Jao Concession, western Okavango Delta
Jacana Camp is set on a heart shaped island situated on the Jao Flats in the Jao Concession. The density of date palms gives Jacana the feeling of a ‘tropical island’.
This camp is a true water camp that offers mokoro and walking safaris all year round. Here guests will see elephant, lion, leopard, sitatunga, red lechwe and buffalo. The Pels Fishing Owl is a favourite amongst birders, as are the greater and lesser Jacanas.
Jacana Camp’s main area includes a large open deck looking out over a picturesque floodplain. The main lodge is a two-storey structure, with a comfortable sitting area, tea and coffee station, bar, library and an open thatched dining area on the upper deck. A small pool with sun loungers and umbrellas is perfect for the lazy hot afternoons. Situated behind the bar is the campfire which is lit every evening and surrounded by chairs where guest can relax with coffee after dinner. There is also a small curio shop situated behind the main area and many of the baskets sold here are made by members of local staff. Jacana Camp has 220v generator powered electricity.
The meru-style tents at Jacana Camp are accessed by short wooden walkways. Each tent is on a wooden deck overlooking the floodplains which surround the island. Each tent’s balconies boast two director’s chairs and a small table. All the tents have ensuite bathrooms which are roofless, but enclosed, allowing for showers by starlight. The rooms have safes, fans and mosquito coils which are lit nightly by the staff.
Activities offered at Jacana Camp include mokoro trips, boating trips and walking safaris all year round, as well as game drives when the floodwaters have receded – generally between September and May. During the high-water season, most of the activities at Jacana Camp take place in mokoros, motorboats, or on foot.
Wildlife concentrations depend on the water levels and thus change from season to season but all the big animals can be found in the Jacana area including elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo. Jacana Camp is set in one of the most densely populated wetland areas for sitatunga and red lechwe.
Birdlife is abundant with a large variety of bird species found in the vicinity of Jacana Camp including wattled crane, saddle-billed stork, African darter, reed cormorant, king-fishers, slaty egret, several species of heron including the goliath and rufus-bellied variety and all the more common water-bird species. Ground hornbills are also spotted regularly when water-levels are low.
Exploring the surrounding waterways of the Okavango Delta is the ideal way to get a bird’s-eye view of the wetland’s bird and aquatic life. Fishing, on a catch and release basis, is offered at Jacana.