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“Hippo Under the Deck!”

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Sanctuary Baines' Camp
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Hippo Under the Deck!”
Reviewed November 17, 2011

This was the first stop on a two week trek through Botswana (Baines Camp, Savute Safari Lodge, Chobe Under Canvas) and Zambia (Tongabezi). We stayed at each camp for three nights which I think is perfect for relaxation - and if there are any hiccups with flights you won't miss out on too much. Fortunately all of our transfers went very smoothly.

I'll try to rate this camp on it's own merit! We had been on a short safari to Sabi Sands in S..A. a few years ago and this was our first camp on our visit to Botswana.

We loved Baines's Camp for the following reasons: 1) only 5 "rooms" - these are individual, screened in, spacious, elevated huts all connected by bridges far enough away from each other to ensure some real privacy. 2) Terrific management team of Justin, Jackie and Flo and a great staff team - we felt like we were visiting old friends. 3) Mike our guide - really knowledgeable and a quiet sense of humor 4) the diversity of activity - game drive, motor boat drive, elephant experience, mokoro 5) the hippo under the deck - we took the opportunity to sleep under the stars out on the deck and a very loud and very large hippo paid us a midnight visit. You can't beat that! Oh and thanks to the team for the special twin tubs, candles and sparkling wine on the last night of visit. Nice touch.

Tip: When we visited, remote lodges/camps in Botswana were having problems processing Visa credit card numbers to pay for extras and gratuity. So bring US Dollars in small denominations. One camp manager explained this was a problem on the Botswana bank side, not necessarily on the VISA side - so even if you call your credit card company ahead of time, it still might not work.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Zooeybear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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124 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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13
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Any
English first
Huntsville, Alabama
Level 6 Contributor
390 reviews
123 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2011

Very good accommodation and love the area. No fence totally isolated in the middle of no where. Enjoyed our safaris and great service.

Room Tip: All rooms are great. There is only a total of 5 suites to pick from.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank shefpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devizes, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
186 reviews
176 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2011

A 1 minute jeep ride from the airstrip (with hyenas and warthogs hanging around!) to a speedboat and then 30-40 mins through narrow channels of reeds to the gorgeous camp which is built on stilts over the water, the main area circling a defunct termite mound. Lovely cabin which stayed cool during the heat of the day but didn't get too cold overnight, deck with a view over the reed beds, comfortable bed with soft pillows, the bed (and mosquito net) can be rolled out onto the deck overnight if you wish. We did not do that and there seemed to be mixed opinions amongst the guests who did. Spacious shower room (shower with a view). As the camp is named after the artist Thomas Baines there is in each cabin a sketch book, palette and water colours, which is a novel idea. Justin and Jackie are enthusiastic and sociable managers who keep the camp running smoothly. The food was good, though on the whole the main courses could have been better, and we particularly enjoyed the hot croissants at breakfast. Bacon, eggs etc are cooked to order, there is a buffet lunch and there was a braai on one night of our two night stay. The other evening there was a choice of 2 starters and 2 main courses - we didn't get a choice anywhere else! Boat excursions are available, also a short walk on a nearby island, for game drives it means a 30-40 boat ride each way to where the jeeps are kept, but very good game drives once you get there. We drove through quite a bit of very deep water - it came up to the bonnet of the jeep and sloshed around the foot well inside (I wondered what the little carved wooden benches were for - to keep your feet out of the water!). We were very comfortable at Baines and felt extremely well looked after. It is a delightful spot.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MyrtleWiltshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2011

We cannot thank Debbie and Steve for making our stay at Baines just amazing - they went to so much trouble and we will never forget our holiday - truly a holiday of a lifetime. Our guide, Skippy, was also very good. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank butt80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2010

I have traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. In fact, I generally do 20 foreign trips a year for business and pleasure. Baines Camp was outstanding in all aspects. I was there with my wife and friends in early December 2010. Jon and Simone (the site managers) were welcoming and made sure all aspects of the stay were top notch. The food was "over the top" , the guide and his side kick (Colin) were knowledgeable and fun but most impressive was the attention to detail and the genuine interest of the staff that our time with them was truly memorable.
It was!
I would recommend Baines Camp to all who have an interest in seeing the Valley from a well managed and very comfortable base camp. Interestingly, we stayed at Chobe as well and even that site manager recommended Baines over Stanley Camp or other sites in the Okavanga delta.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank DrBOBToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2010

I can't say enough about the wonderful experiences that we had at Baines Camp. Everything from the guides to the staff, it was an experience that will never be forgotten. Our game viewing was a bit hindered due to high waters, but the staff went above and beyond to make up for the lack of big game. A dinner on the delta highlighted the dining experiences as a Hyena made an impromptu visit as we were eating. Small and private, Baines camp is a must visit for anyone going to the Okavango Delta. Be sure and visit Doug and his three elephants, it is something that you will never forget.

Enjoy!!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sunnymex77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Alberta
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2009

We stayed 3 nights at Baines' Camp. It was a beautiful setting with fantastic food. There was a record amount of rain 2 days before we arrived (this did cause the ants to move into our room - not overly welcome). The usual 15 minute drive from the airstrip was an hour but sight seeing was great along the way. The downside with there being an unusual amount of rain was that it took an hour to get to the drier parts where the cats tended to hang out. However, the experience was fantastic and Kudu, our guide was a great representative of Botswana - proud, kind and smart. This was very pricey and although we had a great time, on our budget, this was a splurge but not worth the money.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TwinSister6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sanctuary Baines' Camp

Property: Sanctuary Baines' Camp
Address: Boro River, Botswana, Botswana
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Okavango Delta
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 71 Specialty Lodging in Okavango Delta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sanctuary Baines' Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sanctuary Baines’ Camp is our smallest and most intimate camp, built on raised platforms high above the Boro River in a huge private concession bordering the Moremi Game Reserve. An eco-friendly property built using only commercially grown wood, with over 150,000 recycled aluminium cans incorporated within the walls to provide insulation. The camp is raised above the permanent water of the Boro River while wooden walkways connect the main areas and luxury rooms. The 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 suites at Sanctuary Baines’ are opulent and luxurious, with ensuite facilities and four-poster beds. 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. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanctuary Baines` Camp Hotel Okavango Delta
Sanctuary Baines' Camp Botswana/Okavango Delta

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