Muchenje Safari Lodge is situated high on an escarpment on the quieter western side of Botswana’s Chobe National Park. With wonderful views of the Chobe River and the seasonal flood plains, its position means that it is far away from the bustle of Kasane yet just two hours from the magnificent Victoria Falls.
Muchenje Safari Lodge is independently owned and run. It is within the Chobe Forest Reserve, just a short drive from Chobe National Park. There are no fences between the Western Chobe Park Boundary and the Lodge; animals roam free.
Chobe is renowned for its prolific wildlife and huge concentrations of game. Muchenje prides itself in the variety and quality of safari experiences, allowing you to explore the Chobe and all its wonders.
There are wonderful views over the Chobe River from the main lodge and all of the luxurious cottages.
Being owner run, Muchenje Safari Lodge allows for a more personalised service and homely atmosphere. With experienced managers and guides looking after you every step of the way.
Muchenje’s main lodge has an extensive lounge, bar and dining area overlooking the Chobe River and our waterhole.
The dining area is based around a communal dining experience but guests can dine privately if they so wish. There is a lapa (pergola) by the pool for a more intimate dining experience. In addition we also offer a Bush Braai (barbeque) in a boma in the bush, close to the lodge. Our chefs provide delightful and varied food and can cater for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.
Extensive deck areas allow for guests to be able to relax and enjoy the view. Perfect for enjoying the African sunset with a cold drink or gazing at the stars around our fire pit. The swimming pool is open throughout the year. It has views over the flood plain.
Muchenje offers 10 private thatched cottages and a larger family cottage, each being beautifully appointed with its own unique view of the Chobe flood plain.
Our family cottage offers spacious comfort, with an additional mezzanine open plan sleeping area which can accommodate 2 children. With 2 spacious bathrooms and a generous deck it is perfect for a family or young friends travelling together. Relax on your deck and soak up the sun whilst watching animals graze on the plains below.
We have five very experienced permanent guides, all of whom have had extensive guide training in both animals and birds. They are all from the Chobe region and are passionate about their park and communities. The guides also double as boat captains. We also have a registered bird expert at the lodge.
Muchenje has a full fleet of 4×4 safari vehicles, both Toyota Land Cruisers and Land Rovers. The vehicles are fully kitted out and are extremely rugged. The vehicles are open, but with a sun cover, making photography easy. We do not “pack” our vehicles, and ensure that normally there are a maximum of only 6 people for each game viewing experience. Muchenje has two boats, one based at Sedudu and one based at our private jetty at Ihaha.
Our safari activities are planned carefully to coincide with when you are most likely to see wildlife. This means early morning activities such as game drives or guided bush walks, late afternoon game drives as the temperatures start dropping and even night game drives after dinner to see who is moving around the reserve once the sun has disappeared.
The early morning game drive leaves the lodge before sunrise and heads into Western Chobe National Park. This gives guests the “golden hour” of light for photography and the chance of seeing big cats on the move before the temperature rises. The game drive returns to the lodge by 8.30am for a hearty breakfast. For those on ‘early mornings’ there’s a wake-up call and tea, coffee and snacks are served before departure. ‘On cold mornings, we provide ponchos and hot water bottles.
This safari encompasses a river cruise and a game drive through the park alongside the Chobe river. The game drive leaves at around 10am after breakfast and arrives at the National Parks jetty at Sedudu, close to Kasane at around 11am. The guide will escort guests onto an exclusive Muchenje boat moored at the jetty and then captains guests on the river cruise. This cruise on the Chobe River is spectacular for animal sightings along the river and on Sedudu Island. Elephants and Cape buffalo are normally at Sedudu in large numbers and commonly swim to the island from the “mainland” during the cruise. Unforgettable! Lunch is served on the boat cruise. After the boat cruise there is a game drive along the Chobe River, with sundown drinks and snacks, then back to the lodge in the early evening.
Morning walks are offered in front of the lodge in the Chobe Forest Reserve. Our senior walking guide will introduce you to the smaller aspects of African wildlife, such as tracks and signs. The walking safaris are weather dependent. The walk explores the floodplain and open areas close to the lodge – a wonderful experience which stimulates all the senses and brings a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. You arrive back at the lodge in time for a hearty breakfast. For those on “early mornings” there is a wake-up call and tea, coffee and snacks available at the main lodge.
Muchenje is in the Western Chobe Forest Reserve and we are licensed to provide night time game drives within the reserve. After dinner the guides invite you to leave the lodge to explore the Chobe Forest Reserve for a night drive. Although it is only an hour or so long, it gives a different perspective to the African bush. It is a wonderful opportunity to find nocturnal animals which have not featured during the other drives, such as genets, civets, porcupines and hyenas. The evenings are often rounded off with a few drinks around the fire and swapping safari stories and star gazing.
On the 4th or 5th day of a stay we can offer mokoro rides along the Chobe River in front of Muchenje Safari Lodge. Although this will be interesting for most people, it will be particularly interesting to birders. This trip can be done at any time during the day but is particularly good in the morning, it lasts around 2 hours. The trip will depend upon the river level, but should be available year round.