Reviews of Kaingo Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
see previousRead more about the whole safari
See previous notes
See previous. [These travellers stayed at Kaingo twice - either side of their stay at Mwamba Bushcamp.]
The reason we rated rooms 'good' rather than excellent was lack of cross-ventilation. Solar power might give them the ability to put ceiling or floor fans in room for hot weather.
Can't praise Kaingo camp too highly
We were made so welcome at Kaingo. It felt more like staying with family than as a paying guest. Innocent was our guide for most of our time there (although we also went out with Derek & Patrick). All three were very knowledgeable & were extremely enthusiastic, not just about the large or obvious wildlife but also about the smaller things and the plants. We particularly appreciated the attention to detail (dust cloths to protect photographic equipment, beanbags provided for use in the vehicles).
It was solely down to Innocent's sharp eyes & spotting skill that we were able to follow a leopard at night for almost 40 minutes, culminating in an impala kill at a distance of only a few metres.
No one will ever feel faint through hunger whilst staying at this camp! The sole vegetarian (Lisa) ate just as well as everyone else.
The views of hippo & carmine bee eaters from the hides were fantastic and it was nice to have the option of spending some of the hotter part of the day in hides rather than staying in camp being the only option.
Charging facilities for both camera batteries & laptop were easily available. If we were to visit the Luangwa valley again Kaingo would be our first choice of camp.
A 'must return' camp!
Hooray! Jules had antibiotics for Lynne! Game plentiful, guides excellent and knowledgeable.
Opportunities to do different activities: bird hide (yes), elephant hide sleepover (interesting?); hippo hide, walks, etc. Hard to keep up with the pace of the camp and its activities. It's an opportunity to overindulge in food and drink in a BIG way -- Mosi beers could've been colder (John), but it was getting VERY warm!
Camp is dedicated to the game and bush, rather than the frills of camp itself (see Shumba). Jules and Derek have the balance exactly right.
We returned to Kaingo this year because we adore Derek and Jules. The bonus this year was meeting their wonderful niece (and Caterer), Stephie. Again, we were treated like VIPs.
Neither of us particularly enjoy game drives that go on until about 2100, so they very kindly arranged for us to be picked up after sundowners and we were very grateful for their special care.
Time spent with the Shentons is always magical and special, regardless of the wildlife.
Great safari at Kaing Camp
We were met by a Steph who explained how everything operated and showed us our room
Rooms were well appointed with ample hot water. Food and service was very good. Friendly and very helpful staff.
The operation at Kaingo is in general very well organised but we did feel a bit too organised sometimes.
We were disappointed to find that we couldn't choose our midday activity each day. The activity appeared to be chosen by what other long stay guests wanted or had already done. We therefore only managed to see the hippo hide once.
Brunch and breakfast can be a bit formal as you have to wait all cars to return.
Guides were very good but we would have preferred to keep one guide for our stay who could have got to know what we had seen.
We did feel as though the long stay guests were in control of where we went and what we saw. In hindsight we should have been more vocal as I think the more experienced guests realised how to deal with the system at Kaingo.
I spent a night in the elephant hide alone and it was a fantastic experienced, very well organised and well thought through.
Efficient and flexible transfer to the airport but as we were leaving early we missed breakfast. There was mention of providing us with sandwiches but nothing materialised.
Overall, it is a fantastic camp in a great setting but when there are long stay experienced guests it can feel that you are joining their safari.
Expert Africa comments
We sent this feedback to Juliet Shenton at Kaingo, and this was her response:
"We were very pleased to hear that overall these clients enjoyed their stay at Kaingo. However, let me address some of the points brought up here:
We were very surprised to hear that the clients didn’t receive the sandwich breakfast on their transfer. Sandwiches were sent with them, as I oversaw the making of them myself. Why they weren't given to the guests I cannot imagine. If guests spend so much time game-viewing on their transfer that they don’t stop for a picnic, then the guides normally hand them the food at the airport to take with them. I can only apologise for this, and follow it up here.
In terms of the midday activity – it’s a shame that these travellers didn’t let us know they wanted to go to the hippo hide again. We weren’t aware of this. We usually send out two activities at midday and we try and accommodate everyone's needs as much as possible. The activities are typically decided by guests chatting with their guides over breakfast, or just before they head out, rather than dictated by us. We like also to be responsive to game movements – for example, today there is lion looking to hunt in one direction and leopard action in another, so the vehicles have gone out to view those instead for their midday activities.
I do think that this traveller’s feedback raises a valid issue though: we struggle to include all the activities and hides for guests who are only coming to us for three days - particularly at this time of year. There is so much to see and do, that it’s impossible to get everyone to see and do everything if they're only with us a few days. When travellers stay longer with us, it gives them a much better chance of fitting in all the various activities, and getting to see and do everything that they want to whilst they’re with us.“
Kaingo at the end of a great trip
As above [Ed: these travellers visited Kaingo twice in this trip, either side of a stay at Mwamba Bushcamp]. Our last walk provided a great adrenalin rush when we came face to face with some 500 buffalo.
The hippo hide was rather quiet, but the Hollywood pride was out in force and we spent part of our last drive in the company of some very photogenic giraffe.
Would love to visit at a different time of year.
Return visit to Kaingo
Wonderful to be back. Derek and Jules are also great hosts and we particularly enjoyed Derek's guiding. It was great to meet up with Innocent, Patrick and Ian again, whose guiding we also very much appreciate.
The hides add an extra dimension to this camp and this year we came at the right time for the Carmine bee-eaters. We had several good leopard sightings and spent time with the Holywood and Mwamba prides, as well as some beautiful giraffes. The large fishing parties of storks were another attraction.
Alison and Stephie also helped to make our visit most enjoyable. It was also lovely to have our favourite room again with a hippo strolling past our bath tub.