Baines' Camp

Reviews of Baines' Camp

Excellent(94%) From 10 travellers
Excellent
8
Good
1
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 10 of our travellers who have visited Baines' Camp, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Ms P and Ms G from Antigua
Arrived on: 15-Jun-2013 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

A Lovely Camp and great Elephant Experience

Baines Camp was absolutely lovely. It felt really luxurious with a beautiful, calm over-water setting. Great staff. Very comfortable rooms, and the woman who took care of our room Galesita (I think I've spelled it right) was amazing. My friend had a bubble bath under the stars on our front porch. Again, the food was delicious, the atmosphere very relaxing. The staff rather than singing as we arrived (which I always find a little embarrassing) put on a show on barbecue night. It was a very good show. Great singing, and then wonderful dancing and clowns. Really excellent dancing and clowns!

Their gift shop items were on display in the 'hall' which was great, and very tempting.

The only thing I found scary was driving through so much water, we always made it through unscathed, but I was a nervous passenger. When asked, they also provided tea for the non-drinkers at sundowners. We really enjoyed Baines Camp.

We really came for the elephant experience, and that was absolutely incredible. To be that close to three lovely elephants, to see how rough their skin was, how long their eyelashes, and to walk hand in trunk down the road with an elephant was an experience never to be forgotten. Doug and Sandy were great, kind, knowledgeable, great teachers and dedicated to their elephants.

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Mr P and Mr R from London
Arrived on: 15-Apr-2013 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Baines Camp, real elephant experience

On landing at the airstrip we were met by several landcruisers as there were several groups arriving together. The drive to camp took almost an hour but only because we were effectively enjoying our first game drive. It was great.

At camp we were greeted enthusiastically by the managers and staff, provided with a nice refreshing drink, introduced to our guide, July by name and then shown to our room by our housekeeper. The camp itself was just about everything we expected, a very comfortable room with private deck looking out over the delta and all mod cons.

That afternoon , after tea and snacks we were taken by July on our first drive. Just him and we two, it was fantastic. We stayed out until after dark and saw a leopard walking along the road in the light from July's searchlamp, two giant eagle owls and lots of other animals. Magical Back at camp we were given a very good dinner and as much to drink as we wished, and enjoyed the communal dining with our fellow guests.

And so it went on for 3 days. We went out on a motor boat (not a mokoro) for one afternoon and the remainder of the activities were by landcruiser. July always asked us what WE wanted to do or see and was extremely knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of his native country and the delta in particular.

The highlight of the whole trip was definitely on our first morning when we went on the Walking with Elephants experience. To get so close to such huge but gentle elephants was a humbling experience. It was very easy to believe that they are very intelligent and gentle. Looking up close into the eye of any of them you can "see their intelligence". Doug, their american "carer" was brilliant, a good mix of scientific knowledge and twenty plus years of anecdotes. Definitely among the top few experiences of my whole 60 years. Having an elephant put its trunk around you is really something very special.

Overall the camp was excellent. All of the staff were genuinely friendly and could not do enough to make our stay enjoyable. I would recommend Baines for anyone visiting the delta, and definitely to book the optional elephant experience which is definitely a one-off.

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Mr H and Ms C from Ruislip
Arrived on: 31-Mar-2013 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Baines' Camp review

There should be a super excellent category for Baines Camp. It was superb.

The staff were very friendly and helpful, the accommodation was excellent, we slept out under the stars each night and on our return from the afternoon drive on the last day bubble baths with bubbly wine had been set up for us. We could not fault it.

On top of which the guide was the best. Marvellous sense of humour, very knowledgeable, and giving us a talk on termite hills while the plane waiting to take us away was sitting on the runway will remain with me for a long time.

This was also the camp with the largest selection of activities - mokoro, speed boat ride, walking with elephants, bush walk plus usual game drives. This was by far the best camp on the trip.

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Mr & Mrs G from London
Arrived on: 15-Mar-2013 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Baines' Camp review

After being at Kalahari Plains camp then Little Vumbura, Baines camp had a lot to live up to. We were not disappointed and although we found the place slightly more staid and traditional than the others it was no less comfortable. the staff once again were impeccable, caring and personable and greatly contributed to our enjoyment.

The highlight was the "walking with Elephants" experience which We would recommend as unmissable if visiting Baines. It is an emotive experience being up so close with such interesting and beautiful animals and one that we will never forget.

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Mr & Mrs J - Surrey
Arrived on: 29-May-2012 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Baines' Camp review

Arrived by water as airstrip being renovated. Very good introduction. Elephant experience worth doing. Wifi at this camp. Very comfortable rooms - slept outside on balcony one night. Good food and great guides. Saw leopard with kill up a tree 10 minutes after arrival.

Slight hiccough on departure as airline hadn't informed camp that our departure time had been delayed so we waited 1.5 hours on airstrip with no information (being about an hour from Baines due to other airstrip being repaired, we had no chance to go back). This was remedied next time we flew with a little gift from airline by way of apology.

Baines was the only camp which gave advice about tipping in their in-room brochure but even this wasn't clear as to whether this was per person or in total.

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Mr and Mrs K from London
Arrived on: 27-Apr-2012 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Luxury at Baines' Camp

We had the vehicle to ourselves at Baines', which was great. Our guide was very good and knowledgeable, though it did seem that our tracker was just there for the ride. Good sightings of lions and wild dogs. Nice pool, away from the main camp.

Star beds are great - sleeping under the stars with hippos grunting all around you is quite an experience!

Food was exceptional, with lots of choice. Staff were very friendly. We also loved the nice touches of drinks on arrival back to camp and the watercolour painting set in the room!

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Expert Africa comments

We were delighted to read that these guests had a great time at Baines Camp. With regards the comment on the tracker we thought it important to mention that whilst a few camps in Botswana do indeed employ professional trackers to spot and track game, others take with them on drives what are known as escort guides.

We went back to Sanctuary regarding this point made by these guests and they came back to us with the following explanation:

Thank you for the positive feedback and the observation re the tracker. In NG32 the "tracker" is not a "tracker" as we normally understand it, but what is called an "escort guide" who represents the communities, to ensure Sanctuary (Baines parent company) are adhering to their rules etc.

Part of our standard guest briefing includes an explanation of the role of the escort guides, that is they are not employed by Sanctuary but are community trust employees. We will advise the managers to underpin this to guests, in the briefings

We are happy to hear that Sanctuary have reiterated the importance of correctly and adequately explaining the role of escort guides to guests and are satisfied that this will be better communicated to guests in the future.

Mr & Mrs M from Wiltshire
Arrived on: 11-Sep-2011 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent

Wonderful Camp

1 min by jeep from the airstrip (with hyenas and warthogs around) then 30-40 mins by speedboat through narrow channels of reeds to the camp. A delightful location, very comfortable cabin which stayed cool during the day and not too cold overnight, spacious shower room.

Food was good though on the whole the main courses could have been better, and we particularly enjoyed the hot croissants at breakfast.

Justin and Jackie are enthusiastic and sociable managers, we felt very well looked after. Excellent game drives.

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Mrs B from Leics
Arrived on: 3-Aug-2010 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Baines' Camp review

Just fabulous! We were tired and dirty when we arrived and it truly was an uplifting moment to be back to a really good shower, a super room to be in and a fabulous soft, duvet! It was certianly more formal than Lebala and Kwara but I think we were ready for that having lived for 8 days in the heat and dust!

Staff, service, food, facilities were all first rate.

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Mr A & Dr A from Delamere, Cheshire
Arrived on: 23-May-2009 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Baines' Camp review

Rolling your bed outside to sleep outside was a fantastic experince and not to be missed.

Also loved listening to the hippos walking past our room at night!

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Mr and Mrs K from Ingleton, Yorkshire
Arrived on: 27-Nov-2008 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Average
Average
Location:
Average
Average
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Poor
Poor
Facilities:
Average
Average

Baines' Camp review

Baines' has good accommodation but the location seems to be limited every drive went in the same direction and we saw the same animals in the same places every drive. The guiding wasn't as good as any of the Kwando camps and the boat trip wasn't as good as that at Kwara. We didn't do the makaro trip here.

That said, when we left Kwara we had seen everything we wanted to see except a leopard in daylight and cheetah cubs. On the drive from the airstrip to Baines we saw a leopard in a tree! We saw her again in the afternoon initially on the ground then she went into a different tree.

We did the elephant activity the following morning which was a great experience but considering the cost of that activity plus the cost of the stay at Baines it wasn't really worth it. I would have rather had a couple more days at Kwara.

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