The Terrapin Hide at Jaci’s
Jacis Terrapin Hide at Jaci’s Safari Camp is specially built to cater for both photographers and casual game viewing. It has three different tiers. The top deck has a romantic double bed where you can sleep out next to the hide if you so wish. There is a second level for general viewing. Most appealing for photographers, the basement part of the hide is located in the middle of the waterhole and is reached via an underground tunnel. The low angle of view from the basement will produce some stunning photographic results by allowing eye-level pictures of animals drinking. The lowest level of the hide is kitted out with gimbal heads. The great thing about the hide is that there is plenty of flexibility to move around – the tunnel ensures that you don’t disturb the animals at the waterhole when coming and going. You can even take a short walk to the toilet or to the reception of Tree Lodge to order yourself some drinks.
Madikwe Game Reserve
Jaci’s is in the Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa, which is situated on an ecotone. An ecotone is the transition area between two biomes. In this case the Kalahari desert gives way to the Bushveld, so a wide variety of species from both habitat types are present including both brown and spotted hyena, lion, cheetah, elephant, giraffe and many more. The area is particularly noted for its wild dog sightings and also for its black and white rhino.
What you will see
During the dry season, there are elephants aplenty plus giraffe, impala and kudu. At night you can also expect rhino. The hide was only opened in 2015, and we look forward to seeing the first pictures of lion, leopard and wild dog.
When to visit
As with any hide, the best time for viewing Jacis Terrapin Hide is during the dry season. At Jaci’s Camp the best time to visit is from June to October. November brings the start of the rains, and animals are likely to disperse. South African school holidays and weekends are typically busy times at Jaci’s.
Why we loved it
Anyone staying at Jaci’s Camp has free use of the hide for the duration of their stay. It has plenty of space to be in the hide and also enjoy the wide skies from the top deck. You can even take a walk at anytime to get a drink from the lodge, which is not far away. Sleep outs are also possible. The hide is also kitted out with plugs for charging camera equipment.
Photographers need to know
Be prepared to be fairly flexible getting into Jacis Terrapin hide – the tunnel, which is about 30 meters in length, is approximately 1.2 meters in height.