Guests per Safari Vehicle
In the heart of the Okavango, luxurious Jao is set amongst islands fringed with riverine forests and vast floodplains with prolific wildlife. The camp (rebuilt in 2019) offers a fresh and contemporary design, in the same picturesque location. The sense of adventure that Jao has always prized, continues in the ever-evolving sculptural and architectural language, adding an element of surprise and delight. The game viewing at Jao is superb. Huge herds of red lechwe can be seen, followed by their primary predator - prides of lion.
The fresh and contemporary design, in the same lovely location, continues the sense of adventure that Jao has always prized, adding an element of surprise and delight in ever-evolving sculptural and architectural language.
Jao has five luxurious suites and two ultra-luxe villas, each individually handcrafted and with an open-plan design, vintage-style fittings and a sala for afternoon siestas. A romantic Star Bed is a seasonal option when water levels permit. An elaborate two-storey main area also includes a plunge pool, library, gym and boma for dining under the stars, complemented by an excellent wine cellar. The spa has a wide range of massage therapies.
Jao is a place that is dedicated to the conservation of the Okavango Delta and its unique ecosystem - the waters and the dry land, and the plants, birds and wildlife that call it home.
The Jao Concession is found in the heart of the wetlands of the Okavango Delta. Here vegetation changes from permanent swamps to dry land and you will be immersed in the full variety of the mystery and magic of Botswana’s landscape.
The Jao Flats are situated in the east of the Jao Concession and boast water channels that navigate the attractive, untouched papyrus and reed beds: these provide the perfect environment for wildlife. You will also see many delightful lush palm islands which scatter the water.
As you travel west, the Jao Flats becomes dryer. Hunda Island is the tip of a large ‘sand tongue’ and during the inundation of July to September it forms the largest area of dry land in the Jao Concession. Hunda Island has sandveld vegetation supporting many species of nutritious acacia and Grewia shrubs; wildlife is attracted to this excellent browsing.
Around the Jao Flats, spectacular herds of red lechwe are followed by their predators – lion and leopard. Hippo and Nile crocodile are regularly sighted. Other game includes blue wildebeest, impala, tsessebe, southern giraffe, elephant, hippo and crocodile, spotted-necked otter and even the occasional sitatunga. The drier west is home to similar species, but visitors are likely to view greater concentrations of Burchell’s zebra and blue wildebeest.
Birding is exceptional in the Jao Concession: vulnerable wattled crane, slaty egret, rosy-throated longclaw, Pel’s fishing owl, and lesser jacana are found on the eastern side, with the western drier areas hosting crimson-breasted shrike, Dickinson’s kestrel and Meyer’s parrot. Other exciting species in Jao include swamp nightjar and brown firefinch.
Reeds and aquatic grasses give the Jao concession its watery, paradisiacal palm island character that many people think of as classic Okavango Delta. Bulrushes stand tall above the water with their brown velvet seedpods and spike an iconic sight. Of course, there are thick stands of papyrus with their fan-shaped heads. Hippo grass covers the plains. Water lettuce waves in the currents below the crystal clear waters. There are plenty of islands of wild date palms (phoenix reclinate). Magic gwarri is a small bush whose wood has magical powers according to local beliefs. Some drier areas have Kalahari apple leaf and also the ‘toothbrush bush’ or Kalahari star apple and also various vachellia (previously known as acacia).
5 Standard Tents
Jao Camp, Botswana