Reviews of Kaingo Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Great Safaris at Kaingo
The location of Kaingo was absolutely fabulous and the accommodation and facilities were brilliant. The safaris with Sylvester and Noel were outstanding although the lack of leopards was a little disappointing.
Issy was the perfect host and the staff were always happy and helpful.
The only criticisms we had were :-
That, although adequate, the food was not of the quality we expected from a five star camp.
The absence of fans in the bedroom made sleeping somewhat uncomfortable although we do appreciate the
limits of electrical power in the camp.
Delightful camp, great guiding at Kaingo
The 6 chalets are strung out along the river with each having its own private, shaded terrace on the riverside where you can while away an hour or so before lunch is delivered to you. We also had a hammock which was surely worth the gymnastics required for me to get into it! The outside bath is a nice touch, bring your own bubbles. I liked the fact that the lights in the chalets are solar powered and that there was no generator noise to detract from absorbing the natural sounds of the day and night. There is a charging hut in the centre of the camp where you charge your camera batteries etc. Laundry is washed and returned each day – this means you really can pack light.
The Shenton camps have their own plot near the airport which keeps the kitchen well stocked with fresh veg and provides local jobs. We particularly wanted a Zambian owned camp, small and in a quiet part of the park also it was important to me that the owners were fully engaged with and supportive of the local communities, economy and environment. All that came through to me very clearly here and I feel we made the right choice.
There is an abundantly clear commitment at Kaingo to ensuring that guests are well looked after in every respect from the comfort of the chalets, through delicious and well prepared food to having a good number of simply exceptional guides and spotters many of whom have been there for years. This combination ensured we had a fabulous safari filled with adventure and other amazing experiences which will always be with us. The driving loops are really well maintained and well positioned. Really enjoyed the night time drives which followed the sundowners which were taken at a different place each evening. You will find bean bags and dust sheets for cameras in the jeeps - much appreciated.
The landscape is fantastic and very varied. The range of wildlife in front of you is amazing and you can learn so much from the guides – who are not only superbly skilled with a huge amount of knowledge that they are keen to share but are adept at positioning the vehicles and understanding the light to give you a chance to get great photos. The 3 activities per day certainly resulted in a really satisfying experience, the hides are such a great for getting up close. We also stayed overnight in the elephant hide – a really special and unique experience.
Kaingo Camp review
Enjoyed all aspects of this place the view over the river
The drives were excellent viewing guide full of knowledge.the walk was excellent and I still learnt new things
Everyone was friendly kind and helpful
Good for animals
The management where strangely absent and the person in charge was under strain which resulted in just a little too much regimentation.
More time should have been given to prepare for meal after evening activity. Guides where first class.
Best drummer at Kaingo camp
We had a fabulous wildlife experience here.The Shentons have gone to a great deal of trouble to ensure that there are as many ways and means of experiencing the natural beauty of the place.The game drives are a pleasure because a great deal of work has been put into maintaining the 'road' surfaces.The hide facilities are an excellent way of studying and filming nature.Added to this is the bonus of having your lunch privately on your own jetty looking over the river.
We had the pleasure of being guided by Mayem,whose knowledge and expertease never failed to amaze us.In all our trips to Africa we have never met a more proficient guide!
Unfortunately,my wife suffered a severe illness here,which prolonged our stay.However,she was treated and cared for by all the staff in such a fashion that we will remember the experience for all the right reasons.Although ill,Gillian refused to miss the opportunity of sleeping in the Elephant Hide.With a recent lion kill only yards away,excited hyena cackled and laughed and lions roared in the distance.We will definitely return and do it again.
I spent five days here and it still wasn't long enough.
Thank you Noel for all your help and kind advice!
Great friendly camp with lots of activities to keep one occupied from dawn to after dusk. Really good service and comfortable accommodation. We particularly liked the private deck in front of our chalet where we sat and had lunch and watched the hippos, crocodiles and Bee Eaters. The staff could not have been more helpful. Food was very good and far too plentiful.
Lots of photographic opportunities, especially in the hides at mid-day where one could get close to hippos and towards the end of our stay, to Carmine Bee Eaters where we were the first occupants of the season.
The night game drives were particularly good as there was a driver and a spotter - an extra pair of trained eyes made a huge difference in spotting game. We were lucky to see a lioness and her two small cubs in the dark and then later that evening glimpses of a male and female leopard.
We could have stayed longer at Kaingo.
Kaingo Camp review
The location of Kaingo on the river (with your own terrace and lookout) and with the hides and a backcountry with lots of predators was exceptional. We saw 2 groups of lions, leopards and lots of hippos and crocs. The food was OK but not exceptional. The catering for a diabetic had lapses. A surprise brunch in the bush (where Derek Shenton was married) was a highlight.Read more about the whole safari
Comfortable camp overlooking the Luangwa
Unusual camp in that the rooms are solid walled with mesh windows. They are very comfortable, our only gripes are lack of power and the time it takes for hot water to get to the taps, minor issues given where we were.
We particularly enjoyed the private deck overhanging the river edge on which lunch is served.
Game drives were very good with especially good sun-downers. Our only reservation is that they tend to put all the guests on one vehicle if possible, albeit only two abreast. That being said, we did see a successful lion hunt and plenty of other game.
Staff were very pleasant and the owners were about although we didn't see much of them.
One negative is the disclaimer we were asked to sign on arrival. It seemed to absolve the camp of any responsibility whatsoever for anything at all. We've seen nothing like this at any other camp, although they didn't mind us crossing out parts we particularly didn't agree with.
Food was very good and the hippo and elephant hides excellent spots for an hour or two at midday.
Another excellent trip to Kaingo
When we last visited Kaingo in 2010 we vowed that if we were to return to Zambia, Kaingo would definitely be on our list of camps to revisit. I'm glad to say that we were not disappointed during our most recent stay.
Since our last visit the rooms have been considerably extended with new fixtures and fittings. The additional space and improved lighting was much appreciated. The camp is run on a very friendly and informal basis and the whole team went out of their way to make this second trip as memorable as the first. The food is of the highest standard and we were constantly amazed at the quality of food that was produced given the somewhat limited resources at the team's disposal. Sometimes three meals a day is almost too much, but that's not a criticism, just an observation.
The guiding was excellent with Patrick finding us a lion kill on our second night and Noelle tracking a leopard in daylight the following morning. There were many other sightings over the period we were at Kaingo, especially the elephant which decided that he liked a specific tree outside our room which delayed our lunch for some 45 mins!!. There are some things you can't legislate for, it is Africa after all !!
This is an excellent camp, with a truly dedicated team who go out of their way to try and meet your expectations.
We would go back tomorrow !!
I spent three nights at Kaingo, followed by another three at Mwamba. All round, it was undoubtedly the best safari experience I have had.
Kaingo's location, perched on the river Luangwa, is stunning - and, crucially, the camp is far away from the park's busy main gate so that you seldom come across another car (and if you do, it's likely to be from Mwamba). The newly-decorated rooms are airy, spacious and charmingly decorated, and the private deck, where lunch is served, is the perfect place to while away a couple of hours before the afternoon game drive. Toiletries, including mosquito repellent, are provided, and don't miss the lovely robes!
The food was superb - I believe Honore, the Congolese chef, is a new addition to the staff, and I was very impressed by the variety and the quality of the meals produced (much of the produce coming from Shenton's own vegetable garden in Mfuwe). Izzy, Rob and Derek Shenton all contributed to the warm, friendly service.
The game viewing, meanwhile, is superb: loads of leopard and lions, heaps of hippos and hyenas, as well as huge herds of buffalo and various antelope. What really stood out, though, was the standards of the guides (Patrick was mine at Kaingo, while Mayem gave me an impromptu game drive on the way from the airport), confirming Zambia's reputation for having some of the best in the business. I think I learnt more during my week there than in all my previous safari experiences combined. Also, do go for a walk and don't miss the wonderful hippo hide for an up-close-and-personal experiences.
Highly, highly recommended. I can't wait to go back.