Reviews of Kanga Bush Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
15 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Kanga Bush Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Kanga Bush Camp review"
Only one thing that I regret is we couldn't see painted dogs .....Animals were a bit quiet during our stay. But elephants sometimes visited the plunge pool to drink water. We were excited to watch them walking around the guest rooms.
Our guide Reggie and all of the staff were very friendly and helpful. I appreciate their great hospitality." See all these reviews: 7n in Zimbabwe
"Peace and quiet in Mana pools"
Game viewing is entirely depend upon the time of year and for us the game drives were quiet, but plenty of game came to drink at the pan, including a leopard every night. Lots of birds in and around the area.
A relaxing end to the trip, made extra special by being given the honeymoon tent, which was fabulous, including an outdoor bath!" See all these reviews: 14n in Zimbabwe
"Where the wilderness comes to you"
We were very disappointed in not seeing any painted dogs, the Kanga pack were suspected to be denning in the neighbouring hunting zone and had not been seen for weeks. We did however have the privilege of meeting Greg Rasmusenn, the painted dog research man himself. Actually we bumped into him no less than five times during our stay in Mana Pools!" See all these reviews: 12n in Zimbabwe
"Kanga Bush Camp review"
The main activity happened around the pan in the afternoon when there were no staff or guides around to identify birds etc. We must admit the camp was empty when we arrived and our first evening game drive we saw a leopard, and a small pride of lions with 3 young cubs, never to be seen again.
The camp is based on the pan, it is more for the first time traveller rather than an experienced traveller. We feel that 2 nights would be enough time there not the 3 that we did." See all these reviews: 10n in Zimbabwe; 2n in Zambia
"They call it"
I also loved that the vast majority of the camp staff, management very much included, were black Zimbabweans. Their welcome was fantastic. The guides were excellent.
The camp faces a large waterhole, which provides an opportunity for what the staff calls "an armchair safari," ie, just sit and let the game come to you. They did, in reasonable numbers, if not great variety.
Game in game drives, though, was very scarce.
My problem with this camp is that I think it's sited far too close to a hunting concession, which probably makes game viewing more difficult as animals are skittish. One morning we heard three rifle shots - not such a pleasant experience if, like me, you're not a fan of hunting." See all these reviews: 9n in Zimbabwe
We are delighted that your guest had such a wonderful time at Kanga and felt this was the most luxurious camp on their trip. I am sorry to learn that this guest encountered gun-shots during their time with us at Kanga Camp. I can assure you that this is the first of its kind this season and that the hunting concession outside of the National Park is too far from our camp to hear gun-shots. Having spoken to both Kanga Camp Management and National Parks, I can confirm that this particular incident was in fact an incident involving poachers. Our Camp Management, having heard the shots immediately notified National Parks who sent a patrol to be based out of Kanga and who followed the tracks all the way to the Kariba side of the escarpment. I can confirm that poachers were apprehended on this occasion and that National Parks are now conducting heavy anti-poaching in the area between the Kanga concession and the escarpment.
This was an isolated incident and we do apologise for the inconvenience caused to your guest whilst staying with us. We hope that with the increased presence of National Parks and operators between us and the escarpment that there will be no further incidents involving poachers in our area.
"Kanga, where you gamewatch from your bathroom"
The food was excellent and we ate as a group with the staff who often had to interrupt the meal to spotlight the game appearing at the water hole, and we certainly saw a lot of game there. In fact the amount of game visiting the pan throughout the day almost made it unnecessary to go on a game drive! Also the game, particularly the elephants came within feet of the decking with apparently no awareness of our presence. This was an excellent experience.
The game drives and guides here were excellent and had a high level of knowledge of both animals and birds.
The only thing to be aware of here is that this camp is in thorn scrub area in the main, but it makes an excellent combination with a waterfront camp by the river.
One other thing to be aware of is that they allow young children here. On our visit there was an 8 year old and 3 year old. The former being no problem, but the 3 year old disrupted the night game viewing and we were glad we had had our first night in peace to see the leopards etc as the constant use of the spotlight by the 3 year old, plus his enthusiastic voice were not conducive to peaceful game watching in the evening. I have taken young children on safari myself and agree it is a very valuable experience for them but when it affects other guests, as it did here, I feel clients should be made aware that this could happen. Most other places I have been have a lowest age limit of 8 years." See all these reviews: 7n in Zimbabwe
"Fabulous at Kanga et Zambezi Lifestyle"
It will be good to know that if you want to have some walk (you first drive and then have some short walks) you must book them before coming at the camp. We haven't do walks in Mana Pools when we were at Kanga, I regret, but the guide was with other guests and it seems wonderful." See all these reviews: 12n in Zimbabwe
"A treasure trove in Mana Pools"
The camp itself is very comfortable and we were very impressed with the lengths which Lizzie, temporarily managing on a day-to-day basis, went to to make us feel welcome and to provide any assistance we required.
As for the wildlife - leopards, painted dogs, lions, hyaena, buffalo and (of course) elephants all graced the waterhole during our stay, among many others; and we identified over 70 species of birds without even leaving the concession." See all these reviews: 8n in Zimbabwe; 3n in Zambia
"Kanga Bush Camp review"
Our hosts Richard and Gilly manage a perfect balance of warmth, professionalism and relaxed style in the way the camp operates and we came away - reluctanctly, having enjoyed our stay so much - feeling that we had spent a happy few days with old friends. The beauty of Kanga is that one can spend a day relaxing in camp and still see great wildlife right in front of you. With no need to move on, it is possible to watch fascinating behaviours that one would not see from a vehicle or possibly even on foot.
We saw, for first time, a beautiful male bushbuck hesitantly make his way to the water, alert to every sight and sound and easily spooked even by the baboons who spent their days at the pan.
The most unforgettable experience was seeing a leopard family - a mother and three large cubs - come down to drink one night as we sat on deck, whilst other nights saw the visits of lions and hyenas." See all these reviews: 10n in Zimbabwe
"Kwality Kanga Kamp"
However, Claire, as you well know the animals within the small concession were very skittish as the camp is adjacent to a hunting area. We saw hardly any game whilst on game drives within the concession. Consequently we did two full days at Mana Pools. There we had an exciting viewing of hippo and some gentle safari walks to view waterbuck, elephant eating water hyacinth and a flock of carmine bee eaters.
We realise from past experience that game viewing on safari can be hit and miss but we really felt that Kanga was more miss than hit. Kanga is a camp to stay a maximum of three nights. A great camp in the wrong place.
In our responses to the three places we stayed we are unsure what is meant by Activities and Facilities, thus the no comment." See all these reviews: 12n in Zimbabwe
Mana Pools National Park borders onto several hunting areas, all of which have buffer zones of no hunting around their borders. So we don’t think that Kanga’s game is significantly affected by this.
Investigating the game sightings on this trip more closely, these travellers were unlucky to miss a male lion drinking at the water in front of camp as they showered in the evening. Their first full day was spent on a full-day trip to the game-rich Mana riverfront area (including the exciting hippo fight!).
They all spent their second day in the camp’s area. The game drives didn’t produce any great sightings, but there were elephant in camp, followed by four leopards (a female and her three sub-adults) coming down to the pan in front of camp to drink.
Later, at about 22.30, there was a lot of noise as a pack of wild dog killed an impala. Apparently some guests saw this – but it was pretty dark. We understand that the dogs were first chased off the kill by elephant, then they returned, and eventually a hyena stole the leftovers.
The third day was again spent on an all-day drive to the riverfront, whilst lionesses appeared at the camp’s waterhole as they were finishing dining.
Their final day was spent in the Kanga area – and whilst the game drives were largely unproductive, several guests at camp saw a young leopard and the group of elephants which visiting the waterhole near the deck.
Thinking about this detailed report, and other travellers’ recent experience of Kanga Camp … we think that, during the dry season (and especially the latter parts of this), the game in this area is very good. Specifically, there are plenty of animals around the Kanga area, including all the resident big predators – as these are all drawn to the waterhole which is right in front of camp. Thus sitting on Kanga’s deck can be a great place to spot game.
However, much of the bush around the camp is thick. Hence relatively short game drives (ones which go in the morning, or afternoon, for just a few hours) tend to be unproductive, and see relatively little game.
Because of this, we’d recommend that travellers do what these travellers did: take a number of whole-day trips to the Mana Riverfront area. Then perhaps intersperse these whole-days out with the odd day of relaxation in the camp, reading a book or chilling, whilst seeing what comes to the pan to drink.
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