premier Camp | Okavango Delta, Botswana
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Using a dugout canoe to get onto the remote island where Jao Camp is located sets the stage for the adventurous safari experiences to come. The varied habitats of the private concession surrounding Jao Camp—from lush waterways and lagoons to dry Kalahari grasslands and open floodplains—offer both land- and water-based explorations, depending on water levels. This Okavanga Delta setting is your base for a most unforgettable bush adventure!
Our Expert Says
Jao Camp offers the very best of the Okavango Delta. The expansive system of boardwalks provides amazing views over the landscape and close-up encounters with birdlife and other delta creatures. Squeezing in a treatment at “Botswana’s #1 spa” is also a must here!
– Sarah Raby
Location: Okavango Delta, Botswana
Number of Tents: 9
Jao Camp blends integrally with the verdant islands and riverine forests of the Okavango Delta wilderness. This camp has won awards for its unique construction that incorporates local materials into individually designed and handcrafted rooms. Nine luxuriously appointed tents on raised platforms overlook expansive watery meadows and are shaded by sprawling tree canopies. Spacious, twin-bedded canvas and thatched rooms contain locally inspired décor, hardwood floors, plush lounges and en suite bathroom facilities. Private outdoor showers are also available. Each suite has an attached private outdoor sala (veranda) for afternoon siestas and offers thrilling views of wildlife congregating in the nearby wetlands. Two plunge pools, a gym and spa with massage services, open fire ring and sheltered outdoor boma area for dining under the stars, complete the camp environment. Exquisite cuisine is complemented by an excellent wine cellar.
Facilities & Amenities
- 8 twin/double tents
- 1 family tent, with 2 en suite bedrooms connected by a deck
- En suite bathroom with bathtub and indoor/outdoor showers
- Evening Breeze cooling over the bed
- Room fan
- Tea/coffee in room
- Hair dryer
- 220v charging points in room
- In-room safe box
- Central pool
- Star bed deck
- Fitness center
- Laundry service included
- Local drinks included (house alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks)
- Credit cards accepted (Visa and MasterCard)
- Minimum age 6
Jao Camp does not offer air-conditioning, Wi-Fi or Internet access and is not in an area with cellular coverage.
Wildlife Viewing & Activities
Jao Camp is located on a large, remote island in a private concession bordering the Moremi Game Reserve. Mokoro rides, boat trips, day and night wildlife drives, birding and fishing are typically on offer all year-round due to the abundance of wildlife in Botswana. Two platform hides in the concession offer opportunities for up-close wildlife viewing. When water levels are high, your safari begins via boat to an island where vehicles await and the wildlife drive begins from there. Huge herds of red lechwe are often seen on safari drives, followed by their primary predator—prides of lion. Other quintessential Botswana wildlife include elephant, buffalo, leopard, tsessebe, zebra, wildebeest, hippo and crocodile. Many bird species are resident in the verdant forests. Meyer's parrot, African harrier hawk, black egret, coppery-tailed coucal and malachite kingfisher are a few of the avian treasures found at Jao Camp.
The Okavango Delta is a year-round wildlife viewing destination, with the peak mammal viewing in the dry winter between June and October and fantastic birding all year. The below chart shows major wildlife sightings. Other typical sightings may include small mammals, such as jackals, foxes, caracal and serval, and a wide variety of birds and reptiles. Exact sightings will depend on weather and wildlife movements.
|Usually viewed||Frequently viewed||Occasionally viewed||Sporadically viewed||Rarely to never viewed|
|January||90° F||64° F||4.21 in|
|32° C||17° C||107 mm|
|February||88° F||63° F||3.11 in|
|31° C||17° C||79 mm|
|March||86° F||61° F||2.8 in|
|30° C||16° C||71 mm|
|April||84° F||54° F||0.71 in|
|28° C||12° C||18 mm|
|May||79° F||45° F||0.2 in|
|26° C||7° C||5 mm|
|June||73° F||43° F||0.12 in|
|22° C||6° C||3 mm|
|July||75° F||46° F||0.0 in|
|23° C||7° C||0 mm|
|August||81° F||48° F||0.0 in|
|27° C||8° C||0 mm|
|September||91° F||57° F||0.0 in|
|32° C||13° C||0 mm|
|October||95° F||59° F||0.91 in|
|35° C||15° C||23 mm|
|November||91° F||66° F||2.2 in|
|32° C||18° C||56 mm|
|December||91° F||66° F||3.39 in|
|32° C||18° C||86 mm|
Jao Camp is intimately involved in the Lion Monitoring Project, which was initiated shortly after the Jao Concession was created. The project monitors the movement, social behavior and condition of individual lions on the concession. Well-known lion biologist Dr. Pieter Kat has spent considerable time in the Jao Concession, offering advice and also making use of Jao Camp’s documented information on lion behavior. He heads up a long-running lion research project in the south of the delta and is the author of the book Prides: Lions of the Moremi. Dr Kat also advises the Botswana government on matters pertaining to the conservation of lions and has gathered useful data from Jao Camp’s ongoing projects to support his efforts to maintain the ban on lion hunting in Botswana.