ACTIVITIES AT KAINGU LODGE IN ZAMBIA
Game drives in the vastness of the Kafue
KaingU Lodge is in the unique position to expand its activities to an area of the Kafue National Park that for many years has been completely inaccessible. The majority of our game drives are now conducted in the National Park, a ten-minute boat ride from the lodge.
The vehicles are outfitted to our design to an extremely high standard with individual comfortable bucket seats. With short and longer loops available as well as the entire length of the (all weather) spinal road game drives can be tailored to individual wishes and can be from a couple of hours through to a whole day expedition.
Drives on the Game Management Area side of the river are also conducted but tend to be short night drives back to the lodge after a walk and sundowners.
Boating on a river of boulders and islands
KaingU Safari Lodge is known to be located in the most stunning section of the Kafue River. At KaingU, the wide and steady flowing river stretches out and flows around countless granite boulders, rapids, grassy sandbanks and islands, some so big that even leopards live on them.
Enjoy this beautiful river landscape on a comfortable boat cruise, ideal for birding as well as seeing hippos, crocodiles, bathing elephants or drinking leopards. Our three aluminium boats have comfortable seating, and smaller boats can be used for even more adventurous exploration of smaller channels.
Experience the vastness of Zambia on foot
Walking at Kaingu can be as long or as short as you would like. Large granite boulders which can be found around the lodge add a wonderful feature to our safari nature walks.
Here one can experience the vastness of Zambia and the Park. The short afternoon stroll to Mpamba Rock is one of our favourite rocks for watching a glorious African sunset. Longer walks from the lodge are also conducted to wonderful river locations or other scenic rocks.
More conventional walking safaris are conducted in the National Park, a ten-minute boat ride away.
Be one of the first to go Canoeing on the Kafue
KaingU guests can now enjoy an unforgettable experience on the Kafue River. Specialist guides will take you through truly magnificent areas that one can only reach by inflatable canoes. Canoe trails can be from an hour or three to a full day or even several days.
The scenery is spectacular and varied and the pace of the trail can be set to suit individual wishes. It can be as sedate or as adventurous as you like. If you like rapids, then they can be arranged; if you like calm waters, then those too can be arranged. Pods of hippos, crocodiles and elephants are regularly encountered as well as a wide variety of bird life and antelope species.
Trails can end at the camp or at a beautiful picnic spot – there are combinations for everyone.
Maybe dining is not classically seen as an activity, but here we believe it is! Imagine a morning game driving or canoeing and then stopping off at an island on the way home to find chef Wina with a full breakfast lurking in a semi-tropical paradise!
Or sitting by the rapids around a fire watching the sun go down and then having a 3-course meal as the moon illuminates the rushing water and boulders!
Itumbi / Kaingu Community School
VISIT A RURAL VILLAGE & COMMUNITY SCHOOL
About 25 km south of Kaingu Lodge, you can witness a life that you might have thought does not exist anymore if you live in the “developed” world.
You will find the homes of families living their lives as subsistence farmers and fishermen the way they have always done for generations.
Life here is a lot of hard work, but in Zambian culture, a visitor is always warmly welcomed, and there is always time for stories and laughter.
During the school terms, you are most welcome to stop by one of the community schools that were built by the KaingU Trust and to which every guest contributes by staying at KaingU Lodge.
Many activities can be done with the whole family but we also offer exclusive activities for children and youngsters. On our nature walks the whole family can explore the untamed wilderness around us and experience the vastness of Zambia. Our specialist guides will explain how to read the spoor of animals, identify insects and birds and explain which plants are useful for survival in the bush.
Boat cruises and on our magnificent part of the Kafue River are a pleasure for every age and kids can learn how to make a traditional fishing rod and try to catch a fish. Rock hopping on our trail to the rapids is great fun (and also a good work out!). In the hotter months a visit to our natural plunge pool in the rapids near camp provides refreshment.
Kids and youngsters will learn how to make a rope of tree-fibre and their own bows and arrows, which can then be used to practice their shooting skills by protecting our straw antelopes from ‘poachers’.
Our chefs are delighted to have hands on assistance in baking fresh ‘hippo-rolls’ or making dough for stick bread baked around the fire pit in the evening. Listening and sharing stories around the camp-fire lets everyone forget the absence of electrical gadgets and when it gets too late for the youngest an evening child care will be arranged.
Trips to our local school can be arranged where children can meet their counterparts and share experiences in the classroom and the playground.
Children’s Activities include:
spoor & dropping identification, bow & arrow making, archery, traditional fishing rod making & fishing, boating, hippo bread making, African storytelling, rope making, seed jewelery making and excursions to the local school.
All activities have a focus on conservation and sustainable use of our resources.
Families find comfortable accommodation in our Finfoot Family House and extra beds can be added to our Tented Chalets.
Unlike most Safari Lodges, we are genuinely family friendly and do not have a minimum age limit for staying here. However, we are in a wilderness area, and as such, we have to be aware of and minimise risks wherever possible. The following terms and conditions, therefore, have been applied in order to minimise risk and make your stay and that of other guests as enjoyable as possible:
- We cannot take infants on any river activities. This applies to boat transfers, so groups comprising infants will have to arrive at the camp via the Itezhi Tezhi road (D769).
- To participate in game drives, the minimum age is 6 years old. Please be aware that the higher pitch of children’s voices can cause reactions to certain dangerous games (Lions, Leopard, Elephant), and your guide may well choose not to approach such animals if children are on board.
- Unless you have booked a private vehicle, then it is at the management and guides’ discretion if children from 6 – 12 will be joining game drives if other guests will be present in the vehicle.
- You are, of course, welcome to do game drives in your own closed vehicle.
- Please help us to help you by enforcing camp safety rules with your children and ensuring that others in camp are not disturbed. Remember, most people come to the bush to escape the stress of daily life and to enjoy peace and serenity.
As with all recreational fishing, we recommend that all guests practice catch and release. If you really want to catch to eat, then any fish caught must be consumed in camp – e.g. a couple of fish given to the kitchen to prepare as bar snacks for all to enjoy. We do not allow guests to take home cooler boxes of fish, and we do not offer freezer space for fish. We are very mindful that fish stocks globally (as well as in the Kafue) are dwindling, and we would prefer to be playing a part in halting this than contributing to it. Basic catch-and-release guidelines:
- Never play a fish to complete exhaustion. It is important that the tackle used is strong enough to handle the potential size and power of your target species. The use of light and ultralight tackle is discouraged for sport species.
- Keep fish in the water. If possible, unhook the fish without removing it from the water. Using barbless hooks make this easier. Important: always be aware of the potential threat posed by crocodiles when handling fish in the water.
- Use knotless landing nets. Newer nets are made of a soft rubber mesh that is much less damaging to the skin and mucous membrane
- Avoid handling the fish excessively. If you must handle a fish, use wet hands to avoid damaging its protective mucous coating (a protective secretion that keeps fish healthy and free from infection).
- Minimise airtime. Even short exposure to the air can damage gill tissue. If you must remove a fish from the water, return it as quickly as possible.
- Take care when photographing fish. Be prepared, Have a camera ready to photograph your catch so that it can be returned to the water quickly. Don’t suspend fish by the jaw or gills when photographing. Hold the fish horizontally, supporting the body with both hands.
- Exercise restraint. Not all the fish you release will survive. Catch and release reduces but does not completely eliminate fish mortality. Overfishing a particular area will still deplete fish. Give fishing spots time to recover
- Fish responsibly. Considering the welfare of every fish that you catch will ultimately benefit the fish population and fishery as a whole.