Photographic Safari in Zambia
Zambia is the perfect location for a photographic safari and one of the best safari operators here for a perfect holiday is Shenton Safaris. South Luangwa National Park is one of the best places in Africa for an authentic wildlife experience, up close and personal to all forms of wildlife it is a game rich area and this part of the park has very few other camps nearby, meaning you will often be the only guests watching any particular animals, perfect for photography when you may want to stay in one place for hours.
Derek & Jules Shenton themselves are amazing photographers and Kaingo Camp is their home in the dry season. They have been running safaris in South Luangwa for decades and the camps are beautifully decorated with natural, local craft products and materials including hand crafted fabrics, soaps and organic veggies from their own plot.
Shentons will pay special attention to your photographic experience by providing all guests with bean bags and dust covers for their camera gear. The game rich area combined with expert guides, specially trained in lighting and photographic positioning, and the photographic hides means spectacular photos are guaranteed.
If you love wildlife and adventure and you truly want to experience and photograph raw nature then a Shenton Safari is for you. You will witness beautiful sunrises and the most glorious sunsets; watching your first leopard or lion kill is an experience you will never forget. Seeing the elephants cross the river and walk right under you while you are sitting up in the elephant hide gives you an unmatched appreciation for these intelligent creatures. Just to name a few of the animals that you could see on a safari: Leopards, lions, wild dogs, hippos, elephants, buffalo, puku, impala, zebra, kudu, giraffe, waterbuck, eland and roan. There are far too many birds to mention, but photographic favourites are Pel’s Fishing Owl, Carmine Bee Eaters, Lilac Breasted rollers and Fish Eagles. The area is prolific for big cat sightings, leopard in particular with about 95% of guests staying here seeing these beautiful creatures.
The two camps, Kaingo and Mwamba, have been used by professionals such as National Geographic, Discovery Channel, BBC, Frans Lanting and Andy Rouse. Their unique photographic hides include a hippo hide where you can sit and watch pods of hippos going about their daily business (which consists of lots of snorting and sleeping!), a mobile floating hide on a boat which is moved into position in the dry season to get up close to the spectacular Carmine Bee Eaters when they are nesting in the river banks and an elephant hide which is high on a platfom in the bush on the Luangwa river near a point where elephants regularly cross in the dry season. It is possible to arrange sleep outs and special bush dinners on the platform.
There are the ebony groves nearby which are like an ‘enchanted forest’ with dappled light streaming through gaps in the trees and impala and baboon grazing in the dry streams and further north on Lion Plain are some good lagoons and dambos to sit and pass time waiting for the next photographic subject to wander by!
Kaingo Camp consists of thatched chalets each with an outside bathtub as well as indoor en-suite bathroom with a shower. They all have decks looking out over the Luangwa river where you can relax and watch the wildlife world float past! There is a dining deck and large lounge bar area and no noisy generators, it’s all solar power so you can enjoy the noises of the bush, not human interferance!
Mwamba Camp is a short drive or a good bush walk away – you can transfer between the camps by foot while you luggage goes by jeep – and is made up of reed and straw large en-suite rooms in the heart of the bush. There are also some hides here for observing things like lovebirds coming down to drink and the rustic bar and open air dining space form the centre of this lovely walking trails camp.
Your normal day on safari with Shentons would be something like wake up drums at 5.30 (yep – you have to be up early to get the best sightings!) for tea and cake at 6 then head out shortly after on a morning walk or game drive and back to camp around 9.30. A full English breakfast is served and you have a few hours to rest then visit one of the hides or the ebony grove before lunch at 13.30. Relax on the deck or take a siesta in the heat of the day before more food at afternoon tea then head off on another walk or drive around 16.00 stop for sundowner drinks then drive after dark with a spotlight to watch nocturnal wildlife then return to camp for drinks at the bar around 20.00 followed by a three course meal and fireside chat.
Sound like a great African Safari idea? Give me a call to arrange your bespoke holiday to Kaingo and Mwamba Camps in South Luangwa.
Julie was brilliant! We had decided that we wanted to go to Zambia for a couple of weeks, and wanted to visit a couple of different national parks to see a variety of wildlife and a variety of different landscapes. Julie’s knowledge and passion for Zambia was amazing, not only had she personally visited the parks but had also spent time at many of the individual camps as well. Her knowledge meant that we were able to have “real” conversations about our trip and make the right decisions meaning that we had an unbelievable holiday.
As well as Julie’s great knowledge, her customer care was spot on! Replying to e-mails and calls immediately and taking time to get to know us and what we wanted from our holiday. Zambia was incredible, and I can’t recommend South Luangwa and Kaingo camp strongly enough, the wildlife was spectacular, great sightings on every drive; mating lions, preening leopards, bathing elephants, fighting hippos, and eagles fishing to mention just a few! We can’t wait to go back to Africa and when we do it will be through Julie.