Elephant Experience at Stanley's / Baines Camps

Mar 17th, 2007, 03:35 PM
  #1  
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Elephant Experience at Stanley's / Baines Camps

HI! My sister really loves elephants so we are trying to decide if we should go to one of these camps as part of our trip in 2008. We already have Savuti on the itinerary for elephant viewing but we are also thinking of making Stanleys or Baines one of our Delta camps (probably the "water" camp).

Is the elephant experience circusy, or is it more natural? Also, how is the game viewing in these areas?

Moira
MoiraS is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 05:59 PM
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Howdy MoiraS - If your interest is Elephant then this is definately worth participating in. The most important aspect from my perspective is that the three Ele's were saved following whole family culls as far as I know and translocated to Botswana not taken "from" the wild for the purpose of showing off to us humans. We detail this experience at length in our trip report here.
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34957250
It is the second posting dated 03/03/2007, 10:21 pm

Also if you search in the Africa forum using the term Elephant Experience or Baines Camp you might also find other responses.

As to how strongly we reccomend it...
We have booked to go back to visit the Ele's in our 2008 trip - we stayed at Baines last time and it is a beautiful lodge and the wildlife viewing was phenomenal. We are staying at Stanley's next trip for two reasons - cost (as our entire trip is 8 weeks long) and to try something different - but would have loved to go back to Baines.

Savuti was also phenomenal for Elephant viewing - and features in our trip report too, our slideshow has pics from both these areas Baines and Savute and the link to the photos is in the last post of our trip report.
Cheers
Jude
Thembi is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 12:32 AM
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Hi Moira

The ele experience with Doug Groves and his 3 ele is very good and not in the slightest is it circusy. I am dead against ele/lion being used for our entertainment, but in this case, the money pays for these ele's future. He has trained them to do things, but for the purpose to help him look after them, not silly things like balancing on three legs. I have trained dogs for quite some time and I loved his manner with them, very quietly spoken and calm, he was a pleasure to watch with them. I was there in Sept 2001 and the game was OK but the ele experience was well worth it!

Kind regards

Kaye
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Mar 18th, 2007, 06:31 AM
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I just returned from the A&K "Wings Over Botswana" program 3 days ago. I stayed at Stanley's as it was featured in the program and also visited Baines Camp. Between the two, Baines is definitely the nicer camp, but Stanley's is most wonderful also. They use the same game viewing area as they are only half hour apart from each other, but with a totally different environment at the camps. Being that this is the end of the rainy season and every waterhole is filled, I didn't expect too much and was very pleasantly surprised. Ali was my guide and he's superior in his knowledge. We followed a young male with two females being chased away from the territory by two very adult males. It was amazing how fast they moved, we could barely keep up with them. The three intruders eventually escaped, amazingly enough.

We also saw cheetahs and a female leopard on a mission. We followed her and she was fast too. Finally, she stopped in a thicket and called and called in the leopard's barking way. Soon a cub emerged about 6 months old. They greeted and carried on and soon set out back where she came from. Mama was leading her cub to her kill. We looked up every tree, but Ali found it under a bush just before they got there. Mama was letting the cub drag it to a spot of contention and then letting the cub try to open it. By now it was dark and we had to leave. So, yes ... the game viewing was very good.

I just loved the Elephant Encounter with Doug, Jabu, Thembi and Morula. Circusey ... absolutely not. Doug and Sandy are dedicated to creating a harmonious relationship between the wild ellies in Botswana and the people. To accomplish this difficult task, they educate the children. Doug takes in groups of 9-12 year olds from the local villages for a 2 day-program of education and fun and learning about the elllies using Jabu, Thembi and Morula to build positive relationships between the kids and the wild.

I learned so much and had a lot of fun. You walk with them to lunch and they love the attention as proved by the soft rumbles they emit constantly. It's like a purring cheetah, really. Got that Lynda!

For more info go to www.livingwithelephants.org
safarimama is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 06:53 AM
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Ooops, the young male with his two females being chased off were lions!
safarimama is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 05:11 PM
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Yep! Got that! Can you add this to our list, Kristina for 09????

LyndaS is offline  
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