Jao Camp

Western, Botswana

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Jao Camp


Jao Camp lies south of the vast floodplains surrounding the Jao concession and offers some of the most stunning scenery Botswana has to offer. Narrow water channels cut their way through the papyrus and reed beds in the permanent delta to the north and east of the Jao Concession, providing the perfect environment for the elusive sitatunga and the rare Pel's Fishing-Owl. The camp has nine luxurious tents, en-suite facilities with old-style fittings and an outdoor shower.

The Jao Concession is set in the most densely populated wetland area. During the flood from April to September, lechwe are plentiful and lion follow them. Elephant numbers peak from August to November. Plains game is evident and there are good leopard sightings. Hunda Island offers a wide variety of different animals and is a must at least once if accessible. Birdlife is excellent – especially during the summer months.

There are two platform hides in the concession. Jao Camp offers both land and water experiences, depending on annual flood levels. Mokoro, boating, seasonal fishing, and night game drives are usually on offer all year round in one of the most picturesque concessions in the Delta. Huge herds of red lechwe can be seen, followed by their primary predator - prides of lion. Other game includes elephant, buffalo, leopard, tsessebe, zebra and wildebeest, hippo and crocodile. 

We Love
  • Jao Camp supports Jao Lion Monitoring Project to monitor individual lions
  • Jao Concession holder, David Kays is an active supporter of local environment 
  • The Camp offers both land and water experiences, depending on annual flood levels
Need to Know
  • Jao Camp is a Premier Safari Lodge with 9 luxurious tents
  • Activities undertaken are birding, nature walks and wildlife watching
  • Located in Jao Concession, Moremi Game Reserve, Okavango Delta
  • Best for Honeymoon, Adventure, Wildlife, Eco/ethical tourism


Stay Jao Camp is a Premier Safari Lodge with 9 luxurious tents with a capacity for 18 guests (plus pilots/ leader/ guides). 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.

The Camp The main Jao Camp area is an elaborate two-storey building. The camp has a dining room, bar and lounge under thatch, raised on decks, overlooking the floodplains. There is also an outdoor boma for dining under the stars, an excellent wine cellar and two plunge pools. Jao Camp also has a spa where a wide range of massage therapies are offered and well-equipped gym. 

ChildCare Children of 6 years and older are welcome to stay at the Jao Camp. For families travelling with children between 6 and 12 years, private activities need to be booked and paid for. The minimum age for boating activities is 6 years and for mekoro activities is 13 years.

Safari Game drives at Jao Camp are on 5 x 10-seater open 4 x 4 Land Rovers each accommodating maximum six guests, allowing all guests an outside seat. All vehicles are equipped with books on trees, birds and mammals along with a pair of binoculars and insect repellent. Full day game drives (with picnic) are undertaken on Hunda Island - a 45min boat ride away from Jao Camp. Night drives are with spotlights.

Experience There are two platform hides in the concession. 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. 

Jao Camp Western, Botswana

Location Jao Camp is located on a large, remote island in a private Jao 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 Camp can offer both land and water experiences, depending on the current flood levels.

Getting There Maun is the gateway to the Okavango Delta and is accessed by a short 35 min flight on a light aircraft. The flight from Kasane takes one hour and 25 mins. From Maun there is a short 20-minute flight to get to the camp airstrip, followed by a 10-minute drive to the Jao Camp. Occasionally transfers are by boat during the flood season. Please note, light aircraft transfers have 15kg luggage restrictions in soft, squashable bags.

When to go Botswana’s winter months from May to October are dry and cool with chilly nights. This is also its high season. Botswana has hot, wet summers from October to April. Botswana has one rainy season which runs between December and February, sometimes continuing into March, with rain generally in the form of afternoon thundershowers. Best time to travel is all year round. There is great fishing from March to December, with catches of tiger fish, bream, catfish and tilapia.