Baines' Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Photo of the starbath Photo of the guests having a romantic outside dinner

Baines' Camp, Okavango Delta

"adventure, enchantment and - 'luxury, naturally' - delivered with understated charm"

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Address: Baines' Camp, Okavango Delta

Children: We welcome children 6 years and older
Bed capacity: 5 suites accommodating 10 guests

The setting

Sanctuary Baines' Camp is on a vast private concession bordering the Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. With its vast and diverse wildlife species, it is one of the premium destinations in Southern Africa for a dynamic safari experience. A true wilderness safari in Africa.

Baines' was named after the 19th century explorer and painter Thomas Baines. This small camp with five suites is set on elevated platforms in the tree line. Wooden decks offer expansive views over the permanent water of the Boro River and a lagoon teeming with life. This is an eco-friendly property, built with commercially grown wood, with over 150,000 recycled aluminium cans incorporated within the walls to provide insulation.

The main camp

The camp is raised above the permanent water of the Boro River while wooden walkways connect the main guest areas and luxury rooms.

The swimming pool - with two thatched salas on either side - and the wide wooden deck that surrounds the main dining and sitting room is the ideal place to relax while observing the varied wildlife present. Watch hippos wallow at the edge of the lagoon that the camp overlooks, or see one of the many elephants who live here.

Electricity supply is by silent packed generator and solar energy.

  • Small camp with 5 suites
  • Romantic star beds and star baths make it a perfect place for a honeymoon
  • Elephant interaction
  • Land and river based activities
  • Bush walks and night drives
  • Bush skills activity
  • Eco-friendly camp built from cans
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi available in the rooms

Accommodation - Star Baths & Sky Beds

With star baths and sky beds on your private deck, this is a romantic oasis. Five luxury suites are set on elevated platforms with wooden decks that offer expansive views over a permanent lagoon on the Boro River. Each luxury suite features en-suite facilities, a private viewing deck and four-poster "sky beds" swathed in mosquito netting. En-suite facilities include an indoor shower and double vanity.

The four-poster beds are fully mobile and can easily be wheeled out onto the private wooden deck overlooking the shimmering waters of the Boro River. For the ultimate indulgence, guests can enjoy a "star bath" on the deck.

Traditional safari ceiling fans create a cooling breeze at even the hottest times of the year. Should you wish, your bed can be wheeled out onto the private wooden deck for a night under the stars, overlooking the shimmering waters of the Boro River where hippo can often be spotted. Or take an indulgent soak under the stars on your own private viewing deck in our opulent star bath. At Baines' Camp, the sky's the limit.

Each suite is equipped with:

  • a hairdryer
  • ceiling fan
  • in-room safe
  • minibar
  • mosquito nets
  • complimentary wireless internet access

Dining

From delicious dining to spectacular views to sundowner drinks in the middle of the bush - Baines' Camp has so much to offer.

Start the day with a delectable meal consisting of a full English and continental breakfast, before departing for your morning game drive. If you decide to experience our elephant interaction activity, you will meet Jabu, Morula and Thembi and enjoy a secluded bush brunch in the company of these three gentle giants - now that is lunch with a difference.

Elegant high teas are served in the afternoon before departing for your afternoon game activity. It is often hard to believe that the chefs are able to make such delicious cakes, cookies and treats - all here in the middle of the African bush! On return, relax at the pool or sip on a cocktail on your private viewing deck before returning to the main area for your three course plated dinner.

Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, snacks during activities and dinners are included in your stay. Breakfast is served before the morning safari. During safari we will serve coffee, tea and a choice of scones and biscuits out in the bush. You will savour your lunch back at the camp.

Afternoon tea is served just before the afternoon safari and offers a choice of cakes, sweet and savoury treats, tea, coffee and fresh fruit juices. Afternoon and evening game drives include classic sun-downer cocktails and canapes at particular selected spots before returning to the camp for pre-dinner drinks and dinner.

  • Breakfast: Continental and full English Breakfast
  • Lunch: Table d'hôte, with a variety of choices, one being a vegetarian
  • Dinner: Table d'hôte, 3 course meal with 2 to 3 choices, one being a vegetarian

Game viewing

Game viewing around camp is thrilling. Water crossings are part of the thrill and watching zebra standing belly-deep grazing is a sight to see. The private concession affords the opportunity to venture out after dark on night game drives to see the nocturnal animals.

Key wildlife include: lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, impala, zebra, wild dog, hyena, and hippo.

The camp offers an elephant interaction experience in partnership with the Living with Elephants Foundation.

An American couple, Doug and Sandi Groves, launched the Living with Elephants foundation in 1999. The charity is dedicated to creating harmonious relationships between people and elephants. Living with Elephants works to secure the long term future of its elephant ambassadors. Elephants can live for 70 years so when Doug and Sandi adopted Jabu, Thembi and Morula - rescuing them from culling operations that had left them orphans - they knew they were making a lifelong commitment to the trio which will most likely outlive them by decades.

Every year, Living with Elephants offers children from neighbouring villages the opportunity to interact with the elephant trio. Immersed in the world of the African elephant for two days, ten children at a time (aged between 9 and 12 years), along with two adult chaperones, take part in active educational games and share in discussions, art and music. Learning includes the natural history, ecology and behaviour of these animals, their complex interaction with people and actions that encourage a positive relationship between elephants and humans. Sanctuary Retreats is proud to sponsor this valuable cause.

Activities

Game drives

Enjoy game drives, spotting wildlife from open-sided 4X4 vehicles, accompanied by professional guides. Because the camp is in a private concession, guests see animals up close and may discover incredible nocturnal species during evening drives.

Mokoro excursions and motorised boating

A different way to view wildlife is in a mokoro - a locally made dugout canoe - or in a motorised boat. When the Okavango Delta is flooded, the case for much of the year, experience the gentle pace of a poled mokoro or motor boat along the narrow channels. Sit back and relax as you glide through lily ponds - explore the waterways and lagoons that make up the Okavango Delta as you see the plains game from a new angle.

Mekoros are available from January to October and motorised boating from February to September but can't be guaranteed.

Walking safaris

Discover the signs of the bush, accompanied by your guide and armed ranger on thrilling walking safaris - get close to the animals in perfect safety with one of our guides.

Bush skills adventure

Learn what it takes to survive in the delta, from those who grew up here. Our local expert guides are ready to share their knowledge and expertise. By day put your bush skills to the test - at night indulge in the luxuries of this five star camp.

The bush skills adventure is perfect for those who want to experience a real bush learning adventure. This activity is available at no extra cost to a minimum of four and a maximum of six guests. If two guests want to do this activity, a private vehicle needs to be booked and paid for when making the booking. We suggest you stay at least three nights to experience all the activities in the bush skills program.

Learn how to:

  • Pole a mokoro
  • Make traditional spears for fishing and how to catch fish in the delta (catch and release basis)
  • Track and identify animal foot prints
  • Identify and find edible plants (seasonal)
  • Make rope out of natural materials
  • Find water in the bush
  • Construct and place traps to catch wildlife (theory only)
  • Harvest palm nuts
  • Build a shelter
  • Navigate by the stars or by the sun
  • Weave a basket

Elephant interaction

We invite you to explore Africa from an elephant's viewpoint. Enjoy the great experience of a leisurely walk - lasting up to 4 hours - with a trio of semi-habituated elephants, followed by a picnic lunch in their company. This uplifting experience creates a permanent impact on those sharing time with the elephants. Interaction will be granted to at least 2 guests; is limited to 10 guests, and is possible for children 9 years and older. Please note the elephants are on leave each year from 15 January to 15 February. Pre-booking is a must.

Scenic helicopter flights

Enjoy scenic helicopter flights over the permanent delta, exposing areas unreachable by vehicle or boat, and showcasing the sheer enormity of the Okavango Delta. You may choose between a 30, 45 or 60 minute tour in a three seater, one turbine Bell Jet Ranger helicopter. The doors can be removed for unrestricted photographic opportunities. Guests may choose when to go on their helicopter flights - we recommend early morning and late afternoon as these times offer the best light for photography. Flights are offered on a year round basis. Preferred flight times can be requested in camp when booking. Available to at least 2 guests.

The extra activities are not included in the tariff and can be pre-booked or while guests are in camp.

Rates

  • Rates are quoted per person per night in USD rate
  • Rates are subject to change without prior notice

6 January - 14 June 2016 / 1 November - 20 December 2016

Per person sharing $750
Per person single $938
Child rate $188

15 - 30 June 2016 / 1 September - 31 October 2016

Per person sharing $1370
Per person single $2055
Child rate $685

1 July - 31 August 2016 / 21 December 2016 - 5 January 2017

Per person sharing $1530
Per person single $2295
Child rate $765

Included

  • all meals
  • game viewing
  • park fees
  • laundry services
  • emergency medical evacuation
  • beverages (alcoholic or non-alcoholic - with the exception of champagne and premium brands)

Excluded

  • Walking with Elephants and the Scenic Helicopter Flight
  • Babysitting
  • Tips/ Gratuities
  • Curios and personal items
  • Champagne and premium brand alcoholic beverages
  • Any in-room treatments
  • International air travel
  • Visas - where required
  • Departure tax
  • Road transfers
  • Internal flights

We welcome children at Bains' Camp.

Our friendly guides may offer dedicated children's activities:

  • teaching them the art of poling a mokoro - a local dug-out canoe used in the Delta
  • finding water and edible plants in the bush
  • making rope out of natural materials

Children aged 2 and younger stay free of charge

Children aged 15 years and younger are required to share with an adult. The camp can accommodate 2 triples per night - triples are subject to availability upon booking

Children aged 3 - 15 inclusive pay child reduction rate when sharing with 2 paying adults.

In all other circumstances children pay the applicable adult fare.

Children aged 15 years and younger are not allowed on walking safaris. A private vehicle must be booked for children aged 5 and younger.

Housekeepers will babysit children while adults are on an outing. Child minding is charged at a nominal fee paid to the child minder.

Special occasions

Guests celebrating their honeymoon will receive special surprises during their stay. We try to keep honeymooners separate from other guests.

Honeymoon services

  • Sparkling wine on arrival in the room
  • Romantic turn downs
  • Private candle lit dinner at the pool deck
  • Private island lunch in the bush (if possible)
  • Star baths set up on room deck (in summer months)
  • Star beds rolled out onto room deck for a night under the stars

Useful information

Clothing

Clothing should be cool and comfortable. Greens, browns and khaki coloured clothing are advisable for safaris. We suggest long sleeves and long trousers for morning and evenings due to mosquitoes, and a fleece jacket as it could be cool in the early morning. Sturdy and comfortable shoes are essential.

Sunscreen, sunglasses, hats are essential, and binoculars and good cameras are a must.

The camp provides a torch, and complimentary mosquito repellent and toiletries.

Climate

Green season begins in late November and lasts through early March. This season has hot sunny days with occasional afternoon thundershowers cooling the surrounding bush. Average daily temperatures range from 20°C-38°C. The dry season runs from late May to early October. In winter (June-August) temperatures can plummet as low as 0°C at night with a daily high of around 26°C-28°C.

Health

We recommend travellers to take precautions against malaria and we recommend speaking with your GP or personal physician four to six weeks before departure.

Travellers from, or passing through, countries declared as yellow fever infected areas must have an international health certificate of vaccination for yellow fever upon arrival into Botswana.

Money & credit cards

Extras can be paid for with Visa, MasterCard and traveller's cheques. US dollars, Pounds, Euros and Rands are accepted but we will give change in the local currency. Diners Card and American Express Cards are not accepted.

Tipping guideline

Tipping is not obligatory but is generally accepted. Rates are US$15 per guest per day for the guide and US$10 per guest per day for the rest of the staff.

Special requests

Baines's Camp prides itself on its personalised services. Please let us know if you have any special requests, interests, dietary requirements, allergies or medical conditions.

Photo of dinner on the dack at sunset
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