Most safari lodges have you feeling like you should be out and about, exploring the area, wondering what might be going on around the next bend in the road.
But Kanga Camp, set on a private concession in Mana Pools National Park of Zimbabwe, offers such prolific wildlife viewing from the comfort of an armchair on the camp deck, the only place you’ll feel you need to go is to the charging station to replace your camera battery.
Kanga is a seasonal camp, open between the months of April and November. The wet season when it is closed features surface water everywhere, which means animals aren’t drawn to the Kanga Pan itself, which during the dry months is essentially the only standing water for miles in any direction.
Elephants in particular are an almost constant procession to the valuable drinking water of the pan (the Zambezi River itself is almost 20 kilometres away), and there are few places on earth that you will be able to get as close to these magnificent creatures, at eye level.
Kanga Pan is a photographer’s paradise in particular. The unique, close-up angles you can get of all manner of wildlife coming down to drink at all hours of the day means that both that long lens and wide-angle will get their fair share of use. Meal-times are regularly punctuated by the rumble of breeding elephant herds only a few feet away, and the nocturnal roar of the local lion coalitions forms the most authentic African serenade you can have.
In line with African Bush Camp’s sustainability approach, the camp is solar-powered. It comprises six tents all raised on individual wooden platforms for an elevated view over the Pan and surrounding bush. The Meru-styled tents are elegantly styled, featuring floor-to-ceiling mesh windows that allow for refreshing air flow and make you feel completely immersed in nature, whilst keeping out any bugs that may be buzzing around (although there are very few to be found during the dry season).
All tents are replete with fans, en-suite bathroom, flushing toilet, outdoor shower, hot running water and a secluded veranda. Kanga also has a family tent which boasts a wraparound terrace facing the pan with private seating and dining areas. Children over seven years old are welcome at the camp, although waling safaris are restricted to kids over the age of 16. The camp plunge pool offers respite from the heat during the warm days at the beginning and end of the season.
It’s not all about out the Pan itself though. Experienced rangers take insightful game drives to explore the wider park, including trips down to the Zambezi River itself, which offers a completely different experience to the inland terrain around Kanga. The Ana tree forests of the Zambezi floodplain and the multitude of wildlife it attracts will leave you speechless.
All in all, Kanga offers the same dedication to hospitality that we’ve come to expect from the African Bush Camps portfolio. It is as comfortable as you could wish, the experience is unique, and in the context of a wildlife destination, especially in an area like Mana Pools, there isn’t a much higher accolade than that.