Weather and Landscape
The weather has definitely been a lot warmer than last month with temperatures reaching the mid to high 30s (Celsius) towards the end of September. It has been humid and clouds have started to make an appearance. These cloud formations have made us hopeful for some rain, but to no avail just yet. In the middle of the month, we did experience a cold snap for three days, offering all some respite from the heat. It seems that October will definitely live up to its reputation of being the hottest month of the year, if September is anything to go by.
Sightings of the Jao lions have been scarce over the last month and there have only been a handful of sightings, with most of them occurring in the north of the concession around Kwetsani Camp. Near the end of the month, we heard the male lion calling during most evenings and it definitely sounds as if he is moving closer to Jao Camp, most probably exploring the areas that are slowly drying up.
We have regularly had elephants around the camp and our guests have been visited at their tents on a regular basis during siesta time. There are three breeding herds that have settled in the camp vicinity which have provided us with some good sightings. Large numbers of elephant have congregated at the airstrip close to the camp jetty – perhaps the warmer conditions have caused the elephants to favour the deeper channels and papyrus beds this month.
With the surface water drying up substantially, the red lechwe have moved into the camp area, taking refuge along the mud flats and even sometimes under the tents. One ram in particular, recognised by his unusually dark coat, has been very active in fighting with challenging males right in front of camp.
The numerous baboon troops are celebrating now that the waterways are dwindling as they can easily pass from island to island.
Birds and Birding
The birdlife at Jacana has continued to impress and although it would seem that the resident Pel’s fishing-owls have moved to the east of Jacana where the fishing is easier in the deeper water. The water level has continued to drop and the area in front of the camp is drying up fast.
We are seeing more African fish-eagles and the interaction between them continues to play out each day as they fight for food.
The regular visitors to Jacana Island this month included saddle-billed stork, African openbill, white-faced duck, black crake, squacco heron, pied kingfisher, swamp boubou, black-headed oriole, pygmy geese, African purple swamphen and African jacana just to name a few.
“It’s heaven on earth! Thank you for sharing this with us.”
“We enjoyed every second of our stay! Coming from a busy job, we are happy to see the Okavango Delta and stay in this peaceful and quiet area. The landscape is marvellous, the staff very friendly and helpful, the guides serious and with a lot of experience and last but not least - the management was perfect. We loved the tasty meals and the good wines! Timothy and Thuso told us a lot of interesting details about the landscape, the animals, vegetation and culture.”
“Hippos, elephants, lechwe in the water. Fabulous birdlife. Michélle and Ian were a wonderful couple as our hosts – so thoughtful. Facilities are comfortable and I love the towel arrangements!’
Staff in Camp
Managers: Ian and Michélle Burger
Guides: Moruti Maipelo, Timothy Samuel and Thuso Danaye