Kaingo is a 16 400 hectare (41 000 acre) private game reserve in the Waterberg District, of the Limpopo Province of South Africa. A pleasant 2.5-hour drive from Johannesburg, makes Kaingo one of the most accessible premier malaria free big game reserves in the country. It is a declared protected area with Critical Biodiversity 1 classification and a core area of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve, which was officially declared by UNESCO in 2001.
As a declared Nature Reserve with the primary objective of Natural Resource Conservation the Reserve is run along pure, sustainable management and development principles, with an exceptionally low development and tourist footprint. Kaingo Reserve Foundation, a non-profit public benefit organisation is the appointed management authority of the reserve.
The Mokolo River, meaning “deep and silent” or “large flow” in the Tswana language, threads its way along its’ thirteen-kilometre route through the reserve. The mighty river has left behind massive cliffs, sandy beaches, natural causeways, potholes and waterfalls, all surrounded by breath-taking beauty. The Reserve offers large unspoilt wilderness areas with rolling wooded mountains cut by deep rocky ravines. Here you can experience the best of the Waterberg in its original state, an evocative piece of Africa. Kaingo aptly meaning ‘place of the leopard’, is a place of rare and rugged wilderness beauty, abundant wildlife and prolific birdlife.
Kaingo is home to over 50 different mammals, including the Big Five. It is home to several endangered and rare species too, such as Cheetah, Tessebe, Brown hyena and Pangolin. Several nocturnal species can best be seen at night including Aardvark, Serval, Bush baby and African wild cat.
The grassy plains and savanna abound with animals such as giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, and impala. It is the diversity of habitat on the reserve that encourages such a wide range of wildlife as well as over 250 bird species, including rare species such as African finfoot and Narina trogon.
Kaingo protects a unique and special environment and the reserve’s owners, and management is deeply committed to conservation and research. It is one of the few reserves where the full tourism income goes towards positive conservation. Every visiting guest directly supports the reserve’s primary objective of conservation.
Rich in human history there is also an array of rock art sites on Kaingo. With hundreds of images spread across 15 sites, Kaingo offers the biggest variety of rock art and archaeological finds dating to the Stone Age.
Kaingo offers the discerning visitor something completely different and the best of the Waterberg. This is mountain bush-veld with rivers running through it and sweeping views to far horizons. The reserve’s varying seasonal beauty, temperate climate and malaria free status makes it worth a visit all year round. Kaingo is certainly one of the finest places to participate in conservation, watch wildlife, experience the best of the Waterberg wilderness and touch the spirit of true Africa.
The Kaingo ecotourism model recognises that the people of the Waterberg are an integral part of the ecosystem, and crucial to solving the conservation challenges we all face. Supporting a viable ecotourism business lets us create upskilling and employment opportunities for people from our closest settlements and provide them with meaningful careers.