinds of vulture on a kill as well as assorted sized crocs and water monitors.

The lodge of an evening was really relaxing. Staff and guests dine together and enjoy recounting their days experiences and learn more about life in Africa and its people. Pre dinner drinks on our last night were interrupted by a bull elephant enjoying a drink from the swimming pool less then 20 metres from the assembled guests.

Value for money this was hard to top. Fully inclusive means exactly that, wine beers and post dinner drinks slipped down smoothly with no additional charges (except for the girls in the gift shop) to tarnish our departure. A must for a trip to the area. Three nights advised.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank noetzielover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
31 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2009

This was my first introduction to an African safari and I could not have been happier that it was at Muchenje Lodge. The spectacular location, friendly staff, excellent guides and general organisation and running of the lodge was faultless. This is a lodge in Africa designed so you can see as much wildlife as possible during your stay and that is exactly what it offers.

Yes, you could be offered more choice of food, or the rooms might be a bit more spacious but I found the level of service more than acceptable for our needs. The daily routine and flexibility of the game drives and walking tours makes it impossible not to cater for everyones taste. The area to be explored is not overused by tourist groups so it is possible to have the game almost to yourself. Our full day game drive was the highlight and one not to be missed. The guides are very knowledgeable and all our drives were exciting in their own way.

The group meal times gave us an opportunity to talk with fellow travellers and all of the guides and staff to find out as much about the area and wildlife as possible. I would highly recommend this lodge on any safari itinerary as you are sure to see game in abundace.

  • Stayed October 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SconieJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2009

I loved the Muchenje Lodge. It was the only place we stayed in Botswana that was on a hill with a view (of the Chobe River and the floodplain.) The hosts were gracious and welcoming. The guides were fun and informative. The game drives were rewarding - we saw so many elephants and giraffes that we became quite blase about spotting them. The all-day drive/boat trip was fabulous. Muchenje is at the western, less-visited end of the park. When we ventured east, we appreciated the solitude we had enjoyed. If I were to complain, it would be that the food was not as good as at some of the other camps we visited. There wasn't anything wrong with it, it was just simple. In hindsight, that may have been a good thing because we weren't tempted to overeat.

Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank seismoprincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
67 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2009

Without doubt the best concentration of animals viewed during four weeks of travel, in 6 different countries. Chobe is not to be missed if travelling in July.

Our guides from Muchenje Lodge, collected 9 of us from Kasane Airport and what a novelty to be back on tarmac (for the bulk of the drive); a one hour journey.

We were warmly greeted by our host JJ , ushered in for the customary face washer, cool drink and late lunch. We were all personally escorted to our rooms, which comprised of a thatched hut, with an ample size western bathroom and smallish bed room.

Our guides BG and Lips, were entertaining and informative, providing a plethora of animals for us to view. In one hour we viewed 74 giraffes. Elephants we lost count of.......home to the largest elephant population in the world. All photo's included a cross mix of atleast 4 different animals. You didn't have to go searching for animals here, they're their for everyone to see. Sunsets were sensational. The boat (pontoon boat) trip on the river was a photographer's dream.

The early morning walk with JJ was terrific. It was be great to be out of the game vehicle and actually be able to move through the bush. We were lucky enough to track zebra, view honey badgers (very rare during the day), see sable (also rare), talk about spores from many different animals and it was generally interesting.

The activities offerred at the lodge were excellent and JJ did go out of his way to ensure that we all new what the lodge offerred. There was a swimming pool at the Lodge for families, however it was too cool to utilise in July.

The only thing not up to standard at the camp was food. It was very ordinary and not even up to the standard of what we would eat at home (and I'm talking general family fare). The Lodge has everything else going for it, but meals need some big attention.

The main lodge areas and viewing decks were all very comfortable. The evening camp-fire was also a nice touch. JJ our host was very knowledgeable and informative, but could also be equally dogmatic and off-putting at the same time. He had the demeanour of an army sargeant and we all had to do as we were told. When you're the host of a lodge, there has to be a certain amount of warmth emanating from the person and perhaps a genuine like for people, after all, we are all paying guests.

I would definitely recommend a visit to Chobe. In regard to the Lodge, I have mixed reactions. If food's not a huge issue (it's all edible, it's just not what you would choose if you had a choice) and the host's mannerisms don't put you off, it's definitely worth staying. The Lodge is run like clock work and is very clean and orderly.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank C0nstantlyOnTheG0
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

Property: 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 #4 of 20 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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