Kaingo Camp

Overlooking the Luangwa River deep within the prime area of the South Luangwa National Park, Kaingo’s relaxed, personal and friendly atmosphere offers its guests fantastic game-viewing opportunities within an area of incredible beauty and varied terrain.

Built and run by Derek Shenton, son of Barry Shenton – former ranger in Luangwa and warden of Kafue National Park – Kaingo has many attributes from the Shenton family ranging from the camps stylish design and practical layout to the local farm produce. The large centrally located open-sided sitting room includes a dining area, library and Kaingo’s renowned thousand year-old lead-wood bar.

Nestled discretely apart on the banks of the river, Kaingo’s chalets were designed with the sole purpose of transporting you safely into the world of the Luangwa without a single distraction.

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.

First House
Kaingo features 1 Deluxe Suite called First House. This is a great option for couples wanting extra luxury but can also sleep up to 6 people comfortably therefore is also ideal for families or groups.

The deluxe suite 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.

Booking this chalet at its full rate includes the use of a private vehicle, private butler and private dining if one wishes to have meals at their chalet. This is especially convenient if travelling with children and wanting to customize your game drive or meal times.

Game Drives
Game Drives in the camp’s custom built, open 4WD vehicles are 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. Qualified and experienced guides will take you to game-rich areas deep within the park which is not commonly visited by other vehicles. 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.

Game viewing loops are created, maintained and modified by the camp with 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).

Kainga Camp offers 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 organize a sundowner around sunset time, and the drive will continue into the night to observe the nocturnal animals, national park curfew is 20:00.

Walking Safaris
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 specialties 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.

Photographic Hides
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 stabilizers.

This 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 the following photographic hides are offered:
Hippo Hide
Elephant Hide
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)

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.

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.

Camp Out
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.

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.

Shenton Safaris' Carmine Bee-eater Hide
A Must for Serious Birders!

The 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 riverbank so we must develop our hide in the middle of the river to get the best viewing angle and distance.

Guests are driven 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 occurred 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 occasional solitary hippo wallowing. This hide is also exceptional for bird viewing for wallowers, as well as weavers and the occasional raptor.

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