From Iol.co.za
July 18 2011

Baines river camp has breath-taking views across the river to the Mana Pools World Heritage Site in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

Baines river camp has breath-taking views across the river to the Mana Pools World Heritage Site in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

The mighty Zambezi, Africa’s fourth largest river, adds a sense of majesty to any safari camp, which is why the Mantis group has built its latest luxury camp on its northern bank, among giant tamarind and jackal-berry trees, and named it after the legendary artist and explorer, John Thomas Baines.

It’s in one of Africa’s last remaining true wilderness areas, with breath-taking views across the river to the Mana Pools World Heritage Site in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

Mantis CEO Adrian Gardiner said: “With Royal Chundu above the Victoria Falls and now Baines below, our guests will have the opportunity to explore a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife and river experience.”

Baines River Camp has eight classically styled explorer suites – a change from the usual tented safari option – each with a private verandah, “swallow me” two-metre sofa and coffee table, and commanding its own view of the Zambezi, giving guests the opportunity to catch sight of local residents such as elephant, buffalo, antelope and, if you’re very lucky, the area’s one and only leopard.

The air-conditioned suites blend leather, cotton percale linen and oriental rugs and natural hardwood with spacious bathrooms, walk-in showers, a complimentary mini-bar, and coffee and facilities.

The verandah-style main lodge faces the river and Mana Pool; it has open-plan dining and lounge areas with fireplaces, a bar, swimming pool and a conference room, which houses the camp’s growing library.

The Lower Zambezi Valley has more than 60 mammal and 370 bird species, and Baines has guided game viewing in canoes, motorboats, open vehicles or on foot – and their angling guides will introduce you to the famous Tiger fish, on a strict catch-and-release basis.

There are also specialised five-day workshop packages including photography, birding, fly fishing and a closer look at elephants, each hosted by experts in their field.

The campo is in the Eastern Chiawa Game Management Area, a protected wildlife area bordering the Lower Zambezi National Park, which is a 20-minute boat ride away. There are no fences between the two wilderness areas and wildlife roams freely between the two as well as in and around the camp.

The camp is also only 9km from the Royal Airstrip, a drive that usually takes about 40min – depending on what wildlife is spotted along the way! Guests can fly in from Lusaka (40 minutes away) or any of Zambia’s main tourism destinations.

The camp is open from March 1 to December 15 annually; bed night rates range from $470-$670 (R3220-R4600) per person per night sharing in the peak season.

Find out more at www.bainesrivercamp.com.