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“Very disappointing. Poorly managed camp.” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Jao Camp

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Jao Camp
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5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Moremi Game Reserve Border, Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana   |  
Hotel amenities
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Very disappointing. Poorly managed camp.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

We stayed at Jao for 2 nights in June 2012. The mangement of Jao seem to have their own agenda with the camp and have let the standards of this camp drop considerably! Despite the large sum of money you spend to stay here, and experience the serenity and magic of the bushveld, the management allowed raucous, loud parties with inappropriate, blaring music past 2 in the morning! Which we find unsuited for an establishment of their reputation. All the guests pay the same amount to stay at Jao, why should certain guests get more attention and be allowed to ruin the experience for everyone else? We feel that manangement have let down all the other staff and guides at Jao who go out of their way to accommodate the guests and keep everyone comfortable. You get the feeling that the junior staff do not appreciate management's behavior and lack of guidance. I would not recommend Jao to anyone unless there is a change of mangement.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Manager at Jao Camp, responded to this review, July 6, 2012
Thank you very much for the feedback you posted. We are sorry to hear that you felt the management style of the Jao Camp managers did not measure up to your expectations.

Wilderness Safaris pride themselves in the high service levels all our managers provide in our camps across the board. The Jao management team receive many rave reviews on how friendly, engaging and warm their hospitality is. They truly aim to afford each and every guest the same level of generous hosting, welcoming them with open arms to ensure guests feel at home in camp, from the moment they arrive to the moment they depart. Their aim, each time, is to make certain that our guests experience a wonderful stay and enjoy themselves during their visit.

The Jao managers did their utmost to create an ambiance in camp that was best suited to cater for the unique personalities of each and every guest they were hosting, so that everyone could enjoy their stay as much as possible. To this end, they ensured that the more boisterous guests, who were celebrating several special occasions whilst on safari, made use of the entertainment room for a more private dining and festive experience, without dampening their enthusiasm in any way. Management were ever present, to cater to the exuberant group’s needs, and to ensure they minimized any impact their celebrating may have had on anyone else staying in camp at the time. Throughout, the managers remained attentive and sensitive to all other guests needs.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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56 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
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English first
Cape Town, South Africa
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012

One of the best experiences of my life - I have fallen completely in love with Jao. My husband and I have just returned from 3 nights at Jao Camp, in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Words alone cannot describe how incredible our experience was, and how we absolutely had one of the best trips we've ever had. We are very lucky to be able to travel frequently, with other African countries our first choice. At Jao Camp, we had a truly fantastic experience, at one of the best camps we've ever visited.

The attention to detail, the luxury, the warmth and passion of everyone who works there, the quality of the game rangers and boating/game experiences and the overall stay was breath-takingly beautiful. It is like being transported to another world and you automatically feel at home, with a very special family, the minute you reach camp.

The camp itself is a wonder in decor, you are literally living "in" the Okavango waters, with the camp being raised on stilts. The ambience, food, special little treats and the feeling of being in another world with an amazing bunch of people who work there, was truly spectacular. I cannot give enough good feedback about this camp, it was magnificent in every way.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Top Contributor
171 reviews 171 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

This place has it all. Safari at its finest. I am ready to return and wish we never left. The rooms are as nice as it gets. The food was awesome and the game was abundant. Lions, elephants, baboons, etc...

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, CO
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
216 helpful votes 216 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2011

This was our final stop on a four property safari tour. Went to Jao because of its reputation as being one of the best water based safari camps and to a large extent Jao delivered. The proximity to a beautiful and extensive wetlands provided very good water based game viewing especially hippo, croc, and elephant. Also really excellent bird viewing and great small stuff like the reed frog.
The rooms were well appointed, the food and service very good. The resident couples managers were for the most part very engaged and informative.
My only hesitation is that upon arrival I requested with our guide and the manager a full day excursion to Hunda island for game viewing and was told this was not possible. After much unnecessary back and forth and irritation on this subject the guide eventually agreed to take us on a half day trip. I had assumed that there were logistical issues with having enough guides to deal with the guests but it turned out that the camp had less than half the rooms occupied. in retrospect it seemed to me that the guide, David, who turned out to be very competent but had his own pre-determined agenda designed to maximize tips from us and the other guests.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2011

What a terrific camp! There were 10 of us travelling together, and we all loved our time at Jao. The boat safari was a huge highlight, seeing so many elephants and Hippopotamus. The rooms were outstanding and we enjoyed the food. We stayed at Jacks camp and Mombo as well and really enjoyed the contrast between the three camps. Our guide David was sensational as were all the staff (excluding the General Manager!) Highly recommend this camp!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2011

Six of us stayed at Jao Camp at the end of September for 3 nights. The friendly and accommodating management staff were fantastic. The accommodation was wonderful and the setting of the camp really wonderful. Our guide was knowledgeable and we enjoyed our trips with him. However, considering the amount we were paying, the catering was definately not up to standard. We believe that they had just lost their chef and you could tell. Not all the meals were terrible but the evening meals definately were. The rest of the meals were only rated by us as 2 to 3 star. It is a pity that the kitchen staff seemed to rule to roost !!! and despite requests for medium cooked meat or such it was not forthcoming. The quality of the wines offered were substandard and it is a pity as South African wines are excellent and should be show cased here especially with the number of overseas visitors to this camp.
The spa was fantastic and both therepists are to be recommended.
I would love to return but would check first to find out if they had got another executive chef and if the food had inproved.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2011

great service and friendly staff and guides. the game drives are fun and very well organized

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jao Camp

Address: Moremi Game Reserve Border, Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Okavango Delta > Moremi Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Moremi Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Jao Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A sophisticated and hidden Okavango Delta retreat.Located on a large island in the heart of the Okavango, Jao Camp’s individually handcrafted and luxurious tents look out onto the essence of the Delta – swathes of water, swaying reeds, leaping lechwe and dancing cranes. The main area is an elaborate two-storey wooden structure with lounge and dining area, two plunge pools, a library, curio shop and boma for dining under the stars, complemented by an excellent wine cellar. An award-winning spa and gym epitomise luxury in the most remote, scenically splendid setting.HighlightsJao’s position – amongst waterways and lagoons, yet close to dry Kalahari woodland – means you can enjoy both land and water experiences, depending on the time of year and the level of the waters that move ceaselessly through the area. Here, spectacular herds of red lechwe are followed by lion and leopard, while other game includes tsessebe, giraffe, elephant, hippo and crocodile, occasional sitatunga and regular spotted-necked otter. Experiences: Mokoro • Boating (seasonal) • Seasonal catch-and-release fishing • Day and night game drives • Seasonal hide for sleep-outs or game viewing ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Jao Camp Hotel Okavango Delta

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