Lodges

Jao Camp

Wild luxury and splendid scenery

Jao Camp

Jao Camp is situated in the heart of the Okavango Delta on a large island bordering the Moremi Game reserve. It is one of the Delta’s original premier camps, well-established and a cut above the rest with high standards and service levels. Access is by light aircraft transfer to Jao airstrip, followed by four-wheel-drive vehicle to the camp. Perched above teaming waterways, yet close to dry Kalahari woodland, it offers the best of both worlds - amphibious activities and unadulterated sophistication in a truly wild and authentic setting.

At the lodge

The hotel

Jao’s well appointed main area is split over two levels, with an air of sumptuous luxury and a warm, welcoming feel. The lower level has a tucked away sitting area, a small library and a curio shop that leads out to the campfire area. The upper level has a large lounge, a dining area and a bar, with wonderful Afrochic artworks and sculptures. Other perks include two swimming pools, a boma for dining under the stars, quality food, a well-stocked wine cellar, a gym and even a spa.

The rooms

Nine luxurious thatch and canvas tents, set amongst tall shady trees, gaze out over the Delta. The tents are connected by a three-metre-high, raised wooden walkway. Taking center stage inside is the twin or four poster king sized bed, which sits under a romantic and practical mosquito net. There is also a rustic private sala that can be slept under at night if prearranged. The tents boast both indoor and outdoor showers, the latter offering a rather memorable ablution.

On safari

Experiences

In terms of game drives, you’re spoilt for choice with day and night drives, and a full day option complete with a picnic. Seasonal aquatic activities include guided mokoro (dug out canoe) trips, boating safaris and catch and release tiger fishing. Feeling adventurous? You can prearrange a sleep out in the star bed. It’s an amazing back to basics adventure but it’s not for everyone. Relaxation is always on the cards - indulge in a spa treatment, the gym, read a book from the library, swim in the pool, or relax on your private sala.

When to go

Okavango Delta by month

January

Season: Wet
  • This is the wettest month of the year with an average of just 10 days of rain expected, providing a unique experience in this lush landscape.
  • Incredible birding and the start of the birthing season, providing excellent game viewing with high predator excitement.
  • The vegetation is lush and green, animals are in presine condition and birds are in full breeding plumage providing incredible photographic opportunities.
  • Make sure you have your insect repellent packed, the wet season is also mosquito season.

February

Season: Wet
  • This time of year is the height of the wet season, on average rain falls only a couple of days a week, leaving plenty of time to explore this lush green paradise.
  • Good game viewing with high predator excitement during the birthing season.
  • The vegetation is lush and green, animals are in presine condition and birds are in full breeding plumage, providing incredible photographic opportunities.
  • Keep your insect repellent handy, particular in the early morning and late evening, as this is mosquito season.

March

Season: Wet
  • March is still relatively hot and considerably drier than January and February, expect sporadic afternoon showers.
  • Still good predator excitement with many young antelope learning the harsh lessons of an unforgiving wilderness.
  • A great time for land based explorations with water based activities only available at a handful of camps.
  • Be sure to pack mosquito repellent at this time of year.

April

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures start cooling with a handful of rainy days at the end of the wet season, welcoming in the floods from the North, indicating the start of the Delta flooding.
  • As birds look to migrate, game starts to make its way back into the region as other water sources become more scarce.
  • A great time of year to explore the Delta wilds by land before the flood waters rise too high.
  • Mosquito's are still around but not as prevalent, pack your insect repellent just in case.

May

Season: Dry
  • The perfect time for delta explorations, flooding is approaching its peak towards the end of the month, providing the perfect conditions for water based activities.
  • Temperatures are comfortable with little to no rain expected.
  • The ideal time for photography, animals are in their prime after the season of plenty, however migratory birds are beginning to fly North.
  • Mornings and Evenings can be a little nippy at this time of year, a couple of extra layers will surface during the month of May.

June

Season: Dry
  • Flooding is reaching its peak, creating one of the ideal months to visit this watery wonderland.
  • Temperatures are cool with little to no rain expected, making for comfortable safari conditions.
  • Wildlife of every shape and size migrate into the delta, taking advantage of this water source in the dry season.
  • Include a warm jacket in your essentials as morning and evening temperatures are chilly.

July

Season: Dry
  • The height of the water levels are achieved, ensuring a great diversity of activity in the Delta region.
  • Temperatures are warm during the day with little to no rain expected.
  • Enjoy some of the best wildlife viewing on the planet with incredible variation and big game encounters.
  • Pack a warm jacket for the chilly mornings and evenings.
  • Without a cloud in the sky, stargazing is an absolute treat during the month of July.

August

Season: Dry
  • The ideal time to visit this region with plenty of water around, leading to great water and land based safari, depending on your preference.
  • Temperatures are beginning to climb but still very comfortable, with little to no rain expected.
  • Enjoy some of the best wildlife viewing on the planet with incredible variation and big game encounters.
  • Include a warm jacket on your packing list because mornings can be chilly at this time of year.

September

Season: Dry
  • The perfect time to visit the Delta, the flood levels have began their decline, increasing the size of the islands and the weather is ideal for game viewing.
  • Temperatures are warm with midday temperatures climbing, clear blue skies are still to be enjoyed.
  • Home to the best wildlife viewing in Botswana at this time of year, encounter a myriad of species, all on your doorstep.
  • Very few mosquitoes are present during this time of year, making for a carefree safari experience.

October

Season: Dry
  • The flood levels begin to drop with the temperatures and humidity reaching their peak, expect some rainfall in the later days of the month.
  • Excellent wildlife viewing with incredible variation and big game encounters, the animals begin to disperse with the arrival of the rains.
  • Visibility is still good with sparse vegetation, making it easier to spot the animals of this region.
  • A full day in the bush is not recommended during October, as many of the bush species seek refuge from the midday heat.

November

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are still hot and humid with the first true rains of the wet season, it should be noted that in most cases rains are just passing afternoon showers.
  • Wildlife will start to disperse with the receding floodwaters, making the delta game viewing exceptionally good, instead of world class.
  • As vegetation becomes green wildlife becomes more difficult to spot but that much more beautiful photograph.
  • Be sure to include a water based camp on your itinerary, ensuring the complete Delta experience.

December

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are not as persistent with occasional afternoon showers soothing the heat of the day.
  • The "emerald season" is now in full swing, foliage is green and plentiful, flowers are in bloom and the migratory birds have returned.
  • The readily available water and green vegetation means animals enjoy prime condition, ideal for photographic enthusiasts.
  • Mosquitoes can be an issue at this time of year, be sure to pack some insect repellent.

Wildlife


The Okavango Delta boasts some of the best game viewing in Africa, with numerous species present across a range of wet and dry habitats. Encounter the Big Five in this region, with black and white rhino only present in the Moremi section of this conservation area. The numerous hoofed species including giraffe, zebra, lechwe and warthog, which are preyed on by lion, leopard and the endangered African wild dog, providing frequent hold-your-breath moments while on safari.

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