- Secluded and scenic riverside location
- Exceptional wildlife
- Educational talks and elephant workshop
- Impeccable service
Situated on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi Valley, Baines' River Camp offers a secluded and authentic wilderness safari experience from a base of total comfort and luxury. An excellent range of water and land-based activities in and around the Lower Zambezi National Park provides opportunities to see elephant, lion, water buffalo, and even cheetah and leopard. The proximity of the river makes for superb birdwatching, scenic canoe and motorboat trips, tiger fishing, and a particularly tranquil setting. Eight spacious and delightful riverside guest suites, combined with efficient yet warm service from the dedicated staff, enable guests to relax and fully enjoy everything that this untouched and very special place has to offer. One of Baines’ Camp’s most unique highlights is the range of insightful wildlife and photography workshops offered by local specialists.
Set on the riverbank amongst giant Tamarind and Jackal-Berry trees, the main lodge is fairly modern, with simple, contemporary décor featuring colourful print fabrics, terracotta tiles, and dark wood. With a courtyard and fishpond at its centre, the main space contains a reception, two lounges, indoor and outdoor dining areas, and a bar that opens out onto the pool. The boardroom, reference library, and various workstations afford guests plenty of communal space, and complimentary WiFi is available throughout these areas. Indulgent spa treatments offered on the veranda or in private guest suites only add to the property’s decadent feel.
The camp accommodates 20 guests in eight individual bush suites, each with a private veranda overlooking the Zambezi river. Incredibly spacious, the suites have colonial-inspired décor which includes rich fabrics and oriental rugs. Each comes equipped with air conditioning, a real bonus given the Zambezi Valley’s humidity, as well as a mini bar, safe, and a king-size bed that can be converted into two twins should guests prefer. There are six Baines' Explorer Suites, two of which boast a cast-iron bath in addition to the standard en-suite shower facilities. Two additional Junior Suites are smaller, with twin beds. For families, the self-catering Baines' Cottage features a large open-plan lounge, dining, and kitchen area, as well as an al-fresco dining table on the veranda. This suite can be booked with the option of a private guide and chef. Separate, air-conditioned accommodation is available for up to 2 tour leaders, pilots, or private guides, and a same-day laundry service is included.
Activities naturally centre on the prolific and diverse wildlife. Walking safaris, game drives, canoe and boating safaris are a real delight, and the camp has freedom to offer night time vehicle safaris and wonderful sunset river cruises complete with sundowners. Guests are unlikely to come across other visitors and will enjoy a privileged sense of seclusion. World-renowned experts lead photographic workshops, birding weeks, and fly-fishing clinics, and a four-day elephant workshop lead by expert vet and author Johan Morais illuminates the complex social structures of these majestic animals, as well as the conservation struggles they face.
Children of 6 years and over are welcome, unless the whole camp is booked out for the sole use of one party in which case younger children are permitted. Whilst there are no specific child activities, guides will strive to tailor activities to suit each group, and the pool and accessible WiFi will help provide entertainment back at the lodge. Though it is unusual for wildlife to approach humans, the animals are in very close proximity, and so parental supervision is essential at all times.
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019