As much as I would love to write about how fantastic I think Kaingo and its sister camp Mwamba, in South Luangwa National Park, are – and they really are – I have decided to focus on their hides, as these were quite spectacular and very special. The idea was conjured up by Derek Shenton, of Shenton Safaris, some years ago as a small project and their growing success means that there are now seven hides in total, of which I was fortunate enough to visit three. They are regularly used by the likes of the BBC and National Geographic – and I can see why.
1 Kaingo’s Hippo Hide
For starters, there’s the Hippo Hide – my favourite – which sits at the confluence of the Luangwa and Mwamba rivers, beside a busy hippo pool of bachelor and breeding pods. We walked down some 20 steps to a dark, earthy underground room, which contained several windows, offering perfect views of the pod at water level. Observing these huge animals from here was incredibly exhilarating. Later in the season, the team builds a tunnel to keep up with the receding water levels.