Climate and Landscape
Jacana experienced very temperate weather ranging from 20° Celsius average minimums and 30° C average maximums along with partly cloudy middays and breezy afternoons. This has translated into very pleasurable summer weather for lounging around camp and rolling out activities. Our last rainfall this month came quite early, around the 10th of March; we recorded a total of 37 mm for the month. The rains from the last three months have supplemented the water level to such a degree that it was sitting at 350 mm above the bottom of our front-of-house jetty.
A day in the Okavango Delta is not much different from a regular day in the real world. You wake up early before the break of dawn as there is just so much that needs to be done before you can take on the day. You take a look outside and it is yet another busy day in Africa. The difference here is you look at the sun rising over the water from the Jacana front deck while you enjoy your first cup of freshly-pressed coffee.
Then you sit down to breakfast. We offer a continental breakfast with natural yoghurt, fruit coulis, fresh fruit, a selection of cereals, camp-made muesli, freshly-baked bread, toast from that bread, muffins, pancakes or crepes, sausages, bacon and eggs any way you like them. That is a little better than the dragonfly which is all the little bee-eater gets for its breakfast….
Then it’s off into the wild. Traffic is the one thing that you cannot get away from no matter how far you head out of the city. Some days you have no choice but to wait it out: hippo in the channel, maybe an otter frolicking around the edges of a lagoon or maybe an elephant not adhering to the rules of the water and barging clean across the channel, right in front of you.
When you finally get to the office, you always have a couple of guys who are nothing but a nuisance. Yes, they might play an important role in the grander scheme of things, but most of the time they cause more trouble than they are worth. Like the business of mongoose trapped on our island by the unexpected increase in the water level. It is a constant battle to keep them out of the kitchens and the garbage treatment areas.
At some stage during the day you take a moment to look up and realise that we live in a magnificent world. Whether you’re looking at the skyscrapers outside your office windows or at the cascading clouds reflecting off the Okavango Delta from a boat returning to camp, the realisation remains the same.
Then it’s time for lunch – sometimes a business lunch, where the cooperation of both parties is sealed over a meal. Indeed, much business happens outside of boardrooms and offices and is often conducted around the simple act of sustenance: perfectly illustrated by the oxpecker taking its lunch from the back of the impala ram, while the antelope enjoys its lunch of sweet grasses in the shade of a jackalberry tree.
No matter how well things are going, sometimes storms brew on the horizon. The trick is to be ready for them when they hit. If you are ready there is no such thing as an afternoon storm hitting you unawares and you can sit back and watch the beauty unfold.
And of course, every day brings the opportunity to meet someone new or learn something new. This month was the first time that Nadia and I both saw the greater cane rat. They have always been around and we’ve always seen scat and tracks, but an interesting series of events led to our first encounter. We had a resident African python on the island and it kept most of the rodents at bay and on their toes. But one morning we found the snake on the pathway, half-eaten by another carnivore. This opened up much freer movement for the cane rat and her five young. We spotted them one evening crossing the walkway leading to our room and subsequently we have seen them quite frequently.
Staff in Camp
Camp Managers: Jacques Bester and Nadia Botha
Guides: Moruti “Pastor” Maipelo and Tshenolo “TH” Mahongo