We spent a very happy three nights at the Jackalberry Tented Camp in the middle of December. What makes this camp so good is its isolation and the small number of tents. The location and views are beautiful, the staff are very well trained and very helpful and the food was first rate.
You need a four wheel drive to get there, especially when it has been raining, but driving in the park is wonderful though there are also organized game viewing trip.
We will definitely stay at the Jackalberry camp again next time we are up in the Caprivi.
Jackalberry tented camp is perfect. Very new and one of the only private camps in a national park. The environment is just lovely. The tents are very good (with the best showers in the Caprivistrip). The house around the tree is a lot of fun. But the hosts Ruggero and Allesandra make the place. Ruggero is one of the most knowledgable guides I have ever met. It is a lot of fun to drive with him trough the wetland in the old RangeRover. He knows everything and they take a lot of effort to show your their paradise. The food is just lovely. Nkasa Rupara is very different from other parks in the region. It is very flat and there is lot of bird life. We had great sightings of lions and one night a the lions visited our tent. We were very close to a leopard but he was smarter than us. We are experienced safari goers and our stay at Jackalberry was really the next step. Very recommended. It is from the same owners as Nasa Lupala. Jackalberry is more upmarket and also more special.
Jackalberry Camp is without doubt one of the most memorable accomodations we had the pleasure of staying in on a 4 week trip through Namibia and Botswana.
Its location is both wonderful and challenging. Challenging due to the track going up to it. It can be quite sandy and (as this is not allowed by park management) signs are scarce. Fellow TA-writers had already mentioned this, so we had decided to arrange the pick up from Sangwali. Our driver Phistus was more than on time, courteous and meticulous. We left the car at the office in Sangwali, which is a secure place to leave your car.
Jackalberry is about an hour to 1.15h from Sangwali. It is new and small scale. The main building is built around a tree. On the ground floor is an office and kitchen, on the first floor the bar and dining area and on the second floor is an excellent viewing area. I love how this buildings footprint is small and has respect for its environment and nature around it. It is also designed very well and tasty. The vistas from the building are excellent and you can look into Botswana easily. There is no wifi (yet) and cell phone reception is not very strong.
This isolated feeling, that is formed by the long drive through wonderful and empty (that is: no human influence) nature, no cell phone or wifi and the beautiful surroundings makes for the wondrous character of the location of this camp.
There are 4 tents, that are roomy and have great beds and linnen and towels. They are decorated tasty but sober. Alessandra was responsible for the showers and this has resulted that Jackalberry has one the best showers in the Caprivi. Water is heated by the sun and electricity is generated by solar power. Good job on the sustainability!
Your host and guide Ruggero is Italian, but has literally lived his whole life in Africa. He is an excellent guide: he knows about the area, about Caprivi, about Namibia and about Africa. Alessandra, too, is Italian but has worked in Africa a long time and also has great knowledge about animals and Africa. Newman, who was our waiter/butler/everything has taken excellent care of us.
The food is of good quality and is nicely presented. Wines and beers are available. We were lucky there were no other guests so we had the full attention of our hosts and flexibility in our programme. It was a joy spending time with them.
We did 2 game drives, a boat cruise and a night drive. We may not have been extremely lucky in seeing ‘spectacular’ game, we learned a lot and saw a fair deal. Maybe this area isn’t extremely appropriate for first time safari goers. If you expect to see the big 4 (there are no rhinos here) in one day, you may want to consider another part of Africa. If you, however, are interested in birds and have been to Southern Africa before, this could be an excellent opportunity to expand your knowledge.
There are a lot of hippos around, so there is a good chance there will be a hippo in the camp. If you are lucky (like we were), you might hear a tiger (i mean a lion, of course ;-) ) in near your tent. Highly recommended.
We have just spent three wonderful nights at Jackalberry. We were the only guests there for the three nights and were totally spoilt by all the staff. Having read previous reviews I would comment that the camp does offer to collect you in Sangwali and to leave your vehicle in a safe lock up. We elected to do this as although we had a four wheel drive it is quite tricky in places with the heavy sand and also good chance we could have got lost. Good service to take up but do ring them first to let them know your arrival time.
Our tent was beautifully situated and tastefully furnished. I note on a previous review that they complained at not being able to use a hair dryer!! You are in the bush = who is going to notice.
We had dinner every night with the Roger (owner) and Alexandria. Lovely food, nothing cordon bleu and well cooked, good choices of food. Nice wine and good company.
We did two boat cruises and on the second caught a herd of elephants crossing the river to Botswana. Magical sight.
On our second evening we had an elephant visit the tent and was there for about an hour or so. Magic moment.
Finally our guide (Gyine) pronounced Guinea (not sure of correct spelling) was superb and his wife is one of the chefs. We had four outings with him and he got up at 06.00 to drive us out of the park the day we had to leave. Such a great experience with him.
We would certainly recommend it to anyone that wants that open africa bush experience.