Zambia is an amazing country filled with an abundance of wildlife and an array of natural beauties. The size and remoteness of this landlocked country will have you feeling isolated, yet so connected. At Baines’ River Camp, we strive for nothing short of an unforgettable Zambian experience. An experience where you will be exposed to the natural gifts of Zambia, as well as the rich culture and traditions of its people.
When travelling to Zambia, whether from overseas or from neighbouring countries, whether passing through or staying over as your final destination, fit these five things to do at Baines’ River Camp into your schedule to ensure you experience the full essence of Zambia.
5 Things To Do At Baines’ River Camp
1. Relaxing Around Camp
You’ve just arrived at Baines’ River Camp, either from another camp close by or from the 5-hour drive (or 30-minute flight) from Lusaka. You’re excited to experience this place and you want to take everything in as quickly as possible. But before you do – relax, the Zambezi is in no hurry and nor should you be.
Take in the intimacy set on the northern banks of the Zambezi River. In the thick of Tamarind and Jackalberry trees, you will be met with friendly greetings and unrivalled tranquillity. The main River Lodge includes two lounges, indoor and outdoor dining areas as well as the Selous Bar leading out towards the swimming pool for you to enjoy.
If you’re looking for a bit of “me-time”, retreat to the comfort of your suite for a professional massage or get treated with a spa and beauty treatment while lazing about on your own private veranda.
With a backdrop of the Lower Zambezi valley, the sounds of the African bush and the streaming flow of the Zambezi River, relaxing at camp along the banks of the Zambezi offers unparalleled surroundings for unwinding and refreshing before your next safari adventure.
2. River Canoeing
If you’re trying to stick to an itinerary of activities, but you’re still keen to relax, glide your way through the channels of the Zambezi River on a canoe as you get the opportunity to view birds nesting along the riverbanks, while herds of elephant go for a drink and bathe.
Paddle downstream and get within a few ore’s distance of sunbathing crocs and hippo pods – river canoeing is a great way to see how the natural life in the Lower Zambezi escarpment coexists with one another. Canoeing along the Zambezi is recommended for the afternoon, where guests can soak up the late African sun while experiencing the astonishing glints of sundown.
Not only is canoeing through the Zambezi great for viewing different game, but slowly paddling through the quiet channels allow for viewing some of the 370 species of birds found situated in this area. Guests can expect to see African skimmers, Livingstone Flycatchers and ground hornbill to name a few.
As one of our most popular activities, navigating your way through the Zambezi River, along with our guides, is a Zambian experience that is not easily forgotten.
“To be able to witness the food chain unfold right in front of your eyes and to look on while the processes in the natural environment take its course is why people travel to Africa. Zambia is no exception.”
3. Game Drives
The reason why travellers make the journey to Africa and the reason why going on a safari has become such a sought-after experience. The opportunity to view large game in their natural habitat going on with their lives, without interference, is an opportunity that should not be taken for granted. To be able to witness the food chain unfold right in front of your eyes and to look on while the processes in the natural environment take its course is why people travel to Africa. Zambia is no exception.
In the boundless, expansive lands of the Lower Zambezi National Park, we begin our game drives from a new starting point each time. This helps to ensure that guests get to experience and explore different areas of the park that they haven’t seen yet. Morning game drives start with a short river cruise downstream to your starting point along with a hot cuppa’ coffee and some delicious baked pastries.
Sightings of endangered African wild dogs, mighty prides of lion and tree-hanging leopards are accompanied with drives through rich vegetation, from Leadwood forests, palm groves and riverine vegetation to Albida forests and savannah plains. Full day game drives allow time for stretching your legs and having a bite to eat under a large canopy of trees, while nighttime game drives give you the chance to view honey badgers porcupine and hyenas.
Spending a single day out in the field may not feel like enough as there is always something new to discover and somewhere new to explore. With an extensive variety of herbivores and predators, both on land and in water, breathtaking sightings are never far apart when out on game drives.
4. Visiting the Chiawa Community
Roughly 25km west of us are the rural villages of the Chiawa Chiefdom. With a growing population, Chiawa is one of the largest villages in the Lower Zambezi area. The Chiawa community holds a special place in our hearts, as more than 90% of our team originates from the greater part of this community (not to mention that the majority of our team’s families’ live in the village at present).
When staying at Baines’ River Camp, you as a guest are contributing towards our local community, as a Community and Conservation Contribution is added to your invoice on a nightly basis.
Visiting the Chiawa community will allow you the opportunity to meet the locals as well as the community leaders, where you will be greeted with welcoming, infectious smiles. A true, authentic, eye-opening experience is offered. A large part of this community is reliant on subsistence farming. We’ll take you to visit the local farmers and see their crops, or take a walk through to the Clinic to see exactly what we contribute towards. You will be able to visit the school and meet some of the younger children. They will want to hear all about the country you are travelling from and if you know your National Anthem, they would be delighted for you to share it with them.
There are several projects such as “Chicks For Chicks” and “Waka Simba” which are run and managed by ladies only. Projects such as these are empowering the woman of our community to work and earn their own salaries, as well as offering them an equal opportunity to support their families.
We are proud supporters of the Pack for A Purpose initiative. A small amount of space set aside in your luggage for medical supplies will have a huge impact on our community. The list of supplies which are required at the Chiawa Rural Medical Centre and Maternity Ward can be found via the link on our website, or on the Pack For A Purpose website. All items on the list require no prescription.
“Hooking these little beasts will give you a run for your money. The battle may take several minutes, but once you have conquered this fierce freshwater predator, the feeling is triumphant. “
5. Fishing on the Zambezi
An activity that can be enjoyed by the entire family, fishing on the Zambezi River can be described as nothing less than exciting and enjoyable. Known primarily for its tiger fish, the Zambezi River is also home to barble, bottle-nose, bream, brown squeaker, nkupe, vundu and up to 75 other species. All species in our area of the Zambezi can be caught on fly, lure or bait.
Our angling guides have extensive knowledge of the River and have developed a great understanding of the weather conditions and the water patterns since a very young age. By following their recommendations, our angling guides will ensure you have a fun, successful day out on the water. With boats of various sizes, angling trips can accommodate an average of 4 guests per boat while fly fishing trips require two guests per boat plus a guide.
Tiger fish can weigh up to 20 pounds, and while you may spend most of your day catching the smaller ones, hooking these little beasts will give you a run for your money. The battle may take several minutes, but once you have conquered this fierce freshwater predator, the feeling is triumphant.
In between battles with freshwater game, guests can view wildlife on land and birds fluttering through the air at their leisure. Elephants can frequently be seen taking a dip in the river or going for a drink, but elephants aren’t all you’ll see along the banks of the Zambezi River. Guests often get the opportunity to see hippos, crocodiles, buffalo, waterbuck and many more amazing animals within casting distance of your boat.
When travelling to Zambia, spending time on the Zambezi River is often one of the first things that come to mind. If you are looking to make the most out of your safari experience when at Baines’, spending an afternoon on the River watching the sun go down, with your line in the water and the birds singing the valley to sleep is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience.
An Experience Not Easily Forgotten
To be able to experience the beauty of another country and to fully understand its intricacies can be a special feeling. With a limited amount of time during your stay, making the most out of your days in Zambia can be achieved through your experiences at Baines’.
Whether out on a game drive or relaxing at camp, when at Baines’ River Camp, you’ll still get the opportunity to view some of Zambia’s biggest game.
Get in touch with our reservations manager for an experience of a lifetime!
“Some of Africa’s biggest game, right on your stoep! “