Situated on a small island surrounded by the seasonally inundated floodplains and papyrus swamps of the Jao Flats, the intimate and secluded Jacana Camp is a true Okavango water camp offering water-based adventures and scenic beauty.
Jacana Camp is pervaded by an atmosphere of relaxed informality in a water wonderland that is home to incredible birdlife and unique wildlife. It is one of the best wetland areas to view the rare sitatunga and abundant red lechwe. While game drives are offered in the dry season, when elephants visit the camp to feast on the fan palm fruit, the crystal-clear waterways and lagoons are waiting to be explored all year round. Traditional dugouts offer a more intimate experience, while the excursions by motorboat give you a more expansive overview of the delta.
The Jao Flats floodplains form part of the Jao Concession at the boundary of the Moremi Game Reserve. Wildlife concentrations in this wetland area of the Delta depend on seasonal water levels. You may well see hippo, red lechwe, reed frog, blue wildebeest, bushbuck, banded mongoose, giraffe, crocodile, monitor lizard, and, in the deeper channels, even the rare and elusive sitatunga antelope.
In the dry season, elephant and zebra are prevalent, with buffalo, lion, cheetah and sometimes leopard sighted in the surrounding areas. Abundant birdlife includes the African Jacana, after which Jacana Camp is named, Little Bee-eater, Pel's Fishing-owl, and other Okavango specials such as Slaty Egret, African Pygmy-goose, Western Banded Snake-Eagle and many more.
Jacana Camp accommodates 12 guests in five spacious Meru tents, including a family unit consisting of two separate tents joined by a bathroom. Built on raised wooden decks to enhance the panoramic views over the Okavango Delta, each en-suite tent leads onto a private veranda and has an extra open air double shower – one tent even boasts an outdoor bathtub – all offering incredible views.
Set on an elevated platform between two magnificent sycamore fig trees, and surrounded by dense wild date palms, the split-level main area has a comfortable downstairs lounge and bar with an expansive viewing deck romantically lit by lanterns at night. Friendly and attentive staff serve delicious meals in the upper level dining area, which is open at the sides to allow landscape views of the surrounding floodplains.
During the day you can cool off in the plunge pool, relax on the sun loungers, read a book from the small library in a hammock at the gazebo, or visit the curio shop. As evening draws in, sip sundowners at the open firepit area with fellow guests, and perhaps enjoy an alfresco meal under the stars. But most of all, simply imbibe the utter peace of this idyllic retreat.
Mokoro excursions are offered all year round. Float through the tranquil Okavango waters in a 2-seater traditional dugout canoe and see wildlife from a different perspective.
Motorboat trips in 12-seater and 7-seater motorboats in the waterways to the east of camp allow for good game viewing in the channels further away.
Fishing is on offer on a catch and release basis, except in January and February when fishing is barred by law for breeding. Bring your own fly fishing gear, since only a limited supply of basic equipment, such as spinner rods and a small range of lures, is available.
A raised hide located about 40 minutes from camp offers opportunities for watching the comings and goings of wildlife. Equipped with a long-drop loo, sleep-outs with catering can also be arranged here for a maximum of six people.
Land-based game drives to the nearby island are offered when the floodwaters have receded, from about September to May. The open 4x4 Land Rovers accommodate a maximum of seven guests per vehicle, allowing each guest an outside seat, and beanbags are provided for steadying your camera while on a game drive.