The weather over the month of July was similar to June, but the last week of the month has been cooler in the evenings and most mornings a prevailing cold wind has been blowing. The afternoon highs have still been in the mid to high 20s (degrees Celsius) but the nighttime temperatures are getting colder. There have been a few days where there have been clouds in the morning, but most days were clear.
Bird and Wildlife Activity
Our birdlife has increased with the water levels dropping, as we are now seeing more land-based and marsh birds around Jacana. The saddle-billed storks and wattled cranes have been seen in front of camp and surrounds. We have also seen sacred ibis and hadeda ibis near the channels. Squacco, purple, white-backed and grey herons as well as slaty egrets have increased in numbers along many of the channels. The African fish-eagles have moved closer to camp and are seen and heard calling most days – a real sound of Africa! Our family of francolins is growing bigger every day and fortunately we have not lost any more babies.
A small flock of white-faced duck arrived at the beginning of the month and have grown in number. We regularly see 30–40 in the flock. They normally arrive each afternoon and spend their time feeding and bathing in front of Tent 1 and the main area of the camp. The African harrier-hawk (gymnogene) has also been sighted raiding the palm swift nest on a few occasions.
One evening, just as we were going to bed, we saw a pair of eagle-owls resting in one of the camp’s trees. They spent the night there and then were not seen again. The Pel’s fishing-owl sightings have been more elusive than in June and it appears that they have moved to an island to the south-east of Jacana. Our guests have been fortunate to see martial eagles on numerous drives.
The lion pride has been sighted on Jao Island on a number of occasions. The females keep moving away, and leaving the male alone. He then spends his time walking around and searching for the females.
Breeding herds of elephant have been seen on Jao Island and there are a few females with extremely young babies. They are very cute and great fun to observe as everything is new to them and they are still learning how to use their trunks, which always get in the way.
A pair of honey badgers was sighted at Nkwe Jetty – the jetty that we use to access Jao Island – which was a rare and welcome sighting, albeit a brief one. Hopefully we will see more of the pair.
As the water drops, so the lechwe are moving around more. One lechwe was seen walking across the floodplain in front of camp to the small island to the east of Jacana. A small herd is now seen regularly near one of the crossings. We have only had four sightings of sitatunga this month, but they were good ones!
‘Everything was more than just highlights. It was a complete and wonderful experience” – Roels family – Holland
“We very much enjoyed the tours by boat and mekoro to see the beauty of the Delta. The food was excellent! Timothy was a perfect guide and all the Jacana Team was very friendly!” - Mirella & Beatrice – Switzerland.
“Everything from the touch down to the departure – staff, scenery, friendliness, we found staying for 3 days. Gibson especially went out of his way to make our stay enjoyable. Please do not change anything, including the managers who did everything willingly and made our stay unforgettable’. - Thierry & Patricia – Paris, France.
“Most fantastic stay! THANK you for the local experience!” - Megan & Mary – California, USA.
“What a great finish to our 10 day safari. The Delta is so different and beautiful. Thanks to all the wonderful staff!” - Joseph & Joyce - Colorado Springs, USA.
“Thanks you for showing us your beautiful country. I will always remember my trip to Africa!” - Olive – Australia.
“Our second visit to PARADISE! Great lions & wonderful food, fantastic staff!” - Jeri & Ernie - Horse Shoe, North Carolina, USA.
Ian and Michélle Burger