Muchenje Safari Lodge
Game-rich tranquillity on Chobe's quiet western front
Muchenje Safari Lodge
To the west of Chobe National Park is Chobe Forest Reserve, home to one of the few remaining natural timber forests in Botswana. Lying in a private concession in this off-the-tourist-track reserve is Muchenje Safari Lodge, a laid-back retreat set high on an escarpment with views across a seasonal floodplain to the distant river. The lodge is owner-run and -managed, so every detail has been carefully considered, from the comfortable main area and lovely chalets to the fresh, homely meals, prolific wildlife (the region is one of the richest birdwatching areas in Africa) and top-quality guided drives and nature walks.
At the lodge
The communal area is a large, thatched, split-level building, with canvas sides usually rolled up to let in the breeze and make the most of the view. There's a bar, plenty of comfortable couches, a large dining table for family-style group meals and, on a mezzanine, a small library with a board games. Outside is a fire-pit where pre-dinner drinks (and nightcaps) are served, and three viewing decks overlooking the floodplain. There's a pool, some gym equipment and a gift shop.
Stay in one of 10 thatched private cottages (for two) or the family unit (sleeps four). Each unit is beautifully furnished with imaginative homely flair. All overlook the floodplain and are air-conditioned, with private en-suite bathrooms (two in the family cottage), large, comfortable beds with mosquito netting, tea- and coffee-making stations and 24-hour power. Newly built private decks are perfect for watching animals drinking at the river and gazing at the starry night sky.
Activities at Muchenje are flexible, but we recommend that you take a morning, afternoon or full-day game drive to see elephant, buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, African wild dog and other plains game. And don't forget the birds – they're a showstopper! See nocturnal creatures on night drives, cruise the river, take a walking safari to check the smaller creatures and enjoy up-close encounters with big game. Visit the local school (enquire about the supplies it needs when you're booking).