Pelo Camp is located on a small island, deep inside the Okavango Delta.
Pelo Camp: Our full report
Opened in Mid-2013 and situated deep inside the delta on a small island, Pelo Camp is Jao Concession's newest lodge. Surrounded by permanent, open floodplains this is the perfect camp for water-based activities and its main purpose is as a mokoro (traditional dug-out canoe) camp.
Unusually for the Okavango, Pelo is a seasonal camp, open from about April to November, the entire camp is tented and there are no 'permanent' structures here.
The main area includes a dining tent which consists of a tea & coffee station to one side and a long table where brunch and dinner are eaten communally. A short distance away is a separate lounge tent that has several comfortable chairs and a couch located around an old chest which doubles up as a coffee table. There’s a water cooler where guests can fill up their complimentary water bottles before heading out on activities and a small bookcase which houses a few books on the flora and fauna of the Okavango Delta. Moving through to the back this tent one finds a shaded balcony looking onto the channel and floodplains in front of camp. This has a few chairs and cushions spread across around, the perfect place from which to relax and escape the heat of the day.
Heading back out of the lounge tent and taking a short walk along a sandy path towards the boat station one comes across a raised platform, built around an old anthill with fantastic views across an adjacent floodplain. This is where the bar is situated as well as a central firepit, which is lit every evening before guests arrive back in camp from the afternoon activity.
Accommodation at Pelo consists of five reasonably spacious twin and one double tents, which are simple in design but comfortable all the same. All of the tents are well spread out and sheltered from one another by the thick palm foliage of the island. Each is reached by a sandy path originating in the main area and is entered through a covered verandah at its front. Inside there’s a writing table with a reading light as well as a charging station for camera equipment. The twin and double beds have bedside lights which provide enough light to read by in the evenings, although we’d also recommend guests bring a good quality head torch with them just to supplement this too. In one corner of the room there is a tea and coffee making station with hot water in a flask which is usually changed twice a day.
At the rear of the tent is an en-suite flush-toilet and basin with cold tap. There’s also a free standing wardrobe here which as well as providing storage space contains a small safe, insect repellant for both the room and the body and a kikoi and dressing gowns.
To the side of this is a washing basket and guests can usually expect clothes to be returned to them within 24 hours, although this can be weather dependent around the rainy season.
The shower is reached back through the tent and down a short, canvas lined pathway at its front. This is an outdoor bucket shower which is filled on request – with a capacity of 25litres there is ample water for two people to shower from one bucketful.
In keeping with its island location Pelo does not have access to game drive areas and instead the main attractions here are the camps mekoro activities. On past visits to other camps in this concession we have always enjoyed the birding, which has been very good. There are potential sightings of lesser jacana, slaty egret and wattled crane here alongside mammal species including elephant, hippo, crocodile, lechwe and on our last visit here we had a particularly good sighting of the illusive sitatunga antelope.
Pelo Camp offers a more traditional and rustic, water based experience, well suited to adventurous travellers looking to explore the waterways of the Okavango Delta. Pelo will probably disappoint those travellers hoping to spot lion and leopard around every corner, but the camp is situated in an area renowned for its varied bird-life and picturesque scenery, which is where the emphasis lies at this camp.
Ideal length of stay: We’d recommend a stay of around 2 nights at Pelo.
Directions: Most clients will fly in from Maun or other safari camps in light aircraft. Boat transfers are possible from other camps in the Jao concession. Guests will arrive at camp from Jao airstrip by boat.
Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer
Owner: Marketed and managed by Wilderness.
Staff: One management couple operates at Pelo and on our last visit this was the polite, friendly and very professional André and Lynée.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: The day usually starts with a light breakfast of toast, fruit and cereal, along with tea and coffee which is served prior to your early morning game activity.
Brunch is then offered after the morning activity. A hot option is served at this time – offerings when we visited last included a plated meal of pork ribs and sausage with a selection of vegetables, along with a selection of cold salad dishes and bread.
Afternoon Tea is served at around 4 o'clock, usually a savory snack, iced tea and coffee and a freshly baked cake, pie or biscuits.
Dinner is usually a buffet-style meal. On one of our visits, this included a spicy-lamb and rice dish, with salad and gem-squash, followed by a lemon tart with cream which was very tasty indeed.
With advance notice, the camp can also cater for vegetarian and many other dietary requirements. Please contact our team if you'd like to find out more.
Dining style: Group Meals
Dining locations: Indoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Included
Attitude towards children: Children with a minimum age of 13 years are welcome.
Property’s age restrictions: Children over the age of 12 years are welcome at Pelo. Children younger than six may be accepted by special arrangement, but only if the entire camp is reserved for exclusive use. Note that minimum age requirements mean that children are allowed on boat trips from the age of six years, but on mokoro trips only from the age of 13 years. Children under 17 year’s of age must share a room with an adult.
Special activities & services: There are no special activities or services.
Equipment: No special equipment is available.
Generally recommended for children: Pelo is such a small camp that a party of ten people, including children, could have exclusive use of it without any extra charges – making it a great choice for one large family or group. Since you would be using the whole camp, you would have ultimate flexibility and private activities at no extra cost. Generally we think that Pelo is suitable for more mature children over the age of 13 years. There are other camps in the Okavango more suited to younger children.
Notes: Pelo is unfenced, and dangerous wildlife, including leopard, are known to regularly move through camp. The tents are at ground level. Children must be under the constant supervision of their parents.
Power supply: Solar Power
Communications: There is radio only, no internet.
TV & radio: There is no TV or radio.
Water supply: Other
Water supply notes: The water comes out of the Delta and is then purified through reverse osmosis for guests. There is also bottled water available for guests.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: The nearest doctor is in Maun. All management and guides are first-aid trained and medical evacuation is available in case of emergencies. There is a nurse on call (via radio) 24 hours a day.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: Guests are escorted to their rooms after dark as dangerous wildlife is known to wander through the camp. A thorough safety briefing is given on arrival. ‘Fog horns’ are provided in the rooms to summon help in case of emergency.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers throughout camp.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: A laundry service is included. Laundry is collected in the morning and usually returned the same day, weather permitting. For cultural reasons and because the clothing is generally hand washed, the staff do not wash underwear. Detergent is provided in each tent for guests who wish to do a little hand washing.
Money: No exchange facilities are offered at Pelo. There are small safes in all the rooms, as well as a larger one in the office.
Accepted payment on location: Cash in the form of South African rand, GB sterling, US dollars, euros and Botswana pula is accepted, but your change will also be given in Pula.