- Intimate, friendly camp
- Three daily activities
- Superb wildlife hides
- Animals in camp
Kaingo Camp is a small, independent bushcamp within the stunning, game-rich South Luangwa National Park, Eastern Zambia. Nestled by the Luangwa River, Kaingo offers superior hosting and guiding, three daily activities, and a relaxed, personal atmosphere, at the higher end of the price bracket. The camp’s series of animal hides, unique to this area, are a boon for wildlife watchers and photographers alike, and regularly used for BBC documentaries. The area’s beautiful, diverse terrain includes mopane and ebony forest, vast grassy plains, and lagoons brimming with life. Bird and game viewing is fantastic, with high numbers of lion, elephant, buffalo, zebra, and leopard, along with 14 species of antelope. Hippos and elephants regularly visit camp, and two prides of lions reside nearby.
Open during the May to October dry season, Kaingo is approximately 2 ½ hours’ drive from Mfuwe airport, and a short drive or 3 hour walking safari from its smaller, more remote, sister camp Mwamba; guests frequently opt to stay at both camps. Note that visitors during October should be prepared for extremely high temperatures, when wildlife activity is at its most intense.
The camp’s wood and thatch main area, or ‘chitenge’, comprises a modern lounge and dining area, a small library, a souvenir shop, plus a bar hewn from a 1,000 year old leadwood tree. Outside is a lovely campfire area, and a shaded deck with a telescope overlooking the river. Kaingo grows much of its own produce and operates on solar power, with limited electricity charging available. Characteristic African drums announce mealtimes, with hearty communal breakfasts and three course dinners served in the dining area or around the campfire, whilst lunch is served to guests privately on their own verandas.
Three daily activities include day and night game drives and walking safaris with highly professional, enthusiastic guides, plus a session at one of the hides. Guests can enjoy a thrilling ‘sleep out’ under the stars at Kaingo’s elephant hide, with prior arrangement. This extremely quiet corner of the national park receives few travellers or vehicles.
Accommodation consists of six stylish thatched chalets, spaced along the riverbank. Each chalet has one king size or two twin beds with mosquito nets. Bathrooms are ensuite, with washbasin, shower and WC, plus a romantic outdoor bathtub. A private riverfront veranda is perfect for relaxing.
Families with children aged 10 and over are extremely welcome, with discounts for children sharing with adults. Younger guests may be accommodated, at the camp’s discretion. A recently refurbished family unit offers an ensuite master bedroom with indoor and outdoor showers, and separate bathtub. A second bedroom/lounge comfortably accommodates three single beds. Various child friendly activities include guided walks around camp, hide visits, nature photography, and animal tracking. Note there is a minimum age of 12 years for walking safaris, whilst families with children under 12 years are obliged to book a private vehicle for game drives. As the camp is unfenced and animals do roam through, parents are reminded that children should be supervised at all times.
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019