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Jao Camp

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Platinum price level

Mango Opinion

With its new build in 2019, Jao boasts some of the most luxurious accommodations in Botswana, which is saying something for sure! The wildlife on reserve is seasonal so we tend to recommend this spot at the start or end of a safari, making room for more prime areas within the trip.


In the heart of the Okavango, luxurious Jao is set amongst islands fringed with riverine forests and vast, floodplains with prolific wildlife. The camp (rebuilt in 2019) comprises a main area elevated into the tree canopy, two exclusive villas and five twins all with private plunge pools, lounge and dining areas, and en-suite bathrooms, including indoor and outdoor showers. The two Jao Villas, accommodating four people each in two identical guest rooms, share a main area, and also have an exclusive vehicle, guide, chef and butler.

The fresh and contemporary design, in the same lovely location, continues the sense of adventure that Jao has always prized, adding an element of surprise and delight in ever-evolving sculptural and architectural language. Innovative insulation ensures comfort, while gauze and glass panels let natural light and the outside in. The suites and villas are cooled with a silent evaporative cooler, at a fraction of energy used by conventional air-conditioning, and Calore ‘fireplaces’ provide heating during the colder months.

The wildlife at Jao depends largely on the water levels in the area. The lagoons are home to hippo and crocodile and the permanent waters attract large numbers of waterfowl. Sitatunga can be tracked silently by mokoro. From October to March the waters subside and enormous open plains are the highlight. This is where the game viewing is the best and big cats are plentiful. Activities offered include boating, fishing, day and night game drives.