Okavango Delta, Botswana
At a Glance
Explore the delta channels by boat and mokoro
Relaxing treatments in the spa
Beautiful large decks with day beds
Day and night game drives
One of the top game viewing areas in the Delta
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Botswana’s winter is May to October when the weather is hot during the day (not stiflingly hot) and cold at night. Botswana's summer months (November to April) can be hot and humid and there is a chance of rain. Botswana has one rainy season which runs between mid-December and runs through to mid-March.
To start planning your vacation to Jao Camp
Jao Camp is a luxury safari lodge in the heart of the Okavango Delta. With just nine superior thatched cottages, each with its own veranda, Jao Camp is the perfect destination for excellent game viewing and a uniquely sophisticated safari experience.
Located on a remote island in the Okavango Delta, Jao prides itself on exclusivity and first-class game viewing opportunities. The nine thatched tented cottages are individually handcrafted and built under a canopy of shady trees, raised off the ground to enhance the wonderful views that surround the camp.
Spacious open rooms with rolltop baths add a feeling of romance and Jao is a justifiably popular destination for honeymooners.
Aside from game drives, activities include massage treatments from the full-time resident therapist, relaxation in the two plunge pools, fishing, walking and game viewing by boat or mokoro (traditional dugout canoe).
During an unusually high flood season, game drives begin by boating out to a nearby Hunda Island where the vehicles are waiting, and the drive begins from there. Huge herds of red lechwe can be seen, followed by their primary predator - prides of lion. Other game typical of Botswana include elephant, buffalo, leopard, tsessebe, zebra and wildebeest, hippo and crocodile. Many bird species are resident such as Meyer's Parrot, African Harrier Hawk, Black egret, Coppery-tailed Coucal, Malachite Kingfisher, Hamerkop and Black Crake being some of the avian treasures found at Jao Camp.
Jao Camp has nine spacious tents, each individually handcrafted. These twin-bedded canvas and thatched rooms are situated beneath a canopy of shady trees and have en-suite facilities, as well as an outdoor shower for the more adventurous. Built on raised decks, each has a private sala for afternoon siestas and offers wonderful views of the spectacular surrounding floodplains of Botswana. There are six tented rooms, one family tented room and two honeymoon tented rooms to chose from.
Jao camp is not really suitable for very young children and therefore has a minimum age of 8 years. However, food and meal times can easily be adjusted to cater for younger guests and most children find safari an incredibly inspirational and educational experience.
In addition to the lounge and dining area and library, there are two plunge pools and an outdoor boma for dining under the stars, complemented by wines from an excellent wine cellar. Jao Camp also has a spa where a wide range of massage therapies are offered.
Mekoro, boat trips, fishing, nature walks (which must be requested prior to travel), day and night game drives and birding are usually on offer all year round due to the abundance of wildlife in the Okavango Delta. There are two platform hides in the concession from which to view the game inconspicuously.
Camilla Whitworth (Staff)
Jao is a really unique and beautiful spot. The rooms are enormous and completely stunning. Huge bedrooms with these beautiful bathrooms fully equipped with large roll top bath, all overlooking the floodplains. The day bed positioned on your sweeping deck is the perfect place to snooze during the heat of the day or just sit with a pair of binoculars. My favorite activity was gliding through the waterways on the boat. I felt so privileged to experience this incredible landscape and saw a huge amount of game!
Jao Camp is located on a large, remote island in a private concession bordering the Moremi Game Reserve in the heart of the Okavango Delta. With varied habitats ranging from waterways and lagoons to dry Kalahari grasslands and open floodplains, Jao can offer both land and water experiences, depending on the current flood levels. The nine spacious tents are each individually handcrafted and situated beneath a canopy of shady trees. With en-suite facilities and an outdoor shower, they are built on raised decks, with private salas for afternoon siestas and wonderful views of the surrounding floodplains.
Louisa Verney (Staff)
As we bumped over the wooden bridge to Jao Camp and caught our first glimpse of the stilted rooms overlooking a flooded channel of the delta I could feel the smile spreading across my face. What struck me most about Jao is its sheer romance: the afternoon light slanting into my bedroom, my daybed overlooking the floodplain and the overall peacefulness of my surroundings. Being able to glide silently across the water in a traditional dugout canoe (or mokoro) was sheer bliss, even before we passed a huge elephant munching pacifically in the high grasses. When later that same day we saw a leopard draped elegantly in a tree and came across a pride of lion on our night drive, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.
Boat safari in the Okavango Delta
Travel through the waterways of the Okavango Delta on a boat safari, exploring the papyrus reeds and hippo habitats with your guide. The smooth ride offers a soothing alternative to time spent in a vehicle. Always subject to water levels.
Fishing in the Okavango
Fishing trips offer visitors to Botswana an opportunity to enjoy a different safari experience. In many areas the fishing is fantastic, you'll also enjoy fantastic wildlife and birdlife over your time on the water. NB not available within national parks.
Game Drives in Botswana
Viewing wildlife from a vehicle is the best way to get up close to big game. Allow your professional safari guide to cover ground to guarantee you some unforgettable sightings in Africa's premier safari destination.
Game drives in the Okavango
One of the best ways to see the big game of Botswana's Okavango Delta is on a game drive with a knowledgeable guide. Explore in open-sided vehicles to maximize your viewing opportunities, this is a truly wildlife rich environment.
Helicopter ride over the Delta
The Okavango Delta is a vast patchwork of deep-water channels, shallow lagoons and date palm islands, fringed with the ubiquitous papyrus reeds. A doors-off scenic helicopter flight is an exhilarating way to take in these sights and a real treat, too!
Mokoro trips in Botswana
Botswana's northern safari areas are full of water channels just waiting to be explored. Larger boats can be used to explore the wider channels but for the aficionado, mokoro trips into the smaller channels are a real treat. Always subject to waterlevels
Walking Safaris and Nature Walks
Walking in the African bush with a professional safari guide is a fantastic experience. Enjoy a completely different perspective on foot than from a vehicle.
Location & directions
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Jao Camp is located on a large, remote island in a private concession in Botswana , bordering the Moremi Game Reserve in the heart of the Okavango Delta . With varied habitats ranging from waterways and lagoons to dry Kalahari grasslands and open floodplains, Jao Camp can offer both land and water experiences, depending on the current flood levels.
How to get there
Maun is the gateway to the Okavango Delta, which is an 11-hour international flight to Johannesburg, followed by a 2-hour international flight. From there you will need a short flight (20 minutes) to get you to the camp airstrip. The camp is only a 10-minute drive from the airstrip. Occasionally transfers are by boat during the green season.