Reviews of Kaingo Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Special feel here - didn't want to leave
It was hard to say goodbye to Kaingo and I can't put my finger on just one aspect that made this so. Everything fits to make a magical experience.
The setting is great, the staff attentive and warm, the hides are certainly a bonus. Our exceptional guide, Sly, set the tone with his love for birds, animals, nature, making our encounters almost spiritual.
Thanks to everyone for the most memorable trip I've ever taken.
Kaingo Camp review
Garth and Liz were very hospitable from start to finish. Our guide, Yoram, was also very good. The density and variety of wildlife was incredible at Kaingo. Many things that we didn't think we would have interest in were among our favorite sightings -- owls and eagles for example.
The schedule was pretty grueling, and after 5 days (3 at Kaingo and 2 at Mwamba) we were ready for another vacation. The only critique of our stay at the 2 camps is we weren't offered information about bush walking, and learned from another couple that this could be arranged, but by then it was too late.
We were very tired of the jeeps and would have liked a walk in the bush.
Great service in the bush
It was our second time in Kaingo. The service is very good.
What was really outstanding this time was the quality of the game drive with exceptional sights at every drive. This time it really liked like we were part of a documentary. Our guide was really excellent and we had enormous fun with him.
It was my fourth visit to Kaingo in as many years. I was a little wary, given the abrupt staff changes last year, but am happy to report that things were running very smoothly.
Kaingo is a wonderful place, with a stunning location, and I am very pleased to report that the food, which was very disappointing last year, was excellent once again. I thought brunch (rather than both breakfast and lunch in previous years) worked really well, with a lovely selection of breakfast-y things as well as delicious, fresh salads and quiches.
As ever, the game viewing was spectacular. Sylvester was an excellent guide throughout our stay, informative and friendly.
Kaingo Camp feedback
We had a wonderful time at Kaingo. Our guide (Patrick) was delightful, friendly and extremely knowledgeable. Nothing was too much trouble and the staff in general were always charming and friendly. The chef went to all sorts of trouble to provide me with gluten free alternatives to bread, cakes and biscuits (I really couldn't eat it all - but it was delicious).
The game on view was stunning - we saw everything that we had hoped to see, plus a lot of other fascinating and wonderful things.
Kaingo, along with Mwamba Bushcamp, my next destination, was the highlight of my trip. Kaingo is an extremely well-run camp spectacularly located on the bank of the Luangwa. The staff are professional and personable, always anticipating their guests' needs. Of all of the camps I stayed at on this trip, these two had the overall best levels of service.
The level of guiding was spectacular. I was lucky enough to have Patrick as my guide for six days; he has so much knowledge of the South Luangwa bush, along with incredible people skills, that he should be declared a national treasure.
Kaingo is in a prime game area and sightings are spectacular, even at the beginning of the season, when water is available throughout the park and game isn't forced to congregate around the river or few remaining lagoons and water holes.
At first I was a bit let down by the cottage, which looked somewhat drab from the outside -- like it had been lifted out of a South African national park rest camp. However, one soon gets over this -- the cottages are enclosed by reed fences for privacy and there is plenty of open space in front, the interiors are delightful, and -- best of all -- each cottage has a magical, open air sala on the bank directly over the river! These salas serve as a wonderful spot to sit back and relax between game drives, read or just watch the crocodiles and hippos in the river, or elephants downstream, or the amazing bird life, or whatever wildlife appears on the opposite bank.
The catering was of a very high quality; brunches were served buffet style and were uniformly outstanding, while dinners were plated, 3-course affairs and a bit less exceptional than the brunches, but altogether very good.
Of the six camps I stayed at on this trip, Kaingo would be my first choice for a return visit....
Kaingo Camp review
Beautifully located camp overlooking Luangwa River. Very friendly staff and excellent guides.
Food OK, but "Executive Chef" giving us the menu each evening is a bit pretentious and un-necessary.
Kaingo Camp review
We enjoyed our time at Kaingo but we felt it suffered from poor management. The rooms were clean and comfortable and the game viewing was excellent but it was let down by poor attention to detail, though it improved noticeably when Derek Shenton was in camp.
The standard of the laundry was poor, it took us 2 days to get a new bar of soap in our room, and it was only when Derek arrived that he sat down with us and discussed the options for activities and made suggestions. Prior to that we had been given no real information as to what was on offer (or indeed that we had a bath!).
The food was disappointing. It was made worse by the pretentious announcement of what would be served at dinner. When we met for tea, invariably people said "Wasn't lunch awful?". The fruit salad was usually a mush and the coffee was always poor. We loved the porridge.
The guides were very good and very friendly, though we feel 6 per vehicle can be too many. We didn't make use of the midday activities as we did not feel they were suited to the heat of October and preferred to watch animals from our verandah. By African standards, the camp was pretty good. However, Tafika outperformed it in every way and is, I understand, a little bit cheaper
Kaingo Camp review
Generally this camp is pretty good and we certainly enjoyed our stay there and the guiding some of the best we have experienced.
However, at the time we visit Kiango they seemed to be going through a bad phase. The food was disappointing and uninspirational and the service a little wanting, although the staff were always happy, obliging and polite.
Hopefully, they will be back on track for next season.
Expert Africa comments
We have spoken to Kaingo regarding their food and service issues, which a few travellers have commented on over these last few months. Due to some unexpected staff changes, they had additional pressures and sadly this pressure effected the guest experience at the camp. They assure us that they are proactively sorting them out as a matter of high priority and we have no doubt that by next season they will be back on track.
The highlight of our trip. The location was excellent - right on the river bank, so there was always something going on to watch while you rested or had lunch on your private, shaded deck. The rooms were spacious and well appointed, with a large bathroom. As it was October, a ceiling fan would have been nice, but probably uses too much electricity which is solar generated.
Informal and friendly camp with good food. Each guest is provided with their own s/s water bottle which is filled before each game drive.
Our guide, Andrew, was one of the best safari guides we've had - very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and keen to share all this knowledge with us - we learnt so much from him. The area is justifiably known for its leopard population - we saw so many, including one with her young cub.
The other big plus were the hides - one for hippos at eye level, and one for the carmine bee-eaters nesting colony. Both excellent locations - could have spent much more time in each if we'd had more days.