Okavango Delta Sanctuary: Baines’ & Chief’s Camp

Botswana’s Okavango Delta is, without a doubt, one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world! Surrounded by the desert sands of the Kalahari, this vast maze of waterways weaves between floodplains and forested islands, where a scattering of small lodges offer their guests a remarkable safari experience. In October our Managing Director, Sean Kritzinger, spent three nights in the Okavango Delta. He stayed at two camps – Baine’s Camp and Chiefs’ Camp – both owned and operated by Sanctuary Retreats.

Baines’ Camp

Baines’ Camp lies in the southern Delta bordering Moremi Game Reserve, a 10-minute flight from Maun. This small and private camp has just 5 suites raised up on stilts and connected by walkways. There’s usually water below the suites, but at that time of year, it was dry. Sean commented on the excellent service. The small size gives the camp a personal feel with the staff creating special experiences for their guests. Honeymooners might come back from a game drive to find a bubble bath set out on their private deck, and can have their bed wheeled out for a night under the stars. Baines’ is also a good choice for a family group, as they can have exclusive use of the whole camp.

This camp location allows for game drives, guided walks; and seasonal mokoro safaris and motorised boating. The water activities would have been better if the water levels had been higher, but it was still a good experience. There’s also the option of an elephant interaction (not riding) at Stanley’s Camp – a 15-minute drive away. And helicopter flights over the swamps.

Highlights

  • Small camp with excellent, personal service
  • Romantic touches such as a bubble bath on your deck
  • Wide choice of activities including elephant interactions
  • Game drive at Sancatuary Baines’ Camp

Chiefs’ Camp

Chief’s Camp lies on Chief’s Island, an enviable location which offers arguably the best game viewing in Botswana. The safari experience here is absolutely phenomenal! During his stay the only animal Sean didn’t see was a leopard – which was just bad luck, as the other vehicle saw one only 500 metres down the road. Chief’s reopened in June 2016 following a complete rebuild. The new camp has a luxurious, contemporary feel with huge suites each opening onto their own large deck and private plunge pool. The suites are stunning with Block & Chisel plus Weylands furniture and décor, and all the convenient extras including a Nespresso machine.

There are 12 rooms including the 2-bedroom Geoffrey Kent Luxury Suite. The two rooms are joined by a family room, and the suite has its own kitchen, bar and lounge so it can operate totally separately from the main lodge. Staying here you’d also have your own vehicle, guide and personal chef.

Highlights

  • On Chief’s Island so expect phenomenal game viewing
  • Camp was completely rebuilt in June 2016
  • Huge, luxurious suites with your own plunge pool