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“A Wild and Wonderful Wilderness Safari!”

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Machampane Wilderness Camp
johannesburg
Level Contributor
113 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“A Wild and Wonderful Wilderness Safari!”
Reviewed March 26, 2013

We stayed two nights at Machampane Wilderness Camp and had a great time. We went on 3 walks but did not see much game. We found leopard, cheetah and buffalo dung plus elephant footprints so they were around. We also heard hyenas and a leopard at night.

We did, however, see waterbuck, impala, baboons, vervet monkeys, bushbuck, and a huge crocodile from our tent. The birdlife is excellent here – we saw pied, giant and woodland kingfishers, a goliath heron, bee-eaters, drongos, green-backed heron, arrow-marked babblers, vultures and a bateleur eagle.

The views from the tents are superb and made for great landscape photographs. We also captured a great sunset on one of the walks.

Prior to arriving at Machampane we had stayed two nights at a camp on the western Kruger border and we got hardly any sleep as we were eaten alive by mosquitoes each night. What a pleasure coming to Machampane where we did not see one mosquito and had two nights of blissful sleep!

The food was very good and the chef, Melita, was a character! When each course had been served she would announce what the dish was and then say "it looks good, it smells good and it tastes good'!

The other staff members also provided excellent service and nothing was too much trouble for Donald the camp manager.

Many safari lodges rip off their clients with excessive drink costs but at Machampane the mineral water is free and we ordered two bottles of Spier wine for our dinners and both bottles came to just over R200! The food, juices and yoghurts were all quality brands so we could see the focus was on customer satisfaction and not just maximizing profits.

We intend returning to the lodge in winter as the animals will then be more attracted to the river and we should get to see and photograph a few more mammals.

Room Tip: All five tents face the river and have great views
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank KrugerToKalahari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EleanorMuller, Management Operator at Machampane Wilderness Camp, responded to this review, June 24, 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to write such an informative review, and help guide your fellow travellers. We look forward to welcoming you back to the camp in another season, for a different experience.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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42 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Gauteng
Level Contributor
59 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2013

My first comment has to be that on my visit the lodge they were struggling to recover from some near wipe-out flood damage. The recent rains in late Jan 2013 had brought the rivers waters to within a few millimetres of the safari tents.

Machampane is situated about an hour’s drive from the Giriyondo border crossing, in the Northern Kruger National Park and lies on the Mozambique side in the Parc Nacional do Limpopo, making it a suitable venue for a long weekend bush bash as you can make it in a day’s drive from Johannesburg and still get to do some good KNP driving and game viewing and be at the lodge in time for late afternoon G&T.

For South Africans it’s a chance to get another stamp in that passport. (But expect some frustrations as weary border officials on both sides do their usual bureaucratic shuffle). If you travel from Maputo there will be some navigation of bad roads as you make your way west off the EN1.

By their own admission Machampane management advise not to expect much by way of game viewing, as in the Parc Nacional do Limpopo the wildlife is very skittish, and loops and drives not as well laid out as in the KNP. Nevertheless, there is game and as in all bush excursions on the day it may just be you who gets the great leopard or lion sighting.

The lodge itself sits serenely on the Machampane rivers edge. Its accommodation is in comfortably appointed and are erected safari tents with wood decking and rustic shower/toilet facilities situated at the back of each tent. Crisp white linen defies logic as the heart goes out to the poor soul who must hand wash and keep it clean, in water pumped from a river? (Later I learnt its shipped to the companies office in Phalaborwa for its washing).

Only a short walk from your tent is covered area where guests congregate and sip the evening sun downers. Dinner or breakfast is served here as well. There is a reed lapa nearby and possibly when not recovering from floods the team will provide the evening meal here.

Food on our visit was disappointing and was offered as traditional Mozambiquan fare - in truth it was boiled rice and stew? (But I stress this was the first night back from almost 10 days of cleaning and repairing massive flood damage.)

There are guided walks that will take you out into the bush. I chose to laze in my bed but those that went came back with huge smiles and a sense of achievement (No major sightings but clearly a guide that had spent the 4 hour walk regaling them with stories of bush folklore and information.) There are also river safaris and game drives.

Machampane is not really a destination lodge. In other words, making it a chilled few days of lazing in the tranquillity of the bush is not in my opinion its primary focus - no real comfortable lounging area or chairs are available to fall into and just nod off or read and snooze. But if you are doing a trip through to the coast of Mozambique, Machampane is a great stop over after clearing the border to regroup enjoy a good hike before heading off again.

The lodge staff are friendly and accommodating and the booking office staff (Not situated at the lodge) are incredibly helpful and go out of their way to make sure they can assist in anyway.

I will certainly be back.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank MichaelEmm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
White River, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 16, 2012

This was our third attempt at getting to Machampane - the first failed due to family illness, the second` due to floods.but we finally got there! Yes, it was worth waiting for. Some highlights - elephants cavorting in the river at night, masses of barbel jumping out of the water to catch insects making it sound as if the river water is boiling! The bird walk also was great - better than seeing from a vehicle. Also the birds from our deck including the small Darter who spent the night on a thorny twig without falling off!

Kieren and Denise who are at present managing the camp, are doing an excellent job. We appreciated the effort they put into making our stay great fun and interesting. The other staff members - Theresa,Melita, Elvis and ranger Manuelito were all helpful and efficient. Thanks to all of you. Ginny & Ross du Toit

The camp is well positioned on the river bank, tents comfortable, altogether very pleasant arrangement. The road - WELL preferably a high clearance and patience.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank GinRoss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spijkenisse, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
99 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2011

Staying two nights here and walking 4 times with the guide for three hours at least,gave us the ultimate wilderness experience. Game viewing from a car is completely different from doing it on foot. Hunting with a camera gives you the adrenaline !!!!!!!!!!!!
Time spent in the lodge on the river edge between walks, eating and sleeping is amazingly good for a place so remote.

Very advisable for nature lovers !!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank josenjannie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent
Level Contributor
63 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2010

An off the cuff comment whilst staying at Barra Lodge saw us, including a three year old, driving across Mozambique to spend a night at Machampane before heading back to Joburg via the Kruger. Be warned - once you leave the road on entering the Parc there are few signs to Machampane so don't get there when it is dark. We arrived at about 6.00 in pitch black which wasn't ideal. Greg and Jack quickly escorted us to our tent - whilst the staff carried our bags on their heads.
The tents are situated on the river and it was quite eerie hearing the crocodile enjoying dinner! Lighting is very limited in the tent and not enough power to run camera chargers - and there is no phone signal.
After pre-dinner drink around the Boma, dinner was served at 7.00. Food was good - not great but plenty of wine!
The beds and pillows were extremely comfortable and apart from a very noisy croc it was a very comfortable night.
Greg woke us at 5.30 for the bush walk and although we didn't see any wildlife we saw evidence of it everywhere (elephant, wildebeest, lion, impala to name a few). Greg was very informative with loads of interesting facts and stories,
After breakfast we headed off to the border and Kruger. After previously experiencing the border crossing about an hour out of Maputo we were dreading it. But what a joy - we were the only ones there at a clean, quiet and quick border crossing. We were even able to walk back from the South Africa side to Moz to change meticas to rands!. It was very relaxed and easy and worth the drive if it was only for this!
Machampane is an amazing camp - remote, quiet and beautiful. It is going to be truly incredible once the fence comes down. One, very brief visit was not enough but gave us a fabulous end to our holiday in Mozambique. Thank you and good luck guys.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank DebbieKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Machampane Wilderness Camp

Property: Machampane Wilderness Camp
Address: Parc Nacional do Limpopo, Xai-Xai 1200, Mozambique
Location: Mozambique > Gaza Province > Xai-Xai
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Xai-Xai
Number of rooms: 24

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