Jao Concession, western Okavango Delta
Jao Camp is situated in the western Okavango Delta in the Jao Concession (NG 25). With only nine tents Jao Camp is one of the smaller and more luxurious camps in the Okavango Delta.
The Jao Concession is wonderfully picturesque and can offer both land and water activities, however water activities are dependent on the prevailing water levels.
The tents at Jao Camp are designed in an open plan style so as to blend with the environment. Each tent consists of a lounge and main bedroom with a dressing area and en-suite facilities including open air showers; the latter enable guests to feel part of the pristine wilderness in safety and luxury. In addition each tent has a raised sala (open pavilion) with magnificent views overlooking the nearby channel where guests can contemplate the extraordinary surroundings in solitude.
The central camp is comprised of a lounge and dining area housed in an elaborate two-storied building with two plunge pools, a curio shop, a small library and also a boma for outdoor dining at night under the African stars. The spa at Jao Camp provides a wide range of massage therapies. The gym is equipped with a cross trainer, rowing machine, stationary bike, yoga mats, exercise ball and free weights and guests can look out over the unspoilt waters of the Okavango Delta whilst using the gym facilities.
Jao Camp has created a raised hide twenty minutes from camp: this provides a great vantage point from which to watch wildlife coming and going undisturbed. The hide can be used for sleep-outs for a maximum of four people and is equipped with a long-drop toilet.
Jao Camp also features an entertainment room which is suitable for private dining, children’s entertainment, watching wildlife documentaries and conducting lectures: this is a well received and unusual addition to an Okavango Delta camp.
The situation of Jao Camp in the Jao Concession means the camp benefits from being both hidden amongst waterways and lagoons and also close to the Kalahari woodlands. This results in excellent game viewing from the Camp. Numbers of red lechwe are found on the grasslands of the concession and these large herds attract lions as their primary predator. Other game commonly seen includes leopard, elephant, buffalo and zebra on land and hippopotamus and crocodiles in the water. Less frequent sightings include sitatunga and spotted-necked otter.
Birding is good throughout the concession, but particularly near the water and resident species such as Mayer’s parrot, black crake, coppery-tailed coucal and African harrier are frequently seen.
Activities at Jao Camp include safaris both on land and water, depending on the time of year. Due to the fact that the Jao Concession is a private concession, Jao Camp is able to offer both day and night game drives.
The game rich Hunda Island, which is reached via a 45 minute boat ride, provides an excellent location for all-day game drives which will include a picnic lunch. The water activities on offer at Jao Camp include safaris in power boats; you might also experience the calm silence of being paddled along a channel in a mokoro by an experienced guide.