Elephants are my abiding memory of this camp. In particular one big old bull elephant with whom I felt as if I’d built up something of a relationship by the end of my stay. He seemed to follow me everywhere. If I tried to take a mokoro canoe out onto the wetlands that surround the camp, he would invariably park himself right next to the beached mokoros and refuse to let me pass. If I dived into the small pool at the front of the camp he would come to see what I was up too and if I went back to my tent then, without fail, he would come crashing over to see what I was doing. In the end I even gave him a nickname: Mr Nosey. (At night, when he kept busy trying to knock down trees right outside my tent, I also had another nickname for him — but it’s not one I can repeat in this publication!)
The reason I’m telling you about my elephant mate is because he’s indicative of just how much wildlife surrounds this camp. Certainly I’ve never been as close to elephants as I was here, and this is important because this is a camp at which you really smell, touch and feel the surrounding bush. Jacana will have huge appeal to those who relish falling asleep to the calls of the wild, but less appeal to those who feel the wilderness should be kept at arm’s length. There’s nothing over-the-top about Jacana. It’s very small and slightly rustic (in the best possible way), offering simple safari elegance with lots of wood furnishings, a low-key vibe and a fabulous tree house dining area.
The camp is marketed as being a water camp, which means that when the Okavango floodwaters are high the camp sits on a tiny, forested island. At such times you can almost fall out of bed into a mokoro, but at other times boat rides can be mixed with driving safaris. All this makes for a very diverse camp in a corner of the Okavango that feels far removed from the world.
Other perks of the camp include a plunge pool where you can cool off after a day in the sun, as well as a lounge area where you can hang out at night while you look up at the stars.
The camp is dedicated to sustainability and helps the local community through the Tubu Joint Management Committee, Children In The Wilderness and Pack for a Purpose.
You can view the camp’s current rates here.
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