Based in the verdant western Delta reserve of the same name, Jao Camp is one of Botswana’s most opulent safari accommodations with arguably the most beautiful setting. There are nine extremely spacious safari tents, raised high on wooden decks to command outstanding panoramic views of the concession’s floodplains, channels and date palm islands. Sheltered under a canopy of shaded trees and a high thatched roof, each suite offers extensive creature comforts such as a private sala, sundeck with hammock, claw foot bathtub and inside and outside showers. The main lodge area is innovatively designed, a split level construction with a bar, lounge, library, dining area, firepit deck and two plunge pools. Perhaps most enticing of all is the luxurious, well stocked spa that offers a range of relaxing treatments with a local twist.
With such extensive facilities and scenic surrounds, it is often an effort to tear yourself away from camp, but the mokoro and motorboat activities are outstanding, as are the two wildlife hides for more languid afternoon game viewing. Game drives close to the less swampy Jao flats are possible at certain times of the year, with a surprising volume of lions to keep the abundant red lechwe on their toes. Great animal sightings can’t be guaranteed throughout the year though, meaning this definitive Delta experience of breathtaking vistas and tranquillity should be combined with a dryer, more central concession.