Reviews of Jacana Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
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.
our favourite wet camp
We loved Jacana as much this time as on our previous visit.
The staff were excellent, and the welcome very warm. Joseph was an excellent guide
The bird life was excellent and we seemed to get a lot closer to them than we have on previous trips.
Jacana Camp review
Intimate camp in the heart of the Okavango. Our guide, "Speedy" was excellent and after the Kalahari was a stark contrast.
The island on which the camp is situated was visited regularly by troops of baboon and elephant. The wildlife in the area is plentiful with great sightings of leopard, many species of antelope and birdlife everywhere you look.
Our fear of mosquitoes due to the swamp was not founded (late Aug/ early Sept) and the bite count was a pleasant zero.
No game on the menu :-(.
Expert Africa comments
Just to clarify, this traveller likes to eat game meat, and the comment about ‘no game on the menu’ is a littoral one. See their review of Chobe Game Lodge, where they did eventually find some on the menu!