Game Report: Jao Camp

July 24, 2013  By: Gretchen

Today’s report comes from Jao Camp in Botswana. Jao is located in the central region of the Okavango Delta. Its vast open floodplains provide some of the most stunning scenery of the region.

The camp has nine spacious, beautiful tents, each individually handcrafted. The twin-bedded canvas and thatched rooms are situated beneath a canopy of shady trees and have en-suite facilities, as well as an outdoor shower for the more adventurous. Built on raised decks, each has a private sala for afternoon siestas and offers wonderful views of the surrounding floodplains. In addition to the lounge and dining area, there are two plunge pools and an outdoor boma for dining under the stars. Mokoros, boat trips, fishing, nature walks, day and night game drives and birding are usually on offer all year round. What follows is what’s been happening lately in this little corner of paradise.


Jao seems to have some new personalities this month as we have had some very interesting visitors lately. One of our guides accompanied by some guests had a sighting of two male lions, known as Salt and Pepper, on Hunda Island mating with a local Jao lioness. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a new pride and the next chapter of many stories of the bloodline to come.

In attendance, there is a genet that still makes its presence known although it has been quite elusive this month. A young crocodile, which has become known as ‘Shoes,’ has taken up residence in a small pool behind the camp workshop – perhaps a safe place to grow a little bigger. Many crocodiles have been seen in the larger waterways while out on activity.

Vervet monkeys and baboons have been seen regularly around the camp area and as usual they have been up to mischief. Moruti, the resident civet, has become quite fond of Alejandra, one of the camp managers. This civet has been seen following her a number of times while she walked back to her room after dinner. On this token, a set of female leopard tracks have popped up around camp every now and then, reminding all that we are living amongst the full spectrum of African wildlife.

On one occasion we found a leopard not too far from camp, feeding on an impala carcass up in a sycamore fig. One of the many highlights for the month was the sighting of a couple of Cape clawless otters which were playing and fishing in front of the jetty and main area.

Hippo have been very active in the area both during the day and night, when they leave the security and comfort of the water to graze on grass. Quite often these bulk grazers would be heard more often than seen. We had a clear sighting of a mother and calf which is always quite exceptional, especially as the small family exited the water in good view of everyone around.

Large herds of elephant have been seen, especially around the airstrip area and in close proximity to the camp area. Many of the herds have new additions too as we have seen some tiny babies.

As for the resident hyena clan, they are still around all over the place and up to their old tricks – just trying to find an opportunity where they can cause trouble. They gave our food and beverage manager, Charl, a big unexpected fright when he walked around the back of house not so long ago and came across two of them. They have even been sighted sleeping between Tents 6 and 7.

Antelope sightings have been pretty good with large herds of lechwe and impala leaping through the floodplains in front of camp. A sitatunga was also sighted from Tent 3 – always a real treat to see.

The guests have been raving about all the different sights they’ve seen between bush brunch and bush dinner, including a lot of our other activities with marvelous sightings like leopard, giraffe, warthog, zebra and many others. Everyone had their own story about their special moment and surely some were not even mentioned, as it was a very exquisite and busy month, packed with fun.

Take advantage of our specials and start planning your safari to Jao – just call one of our safari specialists today!

Photo Courtesy of Jao Camp 

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