Baines Camp in the Okavango Delta
Baines Camp is located on a huge private concession bordering the Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta, home to some of the most spectacular wildlife on Earth. This is Sanctuary’s smallest and most intimate camp, with only five luxurious suites.
Baines Camp is set in a grove of trees, and surrounded by papyrus beds, this low environmental impact camp has been built using commercially grown wood and recycled tin cans. The local community in Maun were invited to collect as many cans as they could, and paid a fee for every can collected. These cans were then incorporated into the camp buildings, forming the backbone of the structures.
There is a communal swimming pool, 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 here. See prowling lions looking for prey at the edge of the lagoon that the camp overlooks, or watch one of the many elephants who live in the area.
The five tented suites at Baines Camp are opulent and luxurious, with adjoining outdoor bathrooms and four-poster beds swathed in mosquito netting. 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.
Sanctuary Retreats and Living With Elephants invite you to explore Africa with us from an elephant’s perspective, walking in the gigantic and silent footsteps of nature’s great masterpiece. For more information please see our additional activities page.
Baines Camp Game Viewing
Here in the Okavango Delta lives some of the most spectacular and varied wildlife on Earth. Famed for its big cat and bird population, the delta is a peaceful haven where animals have been protected for decades and know they will not be disturbed. Guests have the opportunity to see animals up close when expert guides accompany them on morning and evening game drives in open 4 x 4 vehicles. A night game drive is the perfect means to see some of the nocturnal animals one wouldn’t see during the day time. The park also boasts a diversity of landscape with desert, dry savannah, lagoon and swamps in close proximity – cheetah, crocodile and elephant can also be seen on a game drive.
The wildlife is spectacular all year round and because Sanctuary Baines is set in a private concession guests can get very close in perfect safety with one of the guides. Highly trained English speakers, the guides show visitors all the signs of the bush on exciting walks along the animal paths that surround the camp. They can show travellers how to track and follow even the most elusive of animals in the Okavango or introduce guests to some of the 500 bird species that live at this confluence of habitats. Looking at the size of a rhino’s footprint, and tracking the animals nocturnal perambulations is informative, exciting and a little nerve wracking for first-timers. Walking is a levelling experience for many guests, who have only ever driven around in a safari vehicle and enjoyed sitting above lion, elephants and other animals. On foot, one cannot approach these animals, obviously, but learning about them, walking their walk and seeing the bush at their level is a wonderful and educational experience.
MOKORO AND MOTORISED BOAT EXCURSIONS
One of the best ways to see the wildlife around Sanctuary Baines Camp is in one of the locally made dugout canoes. These used to be carved from ebony but are now made from commercially grown wood and fibreglass to protect the fragile environment of the Okavango. In one of these traditional crafts it is possible to float around the waterways and lagoons that make up the delta, looking for hippos and crocodiles in the water, but also getting a remarkable view of the plains game from a new and exciting angle. This gentle and informative mode of safari is unique to the river bushmen, comprising three different tribes who made the Delta their home. This activity is subject to water levels. For the less intrepid, Sanctuary Baines’ also has motorised speedboats that can be used when the rivers are in flood.
An extraordinary treat available at Sanctuary Baines Camp is the opportunity to go walking in the bush with three semi-habituated elephants. Jabu, Thembi and Morula are elephants that were orphaned nearby and adopted by Doug and Sandi Groves. The elephants ‘take’ guests on long walks, foraging in the area in absolute safety. They show travellers how they look for food, strip leaves from branches with their long trunks and take showers in the lagoons of the delta. What better guide to the African bush than a fully-grown African elephant? Even Sanctuary’s famously brilliant guides bow to these elephants’ innate knowledge and bush-sense. This activity includes a leisurely paced walk with a trio of semi-habituated elephants, observing and interacting with them, and a picnic lunch in their company.