Accommodation, Okavango Delta

Jao Camp

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Arguably the most luxurious of all the water camps, Jao is situated in the Jao Reserve, an area of 60,000 hectares in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. It is built in a private reserve bordering the Moremi Game Reserve, to the west of Mombo, on a densely wooded, oval shaped island. The camp is positioned to afford excellent views of the floodplains and savannah, which can be enjoyed from the privacy of your private balcony or from the communal boma.

Accommodation is in nine twin-bedded tented rooms under cool thatch, overlooking the hippo-filled lagoon in front of the camp. Each of the suites has its own large bedroom area, lounge and a deluxe en-suite bathroom with an outdoor shower. The private deck allows you to view the game and wildlife in total seclusion. The thatched main dining and lounge area is positioned for you to enjoy sundowners while you watch the sunset or a candlelit meal in the open air boma. For more private dining, meals can be enjoyed al fresco on your tent’s deck. Jao also has a salon where a wide range of massage therapies are offered.

The Jao area encompasses a contrasting variety of habitats, ranging from permanent waterways and lagoons on the one extreme to thick Kalahari sands on the other. Jao Camp offers both land and water activities, depending on the fluctuating levels of the Okavango’s floodwater. Day and night game drives provide an opportunity to explore this magical reserve. Water levels permitting, boating and mokoro excursions in traditional dugout canoes offer a tranquil escape on the winding waterways of the delta. There are two platform hides in the Jao Concession for secluded game viewing, up close but in safety, providing amazing photographic opportunities.

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Jao Camp -19.306990, 22.602480 Jao CampView

Facilities

Thatched tented suites with large bedroom area, lounge and a deluxe en-suite bathroom with outdoor shower. Thatched dining and lounge areas, and open air dining within the boma. Two plunge pools, gym and salon where a wide range of massage therapies are offered.

Local Wildlife

The camp focusses mostly on water birds and mammals including otters, the rare sitatunga and red lechwe. Bird highlights include Pel's fishing owl, African and lesser jacanas, slaty egret and African pygmy-goose. Game drives frequently reveal elephant, lion and leopard.

Optional Activities

Boat safaris, mokoro excursions, fishing and game drives are included on a shared basis.

Jonathan Morris

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding our Botswana tours, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

On behalf of my wife and myself, I would like to thank all at Reef and Rainforest for arranging so superbly yet another exceptional wildlife experience.  As you are aware our ‘expeditions’ tend to be species led and this year’s brief was to observe and photograph the ‘Three Big Cats of Africa’ in a truly wild setting (i.e. no fences).  Your recommended  destination, Botswana, did not let us down, in fact the whole trip proved an outstanding success in all aspects.

We stayed in three camps (three nights in each) across the Okavango Delta and surrounding area, each provided a different environment which ensured our aims were met. Each camp was run to a very high standard, was extremely comfortable and provided excellent meals. The quality of guiding and tracking in all our camps was of the highest standard. As Botswana manages its natural resources so well all the camps were small (no more than 18 guests) ensuring a very intimate safari experience in pristine wild African habitat.

I am delighted to report our big cat objectives were realised. All observations were lengthy and offered excellent photographic opportunities.  However, unexpectedly, the highlight of our spectacular trip turned out to be sightings of two separate packs of African Painted Dogs. We visited two dens, the first had a very healthy number of adult dogs, approximately fifteen and eighteen pups. The second had seven adult dogs and sixteen pups. At Lebala we had the privilege of spending a prolonged period of time following the pack of dogs as they hunted, an experience we will never forget.

When one also considers the significant mammal and bird species we observed, Botswana is truly a must visit destination for the wildlife enthusiast. Incidentally we also observed three serval and two African wild cats.  We also thoroughly enjoyed our few days at Victoria Falls, possibly the most spectacular waterfall in the world, the hotel in Zimbabwe was excellent. Viewing the falls from the Zambian side and also the helicopter flight are both well worth doing.

This was our third consecutive trip with Reef and Rainforest, and I would be very surprised if there is not a fourth being planned very soon. Thank you all once again.

Mr JW - Ettrickbridge