We absolutely adored visiting Stanley’s- the elephant experience here was without doubt one of the most unforgettable things we have ever done on safari.
What’s Stanley’s really like?
The main area of Stanley’s is beautiful- a light and airy canvas bower looking out over the floodplains of the Okavango Delta. Here you’ll find a large sitting room, a bar for evening drinks and canapes and a dining room. Meals were wholesome and good and shared with the other guests on our game drive vehicle. Just try to ignore the patter of feet on the roof- those’re the monkeys hoping to sneak in for a quick nibble. There’s also a rather lovely swimming pool and a fascinating family of mongoose that provide endless entertainment for guests.
From the main mess, sandy pathways lead to the eight safari tents- after dark you’ll be escorted in case of any unexpected animal encounters. When we visited, we weren’t quite as excited by the tents as we were by the rather beautiful main part of camp, but nevertheless, our tent was comfortable enough, with an ensuite bathroom tucked behind and a view towards the floodplains beyond.
What can I do at Stanley’s Camp?
We loved our game drives at Stanley’s Camp, heading out each morning and afternoon with our guide to explore the concession. Whilst we didn’t find game to be as prolific as some other areas, game viewing was still good and we spent a wonderful few hours watching a hyeana den. There are also mokoro safaris on offer when water levels are high enough (when water is lower these go from Baines Camp around 40 minutes or so away).
We’re saving the best for last. Worthy of a paragraph all by itself is the elephant experience. This remains one of the most moving things we have ever done in Africa and is worth every penny of the extra cost (the money goes to help fund the upkeep of the elephants who are not yet ready to be released into the wilds). You’ll drive out to a designated spot where you will wait to meet three very special elephants, and Doug and Sandi (very much the 4th and 5th members of the herd) and join them for an hour or two on their morning foraging walk before lunch. You should note that while these elephants are not totally wild, they are certainly not tame either and are subject to many of the same emotions that humans are, so your elephant interaction is very much dependent on their feelings and at Doug’s discretion.
Giving back at Stanley’s Camp: Any guest who goes on the elephant interaction experience at Stanleys is directly helping the Living With Elephants Foundation which helps to fund the long term support of three wonderful elephants and is committed to creating a harmonious relationship between people and elephants. As elephants are increasingly under threat from poaching across Africa, this is needed more desperately now than ever before.
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