If you’re thinking of taking a safari in South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, let me recommend a really excellent small safari company – Shenton Safaris.

It is an owner-run company, which is a great start in my view.   Owned by Derek and Jules Shenton, this is a company whose passion for the valley of South Luangwa is long term and in depth.  They really know and love this place!

Derek and Jules built their first camp, Kaingo camp, in 1992, and they later added Mwamba Bush Camp.  The camps are known for their superb photographic hides which have been used for photographic shoots by the BBC, National Geographic and others.   There is the Hippo Hide, Elephant hide, Carmine Hide and ‘The Last Waterhole.  If you are a wildlife photographer, this is where you want to be.

Mwamba Bush Camp

Mwamba Bush Camp

Mwamba is a lovely little bush camp – very remote and fantastic for walking. I’d recommend combining this with Kaingo (Shenton’s other camp) and walking between the two as well.  Shenton’s are superb and their photographic hides add an extra element to the safari which anyone will love!  Don’t be put off that they are geared so much to photographers, you don’t have to be David Bailey to stay here!

Fly camping can be enjoyed while at Mwamba Camp. This involves a game drive and walking safari to a remote location, where dinner is prepared before a night spent beneath the stars – a true bush experience.

Kaingo Camp

A friendly elephant pays a visit to one of the chalets at Kaingo Camp

I love this camp!.  Derek and Jules are both such passionate and experienced hosts and guides and it’s a lovely, friendly little camp in the most superb part of Luangwa.  Make sure you take time to sit in the photography hides and take it all in … though at the hippo hide you may want a face mask, the smell is not particularly attractive!

The number of repeat clientele here is very high which in itself says a great deal about this small company. Both camps have impeccable eco-credentials and have both been awarded the Tribes Travel  5 Globe Eco Rating.

Amanda Marks

Amanda Marks is the founder and managing director of award-winning tour operator, Tribes Travel. Having started travelling professionally in her mid-twenties as a tour leader in Africa and the Middle East, she set up Tribes with her husband Guy in 1998. She travels regularly both alone and with her family, and is committed to sustainable travel so we can protect the earth's diversity and beauty for future generations.