Kaingo Camp is the best place to see Hippos in Zambia.
Now, you may find a trip with the hope of seeing hippos to be quite strange since they’re not normally the most sought after animals when you think of a safari.
However, since my recent trip to Zambia, in particular the South Luangwa National Park (SLNP), I have to say the experience has completely changed my perception of these fascinating creatures. Not only does the Luangwa river have one of the highest concentrations of hippo in Africa, so you see them at almost every visit to the river, but Kaingo camp on the river has a dedicated ‘hippo hide’ where you can get extremely close to the animals, making it the best place to see hippos in Zambia. The hide is re-inforced steel and is built into the riverbank at the confluence where the Luangwa and Mwamba Rivers meet. It plays host to hundreds of breeding and bachelor pods, all jostling for space in the receding river.
The hide is close to water –level and you’ll find yourself almost face to face with these enormous mammals. To see them this close was a real highlight for me as I’ve only ever seen them from afar, or looking at them down below in a river. Being only a few meters away to them you can see how incredibly large and fearsome they are, the males in particular as they are covered with deep scars and cuts from territorial flights. In my opinion this makes Kaingo camp the best place to see hippo’s in Zambia.
Hippos can be surprisingly active during the day and they are incredibly loud. They make a variety of noises from grunting, roars and wheezing sounds. I happily spent a number of hours in the hide and could have stayed for a full day!