While on safari in the Lower Zambezi Valley, we were introduced to a little camp that was for sale. Having spent many glorious times in this true wilderness and experienced the warm Zambian hospitality, all that really mattered was the spectacular setting and the opportunity to become involved in conserving a piece of Africa's heritage. With rose-tinted glasses and a deep fondness for the area, we jumped at the opportunity and entered the world of safari hospitality and conservation at the beginning of 2005 and officially re-opened the camp to the public at the end of 2010.
It gives us great pride that some of the original team members that we met then are still with us today: Amos, Benson, Frackson, Moses, Ninja (Christopher) and Weston. They believed in our vision and we are grateful for their continued support and loyalty.
The majority of the Baines employees were born and raised in relatively close proximity to the camp, in the Chiawa Chiefdom. Growing up in the harsh African climate, with little or no access to electricity, running water, medical care or sewage and with families depending largely on subsistence farming, the drive to provide a better future for their children is strong. With permanent employment, many of our team members have been able to move their families to towns and areas with better access to medical, social and economic facilities. However, each of them will tell their children how they grew up with Lion and Leopard wandering through the village at night, that Buffalo, Elephant and Hippos raided their crops, and about the medication their mothers made out of the local plants. These stories, the knowledge of the area, its flora and fauna is invaluable to us, our guests and the future.
With the camp situated deep in the African bush and some 5 hours by road from Lusaka, we have a small logistical base on the outskirts of the capital. Reservations, marketing and general administration are taken care of in our South African offices in Pietermaritzburg with a sales team based out of Johannesburg and Durban.
The difference with Baines’ River Camp is the ambiance that is a great part of the experience. The food and accommodation is 5 star and the staff made for a wonderful experience.Roger Chadwick, Johannesburg, South Africa, September 2013