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Wilderness Pelo

Wilderness Pelo is a small tented lodge located on a heart-shaped island in the beautiful Jao Concession in the north-west Okavango Delta.

Wilderness Pelo is a really wonderful little camp with an incredibly beautiful and tranquil setting in the heart of the Okavango Delta. To get the full benefit of the location it is best to visit from May through to September when water levels are highest and the landscape is a stunning mix of islands, lagoons and floodplains inundated with water. The camp is simple but comfortable and has a very relaxed and peaceful ambience. This is a camp where you can slow down, enjoy some quiet time and really escape modern life for a short while. Being so wet, the area is not brilliant for big game, though you will see lots of red lechwe and also hippo, crocs and elephant. The larger islands are home to plains game and some predators – you might hear a lion roaring or a hyaena ‘whooping’ at night, but day time activities are unlikely to encounter them. However the scenery and birding is spectacular! In general you should consider Wilderness Pelo for the exclusive feel if offers, the amazing Okavango wetland experience, the excellent birding and your chance to see the rarer species such as sitatunga, spotted-necked otter and Pel’s fishing owl. Wilderness Pelo is one of the few camps in Botswana that offers genuinely good value for money too!


Wilderness Pelo has accommodation for 10 guests in five comfortable tents, all set at ground level with views out across the water. Each tent is comfortably furnished with a ceiling fan and plumbed en suite facilities including indoor and outdoor showers. There is also 24 hour lighting and power points in the tents. To the front of each tent is a small verandah with safari chairs. Sandy pathways link the tents to the central areas.

Central Areas

The central areas are built on a large wooden deck with views out across the delta. There is a choice of indoor and outdoor dining, a comfortable lounge in which to relax and a swimming pool to cool down in during the heat of the day.


Wi-Fi – Yes
Power for charging – Yes
Swimming pool – Yes

Habitat & Wildlife

The Delta experience is magical at Wilderness Pelo (especially so during the flood season from May to September) and the birdlife is spectacular. From the deck at Pelo you gaze out over a wetland eco-system of channels and floodplains interspersed with palm islands and larger wooded islands. Being so wet, the area is not brilliant for big game, though you will see lots of red lechwe and the area is also home to hippo, crocs and elephant. You also have chances to see the rarer species such as sitatunga, spotted-necked otter and Pel’s fishing owl (the latter of which can sometimes be seen in camp). The name ‘Pelo’ comes from the local Setswana language and means ‘heart’, an apt name when you see the shape of the island from the air!


Wilderness Pelo is a true water camp and activities are focused around mekoro excursions and boat cruises. During the flood period (May to August) boating is completely unlimited and you can travel good distances through this stunning concession. Walking on the islands is also possible, with longer walks (which should ideally be pre booked) being led by armed walking guides, whilst short birding walks on very small islands may not be led by armed guides. Fishing is also possible on a relaxed catch and release basis.


Wilderness Pelo is open from March to November but is best visited when the Okavango is in flood, usually from May through to September.

Wilderness Pelo is not a natural family destination because it offers a more tranquil and specialist Okavango experience. However, families with older teenage children who have a keen interest in birds and would enjoy a true Okavango experience, could easily include Wilderness Pelo as a wonderful wilderness escape.

Wilderness Safaris established the Children in the Wilderness programme (CITW) focusing on the children from villages close to the remote areas in which they operate, educating them in environmental awareness and training them in the life skills needed to care for and nurture their natural environment. Some of these programmes include operating annual camps for up to 30 children at a time in their lodges, running regular Eco-Clubs in rural schools, Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES) which mentors particular children who have shown a strong interest in their environment and scholarship programmes for primary, secondary and tertiary education.

The Wilderness Wildlife Trust is involved in conservation, anti-poaching, community empowerment and education. The Trust has many projects throughout Botswana (Wildlife Research Increasing Capacity), Namibia (Desert Dwelling Giraffe Study), Zimbabwe (Hwange Elephant Movement Study), Zambia (Zambian Carnivore Program), Malawi (Mobile Response Unit) and Rwanda (Shoebill Arial Survey).

A project localised to Wilderness Pelo includes a committee formed by the Jao concession and University of Botswana (Tubu Joint Management Committee) which aims to restrict poaching and over-fishing on the concession.