Fodor's Expert Review Jao Camp

Okavango Delta, North West, Botswana

Aptly rhyming with ‘wow’, this opulent, inventive camp, which was completely rebuilt in 2021, is a cocktail of innovative modern design and sustainability, with a squeeze of African flavor. The awe-inspiring entrance library-cum-natural history museum has a spiral staircase built around a life-size giraffe skeleton, above which a wine cellar shares space with rows of fully-stocked bookshelves. Tantalizing à la carte meals are served in the glass-fronted bar and dining room (with winter fireplace) or outside on the deck where the elevated perspective is akin to living in the treetops. Hanging chairs and comfy sofas provide plenty of chill-out areas in the evening, or descend to the firepit at the water’s edge below. Cavernous suites dwarf the size of most city apartments, and come complete with kitchenettes with designer coffee machines, minibars, dining tables, lounge areas, a/c, fireplaces, electric blankets, freestanding baths, indoor and outdoor showers, tablets, and phones. Doze on your circular suspended daybed on the deck or take a dip in the infinity plunge pool–the views are spectacular whichever you choose. Family-size villas sleep up to 6 and include a private chef and fire-pit. Despite the glamour, conservation is a priority–thatched roofs are in fact made from recycled plastic, as is the pseudo-wood deck floor. Spot buffalo, red lechwe, elephants and fish eagles as you speed through narrow channels by boat (when the flood is high), glide in a mokoro through meadows of water lilies or search for big game by vehicle. For weary travelers, the tranquil spa might be just the ticket.


  • African fantasy deluxe
  • superb food and service
  • gorgeous views


  • might be too decadent for some
  • game not always on tap
  • expensive




Phones: 27-11-257–5000-in South Africa


7 suites
Rate Includes: All-Inclusive

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