Magotho Camp (Khwai Development Trust)
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Magotho Camp (Khwai Development Trust)

Moremi - Savuti Road 20 km from Khwai Village along River Khwai, Moremi Game Reserve Botswana
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Taken in khwai moremi on a mobile camping safaris.
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About

4.0
#15 of 19 campsites in Moremi Game Reserve
4.5 of 5 bubbles
Location
3.4 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
2.5 of 5 bubbles
Service
3.3 of 5 bubbles
Value
Magotho Campground is located 20 kms east of the Khwai Village along the main Moremi - Savuti Road. The cmpground derives its name from the Setswana of Acacia Erolba or Camel-thorn - these towering giants grow in abundance in the area and provide shade to the campsites. Elephant often wander quietly through the campsites allowing visitors the unique opportunity to observe them close up. The campground is divided into two locations: Campground 1 is to the north and has campsites numbered 9 to 15, Campground 2 is to the south and has campsites numbered 1 to 8.
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Moremi - Savuti Road 20 km from Khwai Village along River Khwai, Moremi Game Reserve Botswana
53Reviews14Q+A12Room tips

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Detailed Reviews
MikeE wrote a review Dec 2023
London, United Kingdom
+1
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Large shaded campsites along the northern edge of the Khwai river, with 100m+ in between sites. 4x4 and tent/camper obviously needed. No shop, be self sufficient. Last fuel from the south is Maun, and Muchenje if coming over Savuti.

Ablutions were functional and clean in September, water point at the ablutions, firewood available from the reception.

We had no Baboons or Vervets, but were visited by Honey Badgers. Lions close and vocal in the morning. Hippos grazing nearby in the evening.

This is one of my all time favourite places to stay and will be back in a heartbeat, I cannot rate the experience high enough.However, If you're expecting luxury, then this isn't for you. Facilities are minimal. By now you'll have self-driven many hours over bumpy sand roads, you're not expecting luxury, you're expecting the incredible natural wilderness all to yourself.

Booking is required - but also difficult to arrange direct - use the whatsapp number.
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Date of stay: September 2023
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Michael W wrote a review Aug 2022
Redding, Connecticut
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was one of the highlights of our 3+ weeks in Africa. The camping is very comfortable and what can you say when the sounds of hippos and lions pretty close to the tents mean you’d better not go to the toilet block at night, just in case (we did have an en-suite bathroom so didn’t have to hold it until the morning), not to mention the odd elephant strolling just a few yards in front of the camp.

We were so well looked after by Afro Trek Safaris (thanks to OT and his crew, who do an amazing job with setting up the camp and the meals in the open air, as well as the game drives.
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Date of stay: June 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Annemarie wrote a review Oct 2022
South Africa
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We loved this campsite. Secluded areas spread over a very large area with small ablution blocks dotted around. Wonderfully peaceful.

There are very many hippos in the river, and lots of elephants. We saw a leopard, lions and, on our way out early one morning, a pack of hyenas on a kill!

Definitely somewhere I would love to return to .
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Date of stay: September 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: The campsite is not well marked from the main road. Some signposts would be useful!
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Heidi K wrote a review Jul 2023
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Awsome wild camping at the banks of Khwai river. Clean ablutions and peacefull camping spots. It is frequently visited by different animals including predators (lions, leopards and hyenas) so you need to be careful. On the day we arrived the reception said that in morning there were 2 leopards visiting the camp so we need to be careful. When we were setting up our tents we had a elephant visitor just few meters away from us. During the evening bonfire we had hippos quite close by, and heard some lion roars during night. Next morning young leopard was strolling down the road near ablutions, so wild camping indeed.
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Date of stay: July 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
AlexTrainsEverywhere wrote a review Aug 2023
London
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mogotho campsite is brilliant for wildlife viewing, in our experience better than in Chobe or Moremi parks proper. We have seen lion, wild dog, eagle and huge elephant numbers from the campsite. The local area is fantastic for game.

Frustratingly our pitch was not numbered, so finding it was almost impossible, and it lacked any brai facilities (like a base) which is really poor practice in dry season when everything is so dry. The ablutions were not properly maintained and the reception area, where we got directions to the pitch, was badly signposted (and not on maps me or T4A) leading to us driving for ages to find it.
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Date of stay: August 2023Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Marc wrote a review Sept 2023
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We spent 4 nights at Magotho. Had stunning game viewing along the river front. Can recommend this camp site. Due to its remoteness you almost have the place to yourself. Would stay here again next time we go to Moremi.
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Date of stay: July 2023
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: You have to be self sufficient as there are no shops close by. Bathrooms are some distance...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Danie B wrote a review Jan 2014
Johannesburg, South Africa
1.0 of 5 bubbles
We arrived at this campsite after a very exciting drive next to the khwai river for 1 1/2 hours to get to the most amazing campsite with big trees and lots of game everywhere and not a single other person in sight. We saw more game from our campsite than we did for 4 days in Moremi game reserve, up to this point we score this site a Excellent......until the khwai development trust people arrived late at night telling us that it is not safe and there are armed people robbing people and we should team up with other campers somewhere. Needless to say i did not sleep at all that night and the next morning before sunrise the KDT cruiser came flying past our tent and chased the armed robber which was 50m away from our tent!! We packed up and after paying 290 pula per person (the most expensive camsite in the whole of bots) we left in a hurry! So for this i give it a terrible rating:(
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Date of stay: December 2013Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Bev F wrote a review May 2017
Ballito, South Africa
2.0 of 5 bubbles
We have just returned from our 3rd trip to Magotho in 3 years and will not be rushing back again! I see we are not alone in our experiences of big tour parties taking over and spoiling the wild, peaceful place it once was. Our last night (Friday 5th May, 2017) was spoilt by Afritrek's advance party arriving at 10 pm at site 02, keeping their big trucks' engines running for an hour and then throwing tents, tables etc down for another half an hour - unnecessarily so. The rules are quite clear that campers show consideration for others and that there should be no driving at night and yet these people showed no regard for those rules. We had been enjoying the sounds of lions and hyena roaring nearby, which they totally destroyed. When we approached them the next morning, they weren't the least bit apologetic, which was a pity. Considering how much the Khwai Development are charging, we do feel there should be more stricter control of these issues. We cannot recommend Magotho to anyone if this is how the area is being run.

Afritrek's party was obviously going to be a large one. It used to be the policy that large parties were given a site some distance away from private campers. Again, it is a pity that the Community Trust does not follow this policy anymore, as big groups do make a lot more noise.

It was particularly busy this time. Last year there were 8 sites. This year there were 15 with plenty of additional unmarked sites being used. We would hope that the Trust will not make any more sites, as it means there are people around every corner. We thought we were paying more so as to be isolated and exculsive. Quite the opposite! It looks like the Trust has got greedy and is accepting as many as they can. We hope the wild, unspoilt character of Magotho is not being lost forever, as this was its great attraction.

We are happy to see that ablutions promised to be ready by March 2017 have not happened. Having to be totally self-sufficient was part of the charm of the area.

As seasoned campers in Botswana for the last 40 years, we feel qualified to comment. Hoping you will take note of our concerns and that Magotho will return to the paradise is it was.
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Date of stay: May 2017
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
2.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Brittany_11_10 wrote a review Jan 2019
Los Angeles, California
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Maybe it's because I've done a lot of backcountry camping, where you're lucky to find a patch of earth flat enough to pitch your tent let alone ablutions or any other amenities. Or maybe it's because I've also done a lot of car camping, in places like Malibu Creek Campground (So Cal), where it's so developed and there are so many amenities, the campground is essentially a block party, with people bumping loud music well into the morning, girls clogging the bathroom to put on makeup, and you just want to pop in and the use toilet, and other similar activities that I don't relate to camping whatsoever.

So, for me, one of the best aspects of Magotho is that you're just out in nature. Isn't that why people go camping in the first place? To enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the animals and the earth, unencumbered by, well, anything? (I know that's obviously not the case, as evidenced by the countless reviewers on here who complained about the lack of facilities and amenities and blah blah blah).

I, for one, go to places like Botswana to enjoy nature--and nothing else. If you're not packing all you need with you anyway, what are you doing camping out in nature in the first place? Do you really need a receptacle in which to pee? (As opposed to just standing by your truck if you're a dude, or popping a squat nearby if you're a female? How soft are we humans these days anyway?) Do you really need...I don't know. I don't know what other amenities people are wanting and complaining about not having. Showers? You can't go a night or two without taking a shower? An on-site restaurant? A bar? Aren't you packing around your own food and drinks?

I understand the complaint about Khwai Development Trust members not always showing up to the campsites to make sure that whosever camping there actually has a reservation--and I'd be upset if I turned up to "my" reserved site and saw someone else there. But the other complaints? Just go stay in a nice lodge. (Also, a guy from the trust did show up at our site to check on our reservation, so it definitely happens at least occasionally).

Also, as long as people keep paying to camp there, I'm guessing that the land will remain pretty untouched, and the animals will continue roaming there freely. I mean, isn't that what people who go on safari are after anyway? To go into the wilderness, and see wild animals? Campsites like Magotho help ensure that these lands stay wild, specifically because of the money the locals are making off of them/the campsites. I don't see why that's a hard concept for people to understand.

You're not paying a park entry fee at Magotho because Magotho is not inside any park; it's just the wilderness--that could otherwise be developed by locals if they weren't making a decent amount of money off it from campers.

As for the lack of a fence, doesn't that give you great stories to tell your friends and family back home? You know, like the night you slept in the wilds of Botswana, without a fence, and lions were strolling through camp?

One last rant before I list the positives: to the person a few down who said "the campsites are far apart and qui(e)t and peaceful...the area is beautiful, and we were lucky to see wild dogs killing a water buck in front of us while we were driving along the river", why on EARTH would that incredible sighting--as well as the other positives mentioned--warrant only an "average" review? What the heck is average about seeing, right in front of you, wild dogs killing a water buck? And then sleeping at a quiet, peaceful campsite in a beautiful area? What on Earth would make this a five-star experience, being able to pee in a toilet afterwards? Taking a shower to, I don't know, wash off the excitement of such a cool sighting? Having Wi-Fi so you can instantly share with your 738 "friends" on Facebook, or stalkers (excuse me, followers) on Instagram, the amazing sighting you just had instead of just appreciating it on your own for a bit?

Okay, rant over; on to the positives. Magotho is:

- gorgeous
- quiet
- peaceful
- remote
- convenient for early morning and night game driving
- spacious
- rife with wildlife (we saw hippos, elephants, birds, waterbuck, impala, wildebeest, tsessebe--many roaming by camp--and apparently people see lions, wild dogs, and giraffes there as well)

It was frustrating to book online, and yes, the trust can get with the century and accept payments made via PayPal (as opposed to a bank wire), but otherwise, this was one of the best campgrounds I've ever camped at.
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Date of stay: December 2018
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Persistence yields getting a reservation
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Danica F wrote a review Mar 2018
Hluhluwe
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Wow what a place to camp!, we had to provide all our water,food and there are no ablutions .its an amazing bush experience ,although we hit the rainy season we had good animal and bird sightings, the camp sites are big and spread out so you could only see a camp fire in the distance. The staff are very friendly and come to remove your rubbish everyday. This park is well worth going back to.
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Date of stay: February 2018Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Answer from Minex Neello B
Maun, Botswana2 contributions
Water is being connected on the ablutions. We expect them to be fully operational in a month's time.
Cara M asked a question Dec 2017
Gardiner, Montana30 contributions11 helpful votes
Is the campsite typically accessible from Khwai in March or are the roads all washed out? Thanks!
Answer from Richard_Outhwaite
Singapore, Singapore53 contributions31 helpful votes
March is still be considered wet season, or shoulder season at best. You may be able to access the campsite, but there will be numerous water crossings i.e. water coming over the bonnet, to get there. It's definitely an experience! There were plans to build more bridges at main fording points, not sure how many have been completed. It's also a more difficult time to spot game. When the water is abundant, the animals are much more spread out and often in accessible. Tracks within the park are flooded out so they can stay well away from people in 4x4s.
Answer from Numzani
Mackay40 contributions84 helpful votes
No sign of them when I was there in July 2017 & the area is so large I wouldn't think it would be practicable.
Marc wrote a tip Sept 2023
5 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"You have to be self sufficient as there are no shops close by. Bathrooms are some distance from the individual camp sites."
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Annemarie wrote a tip Oct 2022
South Africa116 contributions14 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The campsite is not well marked from the main road. Some signposts would be useful!"
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Paula Gaviria wrote a tip Aug 2019
Barcelona, Spain23 contributions33 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"If you choose the river spots, all the safari tours will come early in the morning."
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Merfyn Owen wrote a tip May 2019
4 contributions4 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Camps 1-6 near the river.....our camp was away from the river and nicely isolated."
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Brittany_11_10 wrote a tip Jan 2019
Los Angeles, California1,731 contribution818 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Persistence yields getting a reservation"
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LOCATION
BotswanaNorth-West DistrictOkavango DeltaMoremi Game Reserve
NUMBER OF ROOMS
15
Prices are provided by our partners for one room, with variable occupancy rules as provided by the property, and reflect total costs of the stay, including all taxes and fees known to our partners. Please see our partners for more details.
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MAGOTHO CAMP (KHWAI DEVELOPMENT TRUST) - Campground Reviews (Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana) - Tripadvisor