Jao is one of Africa’s most famous camps. Built high up into the trees the design of Jao truly takes your breath away; the rooms are absolutely beautiful with vast beds, lounges and outside double ‘sala’ beds. The communal areas offer views out over the flood plains from the high trees surrounding camp and the game is very good throughout the year.
Jao - The Details
Jao is situated on the Jao concession, only a 20 minute flight from Maun. The camp is only a 10 minute drive from the airstrip.
Located on a large remote island in this private reserve and in close proximity to dry Kalahari grasslands, this camp offers a range of activities on both land and water. The guiding is very good and overall the lodge is extremely well run. Huge herds of red lechwe can be seen in this region, as well as prides of lion - their primary predator. Other game includes elephant, buffalo, leopard, tsessebe, zebra and wildebeest, hippo and crocodile. A network of wooden walkways and decking lead to 2 separate pools, a boma for dining under the stars, along with a separate fire place for pre-dinner drinks.
The main communal area is one massive structure on stilts, set inside a huge canopy of indigenous trees, the top of which houses the dining and lounge areas and completely open to the elements. Raised wooden walkways to either side of the main area lead off to the lavishly hand crafted, thatched roof tents, complete with decking area and outside sala. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers, 2 basins and stand alone baths.
With all that said, the price tag is exceptionally high and overall we have to question the value due to its close proximity to the other lodges in the same concession. Don’t get us wrong, we love Jao, but for the price it really should exceed expectations….and a purest safari lover would say that it misses the character. If luxury is what you are after, then Jao is without doubt the place to go....but for authentic safari we would send you elsewhere!