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“The most magical place on earth”
Review of Jao Camp

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Jao Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Cape Town, South Africa
Level Contributor
123 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
“The most magical place on earth”
Reviewed 1 May 2012

One of the best experiences of my life - I have fallen completely in love with Jao. My husband and I have just returned from 3 nights at Jao Camp, in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Words alone cannot describe how incredible our experience was, and how we absolutely had one of the best trips we've ever had. We are very lucky to be able to travel frequently, with other African countries our first choice. At Jao Camp, we had a truly fantastic experience, at one of the best camps we've ever visited.

The attention to detail, the luxury, the warmth and passion of everyone who works there, the quality of the game rangers and boating/game experiences and the overall stay was breath-takingly beautiful. It is like being transported to another world and you automatically feel at home, with a very special family, the minute you reach camp.

The camp itself is a wonder in decor, you are literally living "in" the Okavango waters, with the camp being raised on stilts. The ambience, food, special little treats and the feeling of being in another world with an amazing bunch of people who work there, was truly spectacular. I cannot give enough good feedback about this camp, it was magnificent in every way.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Lynnie07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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115 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
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English first
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Level Contributor
194 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2012

This place has it all. Safari at its finest. I am ready to return and wish we never left. The rooms are as nice as it gets. The food was awesome and the game was abundant. Lions, elephants, baboons, etc...

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank TheKrispyK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boulder, CO
Level Contributor
69 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2011

This was our final stop on a four property safari tour. Went to Jao because of its reputation as being one of the best water based safari camps and to a large extent Jao delivered. The proximity to a beautiful and extensive wetlands provided very good water based game viewing especially hippo, croc, and elephant. Also really excellent bird viewing and great small stuff like the reed frog.
The rooms were well appointed, the food and service very good. The resident couples managers were for the most part very engaged and informative.
My only hesitation is that upon arrival I requested with our guide and the manager a full day excursion to Hunda island for game viewing and was told this was not possible. After much unnecessary back and forth and irritation on this subject the guide eventually agreed to take us on a half day trip. I had assumed that there were logistical issues with having enough guides to deal with the guests but it turned out that the camp had less than half the rooms occupied. in retrospect it seemed to me that the guide, David, who turned out to be very competent but had his own pre-determined agenda designed to maximize tips from us and the other guests.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank Boomer_from_Boulder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2011

What a terrific camp! There were 10 of us travelling together, and we all loved our time at Jao. The boat safari was a huge highlight, seeing so many elephants and Hippopotamus. The rooms were outstanding and we enjoyed the food. We stayed at Jacks camp and Mombo as well and really enjoyed the contrast between the three camps. Our guide David was sensational as were all the staff (excluding the General Manager!) Highly recommend this camp!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank bravo70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 October 2011

Six of us stayed at Jao Camp at the end of September for 3 nights. The friendly and accommodating management staff were fantastic. The accommodation was wonderful and the setting of the camp really wonderful. Our guide was knowledgeable and we enjoyed our trips with him. However, considering the amount we were paying, the catering was definately not up to standard. We believe that they had just lost their chef and you could tell. Not all the meals were terrible but the evening meals definately were. The rest of the meals were only rated by us as 2 to 3 star. It is a pity that the kitchen staff seemed to rule to roost !!! and despite requests for medium cooked meat or such it was not forthcoming. The quality of the wines offered were substandard and it is a pity as South African wines are excellent and should be show cased here especially with the number of overseas visitors to this camp.
The spa was fantastic and both therepists are to be recommended.
I would love to return but would check first to find out if they had got another executive chef and if the food had inproved.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank barenb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
147 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2011

great service and friendly staff and guides. the game drives are fun and very well organized

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank SGB59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
singapore
Level Contributor
319 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 208 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2011

Jao Camp is a premier camp and when we booked it was the priciest offer among the lodges in Okavango Delta. We were greeted by a welcoming party on arrival. Throughout our stay, the staff were uniformly friendly, cheerful and helpful. This turns out to be the best thing we liked about Jao. A cold front was moving through the Delta during our stay so the fact that this is an eco lodge means there is no heating and no fireplace to keep warm. while there was a herd of elephant just around the camp, we had to take a 40 min boat ride to an island to see a variety of game. The lodge itself is luxuriously laid out wi a shower and day bed outside- lovely features on a warm day. For the price, we expected better food and wines, not unreasonable since our experience with Sengita in Sabi Game Reserve was superior in this regard. Still, this is the delta and we had looked past these drawbacks to focus on seeing the great fauna and flora 3 ways by land rover, motorized boat and mokoro, essentially a canoe.

Room Tip: All the rooms have same view but closer to main lodge is better because help is closer at hand.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank sunnyboy9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Jao Camp

Property: Jao Camp
Address: Moremi Game Reserve Border, Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Region: Botswana > North-West District > Okavango Delta > Moremi Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 27 Speciality Lodging in Moremi Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:5 star — Jao Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A sophisticated and hidden Okavango Delta retreat.Located on a large island in the heart of the Okavango, Jao Camp’s individually handcrafted and luxurious tents look out onto the essence of the Delta – swathes of water, swaying reeds, leaping lechwe and dancing cranes. The main area is an elaborate two-storey wooden structure with lounge and dining area, two plunge pools, a library, curio shop and boma for dining under the stars, complemented by an excellent wine cellar. An award-winning spa and gym epitomise luxury in the most remote, scenically splendid setting.HighlightsJao’s position – amongst waterways and lagoons, yet close to dry Kalahari woodland – means you can enjoy both land and water experiences, depending on the time of year and the level of the waters that move ceaselessly through the area. Here, spectacular herds of red lechwe are followed by lion and leopard, while other game includes tsessebe, giraffe, elephant, hippo and crocodile, occasional sitatunga and regular spotted-necked otter. Experiences: Mokoro • Boating (seasonal) • Seasonal catch-and-release fishing • Day and night game drives • Seasonal hide for sleep-outs or game viewing ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Jao Camp Hotel Okavango Delta

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