Weather and Landscape
February has brought a rise in the Delta water levels. From the 10th of the month, the water level at our jetty rose steadily by 34 cm, levelling out towards the end of the month as the annual inundation has now started to spill over onto the Jao Floodplains, so slowing down the rise in the channels.
As we look out from our viewing deck, fewer grasses are now visible and we now see a lovely pinkish blush to the water from the colour of floating lily-pads on the surface.
Unusually, February has not yielded the amount of rain when compared with previous years which has allowed our guests to enjoy hot sunny and dry days averaging in the mid 30° C mark. The evenings were very comfy as the temperature dropped to a comfy average of 20° C.
Having said this, we did have a couple dramatic thunder storms during the month, the most notable of which was in the third week of the month when we caught the edge of a cyclone which was passing over Mozambique. Just as the final wine glass had been laid on our dining table in the boma in readiness for that evening’s barbeque, gale force winds swept through the camp forcing all of us to hurriedly move everything to our inside dining room, and rush around the camp lowering our canvas screens and closing down the sides of our guest tents. Once everything had been battened down, we looked out over the water and saw the effect of the wind on the Delta itself. No longer still and resembling a mirror, we saw waves topped with white water more akin to the oceans! As the storm had come in with such force and no warning, our guests were still out on their afternoon boat cruise and on witnessing our guide, Moruti, struggling against the wind on his approach to our jetty, we were full of admiration of his skill at being able to return our guests safely to camp, albeit a little “wind-blown”! Our dinner conversation that evening was punctuated by various recounts of the unexpected adventure which Nature had blown our way.
We are delighted to report that towards the end of February, the familiar bull elephants have now returned to our little island. We are accustomed, once again, of checking for their presence before leaving our tents and embarking along our pathways.
One early morning whilst still dark, I dressed to the accompaniment of two bull elephants snoring behind our tent, their proximity to our pathway preventing me being able to pass them (one of them was sleeping with his back legs on the path itself) and therefore making me late in helping our waitress preparing breakfast for our guests.
Another early morning, just as the sky was beginning to lighten, we had the delight of watching a young male hippo fast asleep in the water behind our two boats. Our comings and goings in setting up breakfast failed to disturb him...that was until our guide, Gibson, put his tea basket down on the end of the jetty and woke the hippo with quite a start! On realising that he had nothing to fear, the hippo moved a few metres and settled back down again to sleep.
Our guests were able to watch the same hippo a few evenings later when enjoying a post-dinner drink around the boma fire. We saw him highlighted in the pathway lights walking towards Room 2. He pushed through the bushes and out onto the shrinking patch of grass in front of the camp for a quick snack before once again settling down in the water behind our boats.
Having chosen to face east in the same spot on both occasions, we have all taken the humorous conclusion that this young male hippo enjoys sharing Nature’s spectacles with humans, as whilst watching him, we were able to witness first a glorious sunrise, and secondly a fabulous moonrise.
“Jacana is so relaxing – it’s like a spa without the treatments!”
“The design and style of the camp blends in so well and harmonises with the natural bush surrounding it.”
Staff in Camp
Managers: Phil and Jo Oliver.
Guides: Timothy Samuel, Moruti Maipelo and Gibson Kehemetswe.
Newsletter by Jo