Be In the Know

Be In the Know. Sign up to have DesignDestinations delivered right to your inbox, weekly.

Jao Camp in Africa

DSCN0497Jao Camp on the edge of the Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana is an amazing design destination.  If the words “safari camp” bring to mind rickety metal cots, mildewy canvas and well worn dining halls of your scout or Church camp days, well…..banish those thoughts. This camp and the camps of our childhood days are two different animals.

We arrived…….. hot and dusty and tired from our open Landrover ride from the airstrip half an hour away….and were greeted with a gracious smiles and cold juice drinks by an eager- to- please staff.  I found it hard to make conversation, the structure and setting was so jaw dropping that all I could muster was, “Wow, look at this!”

The nine raised tents connected by a walkway on stilts to the main gathering area—a stunning open air lounge and dining structure constructed of rosewood, lead wood with a thatch roof.   The polished floors, dramatic open staircase, sculptural lounge chairs, cone shaped metal light fixtures and meandering floor plan beckons us to explore and then to relax and enjoy the view of the wide waterway—called the hippo highway– in front of us.

We venture to our tent, complete with canopied bed, outdoor shower and high style seating area. The picture perfect décor easily could have been photographed for Architectural Digest with nary an adjustment.

This was the most luxurious of the three camps we stayed in on our African Adventure.  As a result, we skipped some game drives to spend time resting on our “sala” or outdoor bed, savoring the peaceful surroundings, listening to the birds call and watching impalas and baboons who meandered by.DSC_0843

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Margaret Cheff
    Aug 30, 2009 Reply

    Having been there with you, Susan, I can vouch for the lovely setting on the Reserve, the “treehouse” feeling of the camp itself, and oh yes, the FOOD that’s to die for. If anyone reading this is planning a trip to Botswana, this is a “must go to” camp!

  2. posted by
    Cindy Schad
    Sep 8, 2009 Reply

    This is definitely a sumptuous looking camp! A wonderful destination for anyone’s “list”

Leave a Reply