The Leopard ID Project has just returned from an amazing 3 night stay at Machaba Camp in the Okavango Delta
which netted no less than 10 different leopards in 21 sightings!!
There will be blogs highlighting some of the more spectacular sightings coming in the near future but for now, the Leopard ID Project would like to thank the hospitality of Machaba and its staff.
The Delta is full of options when it comes to safari camp destinations and Machaba is among the very
best. 10 beautifully appointed and spacious tents line the banks of the Khwai River, comprising of extremely
comfortable tents, all with indoor and outdoor showers. elter from the blistering Botswanan sun is provided by a myriad of towering, gnarled trees that prosper in the nutritious soil close to the river and each tent boasts unobstructed views out over the water. Most afternoons and mornings, the sight of hippos basking and huge elephant bulls plodding knee deep through the water as they savoured the lush grasses that thrive on the banks graced us.
A beautiful camp can be crafted, but what elevates Machaba to exquisite levels is the hospitality and attention to detail of its staff. From the moment your land rover pulled into the camp, driven by TT, our cool as a cucumber guide, nothing was ever too much trouble. For the duration of the stay, TT, the delightful M’alebogo and the ever-attentive Kyle bowed to our every whim and ensured that our stay ran like clockwork, allowing us to enjoy being totally immersed in one of the natural wonders of the world. The homely food prepared by the chefs was faultless and tasty, whilst staying true to the
camp’s ethos of home away from home. Delicious, piping hot 3 course dinners awaited us on our return from
evening safari even though one night we came back nearly 2 hours after everyone else! The Delta is all about game
viewing and the staff understand that and not once did we feel that we were being problematic with our extended game
What makes Machaba camp even more unique is its policy of eco-tourism and the camp’s dedication to using natural resources to facilitate its day to day running. We were fortunate enough that the general manager of the camp, Chris Kruger was at the camp during our stay and he insisted on giving us a personal behind the scenes tour to illustrate the good work that they do. He proudly showed us their solar panel bank that charges battery cells in order to supply the camp with power day and night as well as explaining the processes and planning needed to operate such an establishment deep within Africa’s wilderness.
Logistical problems have been tackled by using simple but effective solutions:
such as their cool room/African fridge. Keeping fresh produce cool in soaring temperatures, that tipped the scales in the low 40’s during our trip, is a major hurdle. Using local knowledge passed down through generations, an ingenious design of a coal ‘wall’, held in place by chicken wire, is doused in water at regular intervals throughout the day and as the breeze blows through, the air is cooled and circulated. Walking into the room, the temperature immediately drops by about 10 degrees – a remarkable feat to achieve such a result without the use of expensive and noisy air conditioning units!
In between game drives, the tranquility of the area can be enjoyed from the cooling pool, also overlooking the river, or from the comfortable and relaxing main lodge area. Herds of parched impala, lechwe and waterbuck were regular visitors to the life giving water’s edge and the skies were lit up by the acrobatic antics of yellow billed kites as their calls echoed over the camp. Ever present, ensuring that no drink ever went empty were Chief and Bots, the barmen, whose vitally important role was never once neglected!
We at the Leopard ID Project are incredibly grateful to the whole Machaba team, who more than adequately complimented the amazing game viewing and looked after us as their own. The camp is a true jewel, shining bright in an area of already radiant beauty; a place where one can experience a real piece of wild Africa and yet feel as comfortable and content as if you were in your own home.