Wilderness Safaris has reopened Jao Camp in the heart of Botswana’s Okavango Delta after an 8.5-month transformation, introducing five spacious tented suites and two new exclusive villas which come with a private vehicle, guide, chef and butler.
The camp comprises a new main area, elevated into the tree canopy, with the new villas and suites all featuring private plunge pools, lounge and dining areas and en-suite bathrooms, including indoor and outdoor showers. Jao’s new spa is tucked away beneath palm trees in a tranquil location, complete with two new circular treatment rooms that have been finished with impressive saligna-laminated beams, rosewood-clad ceilings and rosewood floors, and are surrounded by tranquil water ponds. For the energetic, there is a fully-equipped gym, while the main pool, with its unique nest-like canopy pavilion for dappled shade, projects out over the floodplain and is the ideal spot to enjoy the sunset.
Another fascinating feature is the camp’s new Centre of Knowledge museum and gallery, with its emphasis on learning and sharing information about the area and its denizens, from a two-storey high giraffe skeleton to geographical maps and Okavango history.
In line with Wilderness Safaris’ commitment to operating with a light eco-footprint, Jao is 100% solar powered, with a new power plant that works on one of the biggest Victron inverter systems in the world, and the largest lithium-ion battery bank in southern Africa. The suites and villas will be cooled with an indirect Climate Wizard evaporative cooler, using a fraction of the energy of conventional air conditioning. They have also been fitted with innovative self-igniting Calore fireplaces, which use pellets made of sawdust left over from working natural wood, without any additives or caking agents.
“We are proud to have pioneered sustainable ecotourism at Jao for over 20 years now, and we can’t wait to share the new camp’s extraordinary wilderness offering with our guests,” said co-owner of Jao Reserve, Cathy Kays.
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