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Jao Camp itself is a showpiece of architecture and design. Spread over two floors, with a heavy West African and Indonesian influence, it features wrought iron gongs, lampshades and fire guards sitting on heavy rosewood floors. Antiques from Bali, African driftwood chairs, rich leather sofas and encased libraries all demonstrate the camp's attention to detail. 

As you enter the camp on the ground floor, you'll see a cozy seating area and a well-stocked curio shop that tempts you into buying souvenirs and gifts without the need to leave base. There's also a wine cellar, where you can request to have a private dinner for two - perfect if you’re celebrating a special occasion. Access to the two swimming pools and the jetty is also on the lower deck, while the beautiful polished wood fire pit is the place to gather in the evening for a pre- or post-dinner drink.

The open lounge, dining and bar area on the upper level has sweeping views from the deck over wild date palms to the plains beyond. The bar comes complete with a cappuccino maker - a rare luxury in the bush. 

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Rooms

High wooden walkways lead to just nine spacious suites. In each luxurious, open-plan suite you'll find a living room, bedroom and en suite bathroom complete with a Victorian bath and an outdoor shower. Outside, there's a large deck and sala (sleeping platform) with a comfy mattress and cushions to relax on during the hottest part of the day. This is a camp where the rooms are a real highlight, being sumptuous, luxurious and very original.

Location

Located on a small island in the Jao Concession, Jao Camp has nine rooms tucked away beneath ilala palms and strangler fig trees. It's surrounded by the deep channels and floodplains of the Delta, which is home to an abundance of wildlife.

Food and Drink

Meals are served communally in the dining room or beneath the stars in the boma. There's also a wine cellar offering a fine selection of wine.

Families

Family accommodation is available at the camp. Children will enjoy not only the wildlife viewing, but also the camp's entertainment room with its soft seating and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Facilities and Activities

With lots of water close by, the camp offers boat and mokoro trips in search of wildlife. There are malachite kingfishers close to camp, many pied kingfishers can be found poised on the bridge, red-billed wood hoopoes make a cackling sound in the trees, and spoonbills and egrets gather to fish on the open plains. Game drives on nearby islands will not disappoint, with red lechwe, tsessebe and a resident pride of lions. Finally, fishing is also possible, with the camp enforcing a catch and release policy.

An unusual activity you can try is candle making, which is great fun and the candles usually turn out surprisingly well. Find time for a treatment at the relaxing spa, where you may have the excitement of watching an elephant from the open-sided room, which looks out into the forest. There's also a small but well-equipped gym and an entertainment room with Wi-Fi access.

Environmental and Social Responsibility

As part of the Jao Concession, Jao Camp is involved in a project with the local community to reduce conflict regarding poaching and over fishing in the area. Furthermore, the accommodation at the camp is solar powered, with electricity and hot water provided via solar panels and inverters. Waste water (sewage and gray water) is treated in an above ground sewage plant, ensuring that the water is clean before being allowed to enter the natural environment.

Our opinion

This is a very original waterside camp, offering a great location from which to appreciate the wonderful Okavango scenery and birdlife. The camp is very stylish and perfect for those who prefer to stay in luxury.

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    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favorite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.