Where the seasonal Mwamba River meets the main Luangwa River, the small camp of Kaingo looks over the water towards the Nsefu sector from beneath an old grove of mahogany and ebony trees. The open-sided sitting room cum dining area is a large brick and thatch building, with an amazing bar made from an old leadwood tree-trunk. Outside, a wooden deck extends over the river – perfect for relaxing and game viewing. Four of Kaingo's chalets are brick with a thatched roof. Inside each are twin beds with mosquito nets, a lockable box for valuables, a couple of solar lights and an en-suite shower/toilet. Each has a solid, stable-style door which opens on to the bank overlooking the main river. The fifth chalet, a little further upstream, is a reed-and-thatch riverside honeymoon suite. It has an en-suite bathroom (hot & cold water – heated by gas!) and a skylight has been cut from the roof above the double bed, to give you a view of the stars as you drift off to sleep. Outside, on the river bank, is a luxurous bath.
Close to Kaingo, the camp has two hides: the 'elephant' and 'hippo' hides. These are fairly rare in the Luangwa, and one was recently occupied for a long time by some BBC wildlife film-makers. If you're too active for a snooze after lunch, perhaps this is the place to come and keep watch.
Kaingo's owner, Derek Shenton, is quiet and unassuming, which has perhaps helped the lodge to attain a solid, established and yet very calm air. It's been open since 1993 and its main guides, Patrick Njobvu and Ian Salisbury, both have more than 15 years' experience of guiding in this part of the world. The usual walking safaris and day and night drives are offered, plus picnics in the bush and fishing in the river by camp. Travellers booking into Kaingo for more than three or four nights can sometimes arrange to take whole-day game-drives. Note that the Shenton family also run Forest Inn, near Mkushi.