A game rich private concession in the north-western Okavango Delta
The Jao Concession is 60 000 hectares (150 000 acres) in extent and lies in the north-western area of the Okavango Delta, situated below the Okavango Panhandle. The Moremi Game Reserve forms the eastern boundary of the Concession.
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.