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Reviewed 10 March 2018

We had a perfect 3 days (2 nights) at the Machaton Private Camp. This is the ideal choice if you are with a small group- there were six people in ours- as you will have the entire place to yourselves. Choose the main lodge if you want the benefits of shops and dining made possible by having a larger number of rooms (30, I think??). Don't choose the private camp if you might not like the idea of having no escape from other guests - if your party isn't big enough for the 'camp takeover.' Plus if you have younger kids the smaller camp offers little to do between the morning and afternoon drives (the pool is pretty small) so consider the main lodge for that reason as well. You will have from 9-4PM totally free in camp and that may be a bit much for younger kids.

But for us it was perfect start to finish- rooms, service, food, game drives- all of it!!

The butler, chef and housekeeper were the keys to a great in-camp experience and they never disappointed. The rooms were comfortable and well taken care of and we were surprised a couple evenings by some nice touches in the rooms. The food was also very good and since it was just the six of us you could offer some input- though provide input in advance if you have special requests since there is no grocery store nearby- but I'm guessing they would be happy to hear from you. The drink selection was also good including beer and wine and a nice range of other options like ports and sherry or the hard stuff. Drinks are not included (except water) but are reasonably priced overall.

The guide and tracker were your people when out in the bush. And again, they were both great. They kept in touch with other guides so we could hunt down the Big 5. There was enough information shared but you didn't feel like you were at the zoo where they might provide a bit too much information. It also was hard to beat the mid-drive snack and drink breaks. Drinks are included when you are out on the drives so have a cocktail with the elephants- you're on vacation! It was also just fun to go off-roading bush-style! A fun ride that led to some great viewing.

The pool is really more of a water feature. It's tiny but the younger kids like getting wet and the staff always had towels at the pool shaped like various animals. It's more a better place to get some sun and watch the animals wander by the camp.

We felt like we had a combo safari and "beach" vacation in that in between drives we spent the time by the pool or reading in our rooms. They have fast wifi and a cellphone booster. The wifi worked great. Just for fun I tried steaming videos and it worked flawlessly- way better than our hotel in Cape Town. Rooms do not have TVs so stream if you want to stay in touch with the TV world. Emails and basic web surfing will be very easy, too. Using our U.S. phones was not quite as great for conversations but texts went though so we could check on the kids as necessary.

Room Tip: The room by the watering hole had more frequent animal visits. Ours by the river bed was a bit less active most days.
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank SFWorld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2018 via mobile

Well...a very caring, attentive, well informed, amusing and fun family. The entire staff of five was extraordinary. Our guide Lezel and the merry quartet of Steve, Vusi, Thompson, and Doreen absolutely pampered us and, better yet, made us laugh. This was luxury in an understated way in a camp that was intimate and embracing. Our safari outings were phenomenal and filled with information and laughter, most of which sprung from Lezel’s glorious spirit of delighting in the moment. We saw lions, hyenas, elephant, giraffe, wart hogs, a leopard, hippos, monkeys (one eating a stolen croissant), babboons, and so much more. A perfect combination of adventure, relaxation, comradery and Amarula. Highest recommendation possible.

Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
Thank Jaewriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2017 via mobile

We made a trip throughout South Africa en stayed in lots of different guesthouses/lodges. Machaton was without any doubt our best time: a little bit of heaven. Food is great, the rooms are little houses, and the staff is great. Lezel, Stiff, Fuzzy, Thompson and Doreen; thanks for making this an amazing experience, we love you and we will come back!

Stayed: December 2017, travelled with friends
Thank Tessa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2017

My wife and I stayed at Machaton for 3 days. This was our first safari experience and it did not disappoint. I loved the fact that this camp is so intimate unlike the other camps in Simbavati. There were 3 well appointed suites surrounding the main common area. We were fortunate to have Lezel, Thompson, Eric, Doreen and Stiff taking care of us. Lezel was wonderful showing us all the amazing animals in the area (saw leopards with kills 2 of the nights!) Special mention goes out to Thompson for making some incredible meals out in the bush (as a foodie from the SF Bay Area, I was impressed). I would highly recommend Machaton and plan to be back!

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Oppajer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2017 via mobile

Me anda my husband stayed at Machaton for 3 perfect days. The rooms are huge, clean, beautiful and very vey comfortable. The people are nice and service is excellent. Oh... special attention for the food, simply delicious. I have to mentioned Nicole and Dan, our guide and tracker. They are the best! I have to thank you guys for the perfect moments and one of e the best experiences in my hole life. Machaton is perfect and exclusive place in the South Africa... its perfect for honeymooners!!

Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank naththurler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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