Saturday, June 9, 2012

One of my favorite lodges: Jao

Today we packed up and said goodby to the wonderful staff at Duna Tau.  The managers Gerard, Claire, and Ben were so gracious and great hosts to us.  it was sad to say goodbye.
Before we left we caught up with the lion pride one last time.  it appears they had chased off the wild dogs last night and the dogs won't be back for up to 2 weeks which means we we incredibly lucky to see them twice in our stay here.  The lions were resting in the shade just along the Savtu channel and watching a group of red lechwe on a nearby island.  There were two male identical twins who were playing with each other, rolling and pawing playfully in the grass.  This was abreast send off for us...

We boarded a Caravan 12 seat plane at 11am and flew 45 minutes int the heart of the Okavango Delta.  As we flew over this incredible ecosystem we could look out over hundreds of miles of hippo trails in the green swamp below.  Palm trees dotted the horizon and the world below became a watery mirage.  This is the largest freshwater delta in the world and one gets a complete sense of isolation here.  What a contrast this will be to Namibia's desert and sand dunes that await us in a few days...

Marc enjoying downtime at Jao

Bedroom at Jao

We landed at Jao airstrip and were escorted to camp by our guide, GT.  The lodge is absolutely an architectural gem set upon a lush green lagoon.  Palms surround the property and the two story wood structure is like a Four Seasons Swiss Family Robinson tree house.  High beamed ceilings, gorgeous wooden floors, tasteful furnishings, 2 outdoor pools, a spa and more. Our rooms are amazing as well.  You walk into a living room with a comfy couch and side arm chairs, a full bar in the mini fridge, tea and coffee service.  A large canopied bed faces out towards the extensive deck outside with views over the green grassy marsh.  The bathroom features an indoor and outdoor shower.  There is a sala covered day bed on a side deck.  This room is about half the size of my house back home.  Turkish carpets cover the floor and brass fittings are featured in the bathroom.  This is a premium class camp and you can certainly see why.  It will be hard to leave the property to go on game drives!  

Our deck at Jao
While the rest of the gang went out on a game drive and saw two female lions hunting a lechwe I stayed in camp to relax by the pool and enjoy a nice massage in the exotic spa they have here.  I tried a local technique which involved rolling wooden sticks over the muscles and the use of hot stones.  The massage was a perfect way to chill out and enjoy Jao which is one of the nicest camps I have ever had the pleasure to lodge at.  After my massage I drew a nice hot bath in my room and lit a single candle as I sat and listened to the world of nature's calls all around me.  Pure magic!

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