Private vehicle Jao

Nov 22nd, 2005, 02:31 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 407
Private vehicle Jao

Is this worth it at Jao seeing it's more a water based camp?

Then again they allow night drives,don't they?

Thanks in advance.
safarinut is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 03:27 AM
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I haven't stayed at Jao, but at Jacana just around the corner... we motored past Jao on our way to Jacana and encountered their guests out on the water on occasion.

Assuming you have chosen Jao for the water activities above all it would seem a huge waste to pay for a private vehicle which you'd use only occasionally. Perhaps you could book one for one full day including evening and do drives during the day and evening concentrating your water activities on the other days?
Kavey is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 04:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Jao does do night drives. They have 3 basic types of game viewing outings:

1 - DRIVE in the area close by (generally done for a night drive)
2 - Motor BOAT to island and DRIVE once there (generally done in the morning 'cause it takes several hours)
3 - MOKORO (can be done in the AM or PM, but generally only an 1 1/2 to 2 hours)

We did everything with our group except the mokoro and I have to say, it was much better alone. We had a talkative group and the mokoro was best experienced in blissful silence.

Does Jao charge for the private vehicle by day or by excursion?
Ericka is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 05:17 AM
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Posts: 407
Thanks Kavey and Erika

I have chosen Jao for the water activities so it does seem unwise to get a private vehicle here.

They do charge $340/day for the private vehicle.

Thanks for the explanation of activities at Jao.
safarinut is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I must tell you that our guides at Jacana expressed some surprise at how many Jao guests, having selected a water camp, did almost no (and sometimes even no) water activities at all. Most did drives instead but some didn't even do that and spent their time being massaged instead!

The environment around Jao and Jacana is stunning, breathtaking and every other cliche I could think of.

You can take mokoro trips that allow you to glide across the water, low enough to see frogs clinging to reeds, dragonflies flitting between them and birds not frightened away by the sound of an engine. You can ask to go on a longer trip, perhaps see if they can arrange a full morning trip with a picnic breakfast on one of the many beautiful little islands you're guides will take you to.

You can also do excursions in the powerboats - when you reach a great sighting such as a pod of hippos or herd of elephants your guide will turn off the motor and let you stay and watch, bobbing in the water, so very close to the great beasts. You may spot the rare sitatunga too, elusive though it is, since it's very much home in this watery environment.

It wouldn't surprise me if your night drives are not too crowded anyway, though I can't confirm that, as I suspect not all the guests elect to go out...

Whatever you do, you're sure to have the most wonderful time!
Kavey is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 06:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 407

Thank you for the wonderful description of the environment around Jao and Jacana....felt like I was actually there!!

My reason for including Jao is to experience exactly what you've described,not going to worry too much about game drives.

I am just torn between Duba Plains and Savuti.I haven't seen a bad report on Savuti yet where as it seems that Duba is feast or famine.

I am going to Duba for only one reason and that is to see the lion/buff interaction.

Anyway I can't wait for my introduction into the Botswana wilderness!!!
safarinut is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 02:06 AM
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I can't comment on Duba as I've not been there but certainly Savuti has a great abundance of different species and you've got good chances of spending time with cheetahs and wild dogs. Depending on season you may also be there for the huge elephant herds too - we missed them because the waters were so high in 2004 that they hadn't yet receded by June as they normally do and so the eles were still dispersed.

I don't recall lion action at Savuti but we did see it at Mombo where lions are very abundant - but not any buffalo interaction though there are a lot of these too, usually right under your tent!!!

Kavey is offline  

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