Kaingo Camp: Information from the owner
- Safari Lodge
- No. of rooms
- Check-in time
- Check-out time
About this information
All the information on this page is supplied to us directly from the lodge owner and reflects their view, not ours.
For Expert Africa's view, see our own full report on Kaingo Camp, which contains our own observations and views.
- Last updated by Owner
- 3 Sep 2020
Facilities at Kaingo Camp
- Property facilities
- 24-hour Security, Bar, Battery Charging Facilities, Communal Dining, Eco Friendly, Laundry Service (Available), Laundry Service (Complimentary), Library, Private Vehicle Available
- Room facilities
- Balcony / Deck, Bath, Electrical Outlets, En-Suite, Fan, Laundry Service (Complimentary), Lounge Area, Mosquito Nets, Outside Shower, Safe, Shower, Verandah
- Activities on site
- Bird Watching, Fine Dining, Game Drives, Game Viewing, Game Viewing Hide, Game Walks, Gourmet Picnic, High Tea, Night Drives, Safaris, Sleep Outs, Walks (Guided), Wildlife Tours
- Nearby activities
- Animal Encounters, Bird Watching, Cultural Tours, Game Drives, Game Viewing, Game Walks, Massages, Safaris, Walks (Guided), Wildlife Tours
- English, French, Italian
Room types at Kaingo Camp
Kaingo features 1 deluxe suite called the First House. This great for couples wanting extra luxury, but can also sleep up to 6 people comfortably therefore is also ideal for families or groups.
The First House features a lounge area and larger patio with dining table. There is an en-suite bathroom off the main bedroom, guest toilet near the lounge area as well as an outdoor shower and bath.
Kaingo features 5 brick and thatch chalets set on the banks of the Luangwa River. Each chalet has an en-suite indoor bathroom with a sink, shower and flushing toilet. Each chalet also has a romantic outdoor bathtub tucked under the ebony trees.
In addition to the main deck set low on the river, each chalet has its own patio with a day bed and seating area as well as a private deck overhanging the banks of the Luangwa River offering great views of the animals coming down to drink.
Activities at Kaingo Camp
As a special activity we also offer over-night “camp-outs”; sleeping open under a net, close to the camp-fire, on request. These trips allow a maximum of 6 guests to get a sense of the absolute wildness of the South Luangwa National Park as there are no other camps or trails for miles around.
One of our experienced guides, along with the scout, will lead you deep within the park on a day walking safari away from any tracks or human development. The area north of Mwamba is totally remote and underdeveloped. It is excellent walking country – the heart of the valley. The group will camp out under the stars that night close to a secluded waterhole.
There is a certain thrill not easy to describe here in words, about sleeping under a mosquito net open to the stars close to a large campfire – listening to the distant call of a hyena or lion, or the grunt of a leopard as it marks its territory nearby. The cool dry nights from May to the end of August are ideal for camp-outs and we are very fortunate to have special permission from National Parks to offer this highly unusual experience.
Our Camp Out experience is a completely private experience, and is subject to availability.
Game-viewing from one of our custom built, open 4WD vehicles is a real pleasure. Comfortable, high seats allow excellent all-around vision and photography. The cars have been modified to assist photographers with camera rests, shelves and bean bags. Our qualified and experienced guides will take you to game-rich areas deep within the park which is not commonly visited by other vehicles. Our guides are regularly trained in vehicle positioning so that when you do come across a fantastic sighting, they make sure to position the Hilux in just the right spot to have the best lighting possible on the sighting. This training could be catching the morning sun on a pride of lions, or making sure no branches are obstructing your view of a leopard in a tree. We sit a maximum of four guests per vehicle in our camps, unless a group travelling wishes to sit together, this gives guests more flexibility in their activities.
Our game viewing loops are created, maintained and modified by ourselves with our tractor and grader, so we are confident that we can show you the best that this fantastic area has to offer without the discomfort caused by bumpy roads. Our choice of the fleet used, Toyota Hilux, guarantees an incredibly smooth ride. We have developed an excellent network of ‘loops’ that make the most of the forests, lagoons, plains and “Wafwas” (old courses of the river).
We offer morning and afternoon/evening game drives; they last approximately three and a half hours. A morning game drive leaves camp around sunrise. Game-viewing starts from Kaingo, deep in the park, our guides are quick to react to the alarm calls of Baboons or other species to make sure you're getting straight to the action. On your morning game drive, you will stop for a tea & coffee break halfway through the activity. The afternoon game drive departs after afternoon tea; usually, your guide will organise a sundowner around sunset time, and the drive will continue into the night to observe the nocturnal animals, national park curfew is 20:00.
Kaigno's Elephant Hide Star Bed
A very special activity offered at Kaingo is the Star Bed up the elephant hide. Our photographic elephant hide is situated high up in the boughs of a tree on the riverbank. After dinner at Kaingo we will take you to the elephant hide for your night of real African Adventure. The Star Bed is set up for you on the dedicated platform in the treetops and we position a scout (discretely in an enclosed vehicle) on the ground beneath you.
Mike Unwin (author of the Bradt guide to Southern African Wildlife) said his night spent up our elephant hide was one of his most memorable and exciting ever spent in Africa.
We do run sleep-outs up the hide any time in the month, but full moon is most spectacular. Extra charge applies, and prior reservation is recommended.
Kaingo's Elephant Hide
Our Elephant Hide is a platform nestled between an Ebony and a Sausage tree directly above a centuries-old elephant highway. Knowledge passed from elders to juvenile elephants in the community, passing down the location of this highway for hundreds of years, this beautiful spot in the river is for drinking, mud bathing, social greeting and river crossing. When the elephants come to the river at the crossing point, we gather everyone and race to the hide where the tree gives us a unique, and safe vantage point from which to watch their activities.
The Elephant Hide tends to be the fourth activity during the day as elephants cross and come down to the river during the warmer parts of the day. Therefore it could be that we see them coming down to the river during brunch time and make sure that anyone interested gets a chance to rush off to see them! Alternatively, the Elephant Hide is a beautiful midday activity, to view the river from a serene location with an incredible view. Guests can also choose to incorporate the Elephant Hide into either their morning activity as the location of their tea & coffee break or they may also decide to leave camp early on their afternoon/evening activity to enjoy a packed tea while watching the view from the hide.
Kaingo's Hippo Hide
Located on a deep corner of the Luangwa river where the confluence of the Luangwa and Mwamba rivers meet, Kaingo's Hippo Hide is the ideal location to get close to incredible hippo, crocodile and animal action. Here hundreds of hippos congregate throughout the season in both bachelor and breeding pods. Carved into the bank of the river the Hippo Hide's inhabitants are hidden by a grass screen, directly above the pods of hippos.
Comfortable seating to enjoy the lounging of hippos or elephants, giraffe and buffalo come down to drink. Cleverly designed camera props make this a photographers dream. Yawning and fighting wildlife pictures guaranteed! Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the resident crocodiles; some have learnt to snatch unsuspecting Oxpeckers from the Hippos' backs. It was here the BBC filmed an enormous crocodile taking a buffalo in the Wild Africa Series.
The Hippo Hide is a perfect midday activity, the shaded hide offers comfortable temperatures and is a great place to relax after brunch. Alternatively, guests do choose to incorporate the Hippo Hide into either their morning activity as the location of their tea & coffee break or they may also decide to leave camp early on their afternoon/evening activity to enjoy a packed tea while watching hippos from the hide.
Our photographic hides are just one of the elements that make our two camps so special. These hides are not just for photographers and filmmakers; they are for anyone who loves wildlife. They provide an up-close-and-personal view into the lives of the animals, enabling you to watch them undisturbed in their natural environment. That said, we are well equipped to take care of our photographers, providing specialist bean bags, dust covers and camera stabilisers.
Our unique network of photographic hides of Derek’s design is a unique feature of Shenton Safaris. These hides are guarantee our guests will get close to the wildlife, in complete safety, to either take a whole host of stunning photos or immerse yourself in observing these remarkable animals.
From Kaingo we offer the following photographic hides:
Carmine Bee-eater Hide (September and October)
Wild Dog Lagoon Hide (May through to the end of August)
Mobile Hides (we have two mobile hides on standby for additional use)
Our hides have turned the heads of professionals, and over the years many visit our camps just for these incredible hides. World-renowned wildlife photographer Frans Lanting of National Geographic visited us multiple times, including when Frans and National Geographic returned for a month, cancelling all other camps in the valley to extend their stay with us again and again. Every year our list of professional photographers that visit our Kaingo and Mwamba, with or without their private group grows. Other professional photographers such as Isak Pretorius the African Photographer, Marlon Du Toit of Wild Eye, Owen Prumm of Discovery Channel, David Rogers of Africa Geographic, Lynn Johnsson of National Geographic, Kyle De Nobrega and Ruth Nussbaum of the Naturalist Photo. Various filmmakers have used our hides for their footage, the BBC, National Geographic, independents such as Peter Lamberti, and BAFTA award winners such as John Aitchison.
Shenton Safaris' Carmine Bee-eater Hide
A Must for Serious Birders!
Our Carmine Bee-eater Hide is put in place early in September once the Carmine Bee-eaters have established at their nesting site. Carmines build their nests in huge colonies into the river bank so we must develop our hide in the middle of the river to get the best viewing angle and distance.
We drive clients into the area, and in the presence of one of our armed scouts, we walk them across a long beach to the river’s edge. Here shoes are shed, and the water entered. The wade through the river to the hide (anchored on a boat in front of the colony) is so exciting many clients say getting there is half the fun. The Carmines are very used to the hide’s presence and carry on about their business as though it wasn’t there. This hide provides fantastic photo opportunities of this spectacular bird. A must for serious birders and novices alike!
Shenton Safaris' Wild Dog Lagoon Hide
The Wild Dog Lagoon Hide is located on a lagoon North-West of Kaingo, this location is amptly named after the incredible Wild Dog sightings that have occured in the area, but is not a guarantee for them! These incredible creatures can move vast distances in a short amount of time, and though we have been blessed in the past to have them denning close to Kaingo, we can never guarantee them.
This hide is a perfect midday activity, as in the earlier months of our season the planes game in the area all gather here to quench their thirst. You can expect to see elephants and buffaloes bathing, as well as the occassional solitary hippo wallowing. This hide is also exceptional for bird viewing for wallowers, as well as weavers and the occasional raptor.
This hide is accessible from both camps, the lagoon is productive from camp opening in May through to the end of August, then it begins to dry up in the hotter months.
South Luangwa National Park in Zambia is infamous for it’s walking safaris, the activity was initiated in the late 60s by national parks and wildlife service and is the birthplace for the actual walking safari experience. A walking safari offers a unique way to experience the bush and observe the African wildlife. A group of no more than six guests set out in the early morning, escorted by a professional walking guide and an armed ZAWA scout. This Zambian system of two people leading the walk has proved to be remarkably safe and in Derek's opinion as a guide makes it possible to make sure our guests get the most out of the experience while maintaining the highest levels of safety.
A typical walking safari from Kaingo has a duration of approximately 3 hours. There are many beautiful walks around our camp that highlight the specialities of the area. From Kaingo, these include walking through our several hundred-year-old, 3km long ebony forest; various waterholes and inland lagoons, and along tributaries from the main Luangwa river. There are also many plains areas surrounding our camps which are host to a multitude of animals such as Eland, Kudu, herds of Buffalo and the rare Cookson’s Wildebeest.
Other lodges in South Luangwa National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.