Reviews of Jacana Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Peaceful oasis at Jacana
We were welcomed by an all singing all dancing staff as we glided up to the camp on the boat which was lovely.
The managers Angie and William were very friendly and welcoming and a special mention for Kathy, who looked after our room. She came specially to point out a baby crocodile floating on a small log just outside our room which we would never have spotted on our own.
It was a quiet interlude in a busy schedule, although Janet was nearly joined in the outside shower by a large elephant quietly passing by! Janet also received another birthday cake with yet more candles and singing! A memorable day!
Jacan - Also Visit Two
This was also a second visit but our first since the rebuild. The new rooms are spacious, comfortable and very well equipped. As a break from the dryer camps Jacana is a gem, offering great water activities in addition to game drives on the Jao flood plain.
We had a wonderful 3 nights here largely due to the hugely successful management team of William and Angie combined with the amazing skills of our guide TH. We also met Renco again for whom nothing is ever too difficult. Although the team made great efforts to show us Pels and Sitatunga, we only managed a fleeting glimpse of the elusive fishing owl and not a hint of the even shyer water antelope. However, there is always something new; we saw and photographed Temmincks Courser which neither we nor our guide had seen before.
More importantly, after 12 years of trying, I managed decent pictures of the extremely shy Rufous Bellied Heron. Hooray! Despite the emphasis on water activities we also managed wonderful lion sightings of the Kwetsani pride with 5 cubs and a whole range of antelope and fantastic birds. Jacana is a very special and beautiful camp. Try it.
Wonderful camp, beautiful setting
We loved this place. Wished we had booked for 3 nights rather than two. Disappointed we didn't see the Pel's fishing owl but the guides gave it a good try. This is a great place for bird sightings.
The manager was very personable and the guide extremely good, esp with bird ID. Sunsets and sunrises on the lagoon were spectacular.
Jacana, still one of my favourite locations
This is still one of my favourite places in Botswana. One of the most beautiful locations and wonderful for birdwatching.
Water based activities make a lovely change from game drives. Wonderful sunrises from the main area of camp.
The new bathrooms are lovely.
We were a little disappointed with the guiding there which was not up to Wilderness' usual high standards. Our guide was a really nice chap, but It seemed that we and our fellow guests, were more likely to spot things and we missed being able to watch several interesting events because we did not stop in time.
Jacana Camp review
24hr power and hot water. Enjoyable island setting.
Water excursions made a nice change and were very relaxing.
Two days at Jacana
Jacana island on which the camp is situated is a 15-20 minute boat ride from the 'mainland'. The water is why visitors would choose to come here. The staff were singing a welcome song for our arrival as the boat drew in and was tied up. This set the tone for our stay here. The service was excellent in every respect and all the staff were happy to fall in with our needs. However, after being escorted to our rooms to freshen up after our journey, we were prevented from going back to the communal area for tea by the arrival of three bull elephants placidly demolishing the vegetation around our rooms. The camp structure they did not touch however. In our previous camp, the policy was to keep the big game out with an electric fence. At Jacana, being an island where the only big game in daytime were elephants, the policy was to let them roam. It seemed to work. One must remember that the elephants were here long before Jacana Camp. We did get our tea, but half an hour later once the elephants had moved off.
The activities here included game drives, after the aforesaid 15-20 minute boat ride but, as we were to spend only two days here, we stuck to boat rides in the mornings (further afield) and mokoro trips in the afternoon/evenings (more romantic). Consequently we saw very little game (apart from the camp elephants of which we saw plenty) but we did see a huge variety of birds, many very close up! When we got home we bought a copy of Birds of Southern Africa just so that we could identify our photographs of them. Although our very knowledgeable guide had told us their names at the time, one quickly forgets ... We had the guide all to ourselves for the full two days because there was only one other couple at the camp during our stay. This made a huge difference to us, allowing us to choose the time and mode of our excursions, and could be said to have made our holiday.
Our room was of a very high standard with separate spacious bathroom/lavatory and plentiful hot and cold water. The food was very good, even lunch. Throughout our stay, there was careful attention to detail, but the whole atmosphere of the camp was very relaxed.
We would strongly recommend a short stay here to anyone who can appreciate the very beautiful watery location but we suspect that, beyond three or four days, some visitors may tire of the constraints of location and activities.
Jacana, a real water based camp
As part of our 4 camp trip to Botswana this water-based camp was the one that my wife, Caroline, was looking forward to most of all. She was not disappointed. The Mokoro trips were a lot of fun even allowing for the adolescent male elephant who seemed to delight in making our sundowners more adrenelin pumping than usual with fake charges, turning his back on us,walking away only to stop have a quick think and then come back for another round of trumpeting and ears flapping. Fortunately our guide, Bafana, seemed to understand exactly when it was time to leave. and calmly head back to the water. These encounters with young bulls appear quite common in Botswana and the guides are extremely adept at dealing with these situations.
The birdlife at this camp is enchanting and our binoculars were in full use. The hippos and lechwe make for exciting trips on the narrow channels.
Danielle and Peter made our stay really special and we must thank them for all the trouble they went to, particluarly the candle-lit dinner they laid on for us on our last night.
Jacana also offers the opportunity for a spot of tiger fishing and it is a real thrill to land one of these wee beasties. If you go to Tubu Tree after Jacana, do go by water rather than air, There is so much to see.
Jacana Camp review
Pieter and Danielle made us feel part of the family in a wonderful location with the emphasis on birds and riverine life generally. Another terrific guide in Joseph, who found the Lion cubs!
Much warmer than the previous two camps first thing!
A Lovely Small Water Camp
I thinks small best describes Jacana. Small island, small rooms and on this occasion due to the flood, small game viewing opportunities in the Jao Concession. It had all gone to Tubu! Nonetheless we loved our time at Jacana because we managed a drive to the Hamerkop Bridge on the Kwetsani road and caught a late afternoon bird extravaganza. One of the very best photographic sessions I have ever had. Pity my skills let me down!
Used to a pretty consistent Wilderness Classic standard throughout the Delta we were surprised to find the Jacana rooms definitely 'cosier' than any we had previously stayed in. Some might be unkind and decribe them as cramped. Moreover, it was disconcerting to have to go outside the netted area to use the almost open air loo during the night. In addition, and we know this has been remarked on before, the open plan nature of the bathroom whereby there is a single room for basin, shower and lavatory is downmarket compared to most Classic facilities.
The other guests during our time presented a challenge to the management - 5 Sri Lanken doctors followed by 4 Ukranian adventurers complete with personal aeroplane and pilot/guide. Danielle was poised, efficient and charming at all times and none of our disparate band was ever wanting for anything. A class act. Our guide Timothy was a delight and even beat the challenge we set him by finding us a sitatunga, plus baby, on the first morning. A wonderful wet camp experience that would benefit from the accomodation being brought up to the standard of other Classic camps.
A final point was that we were surprised that none of the motor boats had canopies as they have at Xigera. We were fine ex UK summer but later in the season I imagine it may be a challenge for those arriving direct from a European winter.
Jacana Camp review
This was the camp we enjoyed most - maybe because of the isolation on the water and the view.
I just loved it, and that in spite of the fact there were no mosquito nets and the towels all smelt of mothballs. I complained about both of these at the time but was told there was a moth problem . (Clearly a problem that doesn't affect any of the other camps) There is also no real excuse for lack of mosquito nets, as they had them in the other camps and Jacana say they have then in their literature, as I pointed out to the lovely manageress, Danielle.