Reviews of Baines' Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
17 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Baines' Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Fabulous Baines "
Safari drives were excellent - guide Fred was very knowledgeable and made sure we had plenty of opportunities to sit and watch the wildlife - excellent at tracking
Walking with elephants exprience is a must - an extremely informative emotional time - and clearly demonstrates the bond between Doug and Sandi - very moving
Baines camp felt you were very much part of the community- location felt nicely secluded and very private - rarely came across any other trucks on the drives
You need to appreciate all the wildlife and it’s not all about the big five" See all these reviews: 6n in Botswana; 3n in Zambia
"Baines' Camp review"
Other guests seemed to really enjoy the starlight bed & bath options although we didn't try either. Our guide was Max who in comparison to other guides seemed very slow and methodical but with a great eye. Max found two leopards at great distance that I wouldn't have seen if they were fluorescent orange. Sightings were good but few." See all these reviews: 14n in Botswana
"Baines' Camp review"
The staff was very friendly and helpful. Food and accommodations were tops. Our guide, Fred, was so genuinely enthusiastic about everything we saw on the game drives. He was incredibly knowledgeable about all of the flora and fauna. He seems to really enjoy his guests and his job. I can't say enough about the attention to detail from Fred and the staff.
Great camp!" See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana
"Baines' Camp review"
The safety briefing was very thorough and our guide was excellent.
Mel, the locum manager was brilliant, especially as I had a bad reaction to my malaria tablets - she got me back on track straight away. She was very "on the ball" and made sure everything ran smoothly.
We arranged an Elephant Experience for them here - and they commented:
So worth doing. A magical experience I would recommend to anyone with a love of elephants.
At no time did we feel in any way threatened by these huge animals. To be able to actually get up close and touch them was a rare privilege" See all these reviews: 9n in Botswana; 3n in Zambia
"Baines' Camp review"
Enjoyed the elephant encounter but could be shorter (some of the history was repeated) and a little over the top in the "performance " area. We were in a very large group which added to the time.
Highlights: Guides (Professor Ice and Fred), Singers/Entertainment, Genet sighting, free wifi, Dion(manager)
Lows: very small beds, isolated from rest of group on our first night and ate alone. Seems to cater more to honeymooners." See all these reviews: 12n in Botswana; 1n in South Africa
"Baines' Camp review"
Our guide was like a Motswana Crocodile Dundee- he even wore a croc rimmed hat! The lions were spotted and we watched them curiously, waiting, still and silent as the sun sank and we realized that a huge heard of Wildebeest were being rounded up for the kill. A few hundred stunned looking eyes were staring out at us and suddenly the entire herd took off, full speed past us in unison. Two of the three young lions chased all but three wildebeest, who stood motionless, dumfounded, as though processing their imminent future as the lions' supper. But the lions didn't partake. They plopped down to relax in the grass- apparently it was just a practice run...
The dinners were superb, under the stars by the the water's edge. Steve, the chef was charming and let me believe that they forgot that I didn't eat meat until he presented me with the most delicious vegetarian meal I can ever remember. I would go all the way back just to have that dinner again!
Tiny, the manager has a giant personality, and by the end of only two days there, I felt that we were friends. I did not get the chance to say goodbye or exchange contact information, but if I knew of a way I would...
Baines was the only camp that had bungalows instead of tents, but they still felt like part of the wild. and the presence of wild animals precluded walking unescorted on the boardwalks after dark. The rooms are lovely and the decks outside are spectacular. If offered the chance to sleep out under the stars, do not hesitate- these were the most amazing nights surrounded by infinite stars, feeling like floating in the heavens but with the bushbabies scurrying nearby, while falling asleep to the lions' call and the leopard's saw like sounds not far off in the night... Steps were slushing by in the water surrounding the deck, but whose? These were the two most wonderful night's sleep I shall never forget...
The elephant excursion, an add on option at Baines, left a permanent impression. I always knew that elephants are intelligent, with long memories and that they are known to mourn their young. I did had not previously experienced the depth of their understanding and elephantality- this was not anthropomorphic. They were unique beings in their own right. Three elephants had been orphaned and were taken care of by an American couple who were knowledgeable and had a connection with the elephants that was like family. I was concerned that the interactions would be like circus tricks, and the elephants did perfectly respond to verbal commands, but they were clearly there voluntarily mostly it seemed for the oranges, treats and affection. They could wander off at will. They were free, but appeared to enjoy the attentions and, of course, showing off.
We were encouraged to walk with an elephant, trunk in hand. I walked with Jabu, the greatest of the three, and when I though that t I should let someone else have a turn and let go of his trunk, he held on to my hand and we kept walking. He liked me- and the feeling was mutual. It was clear when they were amused. They even smiled, and when one wanted the lime light you'd know it. They are able to speak at a wavelength that we are unable to perceive, but they understand us. They are magical, intelligent, magnificent animals, original, with a depth of emotion that was unmistakable and endearing." See all these reviews: 17n in Botswana
"Baines' Camp review"
There were memorable touches at this camp. Returning to our tent the first night after dark following the evening game drive we discovered two tubs were on our deck filled with water and bubbles 4 feet high. My first ever bubble bath. The second night we slept out on the deck in our beds and under the stars. These were wonderful touches.
On the other hand the tents are good but not great--better than Kwara but not as large or as nice as Labala. There is no comfortable place to sit inside the tent. Baines clearly tries to provide a high level of service with touches of luxury." See all these reviews: 6n in Botswana; 3n in South Africa; 2n in Namibia; 1n in Zambia
"A Lovely Camp and great Elephant Experience"
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." See all these reviews: 5n in Botswana; 2n in Zambia
"Baines Camp, real elephant experience"
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." See all these reviews: 9n in Botswana; 3n in Zambia
"Baines' Camp review"
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." See all these reviews: 12n in Botswana
Holiday styles & special interests in Botswana
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Other lodges in Okavango Delta Safari Reserves
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Kwara Camp's private reserve boasts land and water activities year round, with excellent game-viewing opportunities and access to permanent channels of the north-east Okavango Delta.
On a secluded island within a private reserve, Little Vumbura combines superb game viewing with a broad diversity of habitats in a truly picturesque setting.
With experienced staff and a wealth of activities, Shinde offers a traditional safari in an exceptionally varied and wildlife-rich environment.
Chitabe Lediba, in Botswana's southern Okavango Delta, is a small family friendly safari camp; it offers great dry-land safaris and in our experience consistently delivers good game sightings.
Sandibe Safari Lodge
The luxurious Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge lies in a private concession in the heart of the Okavango Delta, beside Moremi Game Reserve, with superb big-game viewing.
In a beautiful part of the Delta, Kanana focuses on fantastic water activities and birding – including exclusive access to an impressive heronry.
In the southern Okavango Delta, the excellent Chitabe Camp concentrates on dry-land safaris in an area that we've found particularly good for wild dog sightings.
Set in the Kwara Reserve, offering superb wildlife viewing year-round, Splash offers both land and water activities led by guides with a particular knack for tracking big game.
Footsteps across the Delta
Small and very rustic, Footsteps across the Delta focuses on walking safaris; it also runs a special children’s programme so is particularly suitable for families.
Tubu Tree Camp
A traditional tented camp with a distinctive tree-house feel, Tubu Tree offers some of the best game viewing in the Jao Reserve.
Nxabega Tented Camp
Nxabega offers a selection of both land- and water-based activities, plus very good guiding, food and service, but game viewing can be somewhat erratic.
Indulgently stylish and luxurious, Vumbura Plains offers superb game viewing and birding on an exceptionally varied private reserve.
Gomoti Plains Camp
Overlooking a tributary of the Gomoti River, Gomoti Plains Camp is a classically designed camp with very comfortable tents in a good game-viewing area.
Jacana Camp is a small safari camp with an informal island feel; it is ideal for water-based activities in the Delta and offers excellent birdwatching.
Deep in the Delta, overlooking a floodplain, Kwetsani Camp is a small, high-end camp with good access to areas for land and water-based activities.
For an affordable yet varied safari encompassing a range of eco-systems, the traditional Mapula Lodge takes a lot of beating.
Duba Plains Camp
Duba Plains Camp is a traditional safari camp, best known for the thrilling lion and buffalo interaction that is often found here in broad daylight.
In a private concession south of Moremi Game Reserve, Stanley's Camp offers 4WD game drives, seasonal water activities and a superb elephant interaction.
Little Tubu is a new, traditional camp with just three tented chalets and a distinctive tree-house feel. The areas around it can be explored by water and land-based activities year round.
Pom Pom Camp
Pom Pom Camp lies amidst stunning Okavango Delta scenery. Come for idyllic mokoro trips and great birdwatching, and accept that big-game sightings here are a bonus.
Duba Explorers Camp
Intimate and elegant, Duba Explorers Camp promises a firm safari focus in a remote corner of the Okavango, led by a team who value the highest guiding and hosting standards.
In a pristine wilderness environment deep in the Okavango Delta, the seasonal Pelo Camp is tented yet comfortable, with activities focusing on excursions by mokoro.
Xaranna is a plush tented camp amongst the idyllic waterways and islands of the Delta. Each air-conditioned tent has a plunge pool. Water activities and pampering are the focus here.
Seba Camp is a luxury camp in a lovely location that offers the full range of water and land safari activities, depending on the time of year. This camp is particularly suitable for families.
In a beautiful area with fantastic water activities, Jao combines an idyllic location with high levels of luxury and service, and a top-end spa.
Beautifully located in a private concession overlooking the Gomoti River, the traditional Mma Dinare is very well-priced for the Okavango.
Setari Camp stands on an island dotted with palm trees, close to the base of the Okavango’s ‘Panhandle"
Abu Camp is an exclusive safari camp on the western side of the Botswana's Okavango Delta - offering superb elephant-back safaris and opportunities to walk with them too.
Okavango Walking Safari
The Okavango Delta Walking Safari camps in a secluded Okavango Delta Reserve where there are few roads; the ideal location for a walking trail led by an expert guide.
Kiri Camp is the latest Okavango offering from the excellent team behind Machaba. In an exciting new location in the heart of the Delta we cannot wait to visit this new camp.
4 Rivers is a new camp in a previously in accessible area of the excellent Kwara concession.
On a remote island within a vast private concession, the eclectic Duke’s Camp is nestled among mature trees overlooking wildlife-rich plains of the Okavango.
Eagle Island Lodge
Eagle Island Lodge is a luxurious camp with international-style facilities including air conditioning and intercom in each room; offering water based activities in the Okavango Delta.
Deep in quintessentially 'Okavango' territory, between deep-water and dry-land habitats, promises to be a great combination from a team who know all about the best in the Okavango.
Sitatunga Island Camp
Sitatunga Private Island: in this pristine corner of the Okavango Delta, even the name is evocative.
Xudum Delta Lodge
Xudum is a beautifully crafted lodge well situated to explore the Delta waterways. Each air-conditioned suite has a private plunge pool and a lofty viewing deck with a sala that doubles as a 'star bed'.
Luxurious and contemporary, the relatively new Qorokwe Camp is a gem in the Okavango Delta, offering land- and occasionally water-based activities in a prime wildlife area.