Rebuilt in 2019, located in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, on the Jao reserve, and considered by many the most luxurious camp in the delta area, Jao Camp is another of Wilderness Safari’s outstanding properties.
Situated along the shoreline of a delta island, and protected by a mixed wood of wild mangosteen, ebony and leadwood, Jao Camp occupies 1.5 kilometres of the Jao flats – an area known for its beauty. The camp consists of a comfortable main area, which is elevated into the tree canopy, two Jao villas and five suites, each equipped with private plunge pools, lounge and dining areas, and en-suite bathrooms. Wi-Fi is available across the camp but please note that speeds do vary.
FOOD AND SERVICE
The menus are varied, and dishes come accompanied by an outstanding selection of South African wines. The service, across the board, is excellent.
The two contemporary Jao Villas can accommodate up to four people in two guest rooms, which are identical, and come with their own vehicle, guide, chef and butler. The suites, designed to blend with the surrounding delta, are equally impressive, and come with air conditioning and a private wooden veranda that has its own swings and chairs. The space allocated to the suites really does have to be seen to be believed. The modern en suite bathrooms come with indoor/outdoor showers, a flush toilet, and bath.
Activities include mokoro trips, guided walks, wildlife drives, bird watching, sundowners and massage. We particularly recommend a full-day wildlife drive, which comes complete with a picnic, on Hunda Island. A fantastic new addition to the camp is Jao’s Museum and Gallery, which showcases fascinating information regarding the local area.
To encourage greater cooperation between local communities and the region, the Jao Concession and the University of Botswana formed a committee to help tackle the prominent issues of over-fishing and poaching. The camp itself is 100% solar powered, and the rooms and villas are cooled using a silent evaporative cooler, which needs a fraction of the energy traditional air-conditioning units require.
85% of the camp’s staff are from rural communities, trained through vital self-funded regional programmes.
Wilderness Safaris supports Children in the Wilderness, a programme which provides educational life skills and environmental awareness for children who live in villages close to conservation areas. At this moment in time (2018) CITW has benefited over 10,000 children from seven African countries.