Zarafa Camp is located on the private Selinda Reserve, which links Botswana’s Okavango Delta with the Linyanti waterways, and every area of the camp offers stunning views over the Zibadianja Lagoon, the source of the Savuti Channel.
Zarafa Camp is the flagship property of Great Plains Conservation and exudes elegance from every stich and seam. The company is owned by Derek & Beverly Joubert, both National Geographic filmmakers, with a passion for Botswana and the conservation of its wildlife. Their passion shines through in the attention to detail here, whether it be the classic Persian rugs or the ornate doors collected from Zanzibar. Each of the 4 exclusive suites offers every luxury you could imagine, from a private plunge pool to an air cooling device over the bed. As Botswana’s only Relais & Chateaux property the food and wines are the best you will find for many miles.
Zarafa is named after a giraffe that was gifted to Charles X by the Viceroy of Egypt in 1826. After being discovered in Nubia she was floated down the Nile to Alexandria, shipped to Marseilles and finally walked to Paris. Everyone who laid eyes on her fell in love with her and asked what she was called. Because the Nubians had no name for the animal, they simply called her Zarafa which means Beloved One in Arabic. It is easy to see why this camp is deserving of such a name. The 320,000 Selinda concession on which it is located is absolutely teaming with life. During the dry season in particular huge numbers of elephant and buffalo are commonplace as are the predators which share their domain. Wild dog sightings are especially good here.
Being situated on a private concession means that game drives and night drives are both possible here, as well as good walking and boating safaris. Each guest is provided with a professional quality Canon camera and lens as well a pair of Swarovski binoculars for their enjoyment during their stay. The guides are very well versed in photography and are some of the finest and most eloquent guides in the country.
Zarafa works very well as a stand-alone camp but it can also be combined with Duba Plains in the Okavango Delta or Jack’s and San Camps in the Makgadigadi Pans for more contrast.
With all its careful appointments, Zarafa Camp maintains the perfect balance between luxury, adventure and offering that romantic Botswana safari experience. The camp has no equal when it comes to its environmental credentials.
Zarafa Camp is designed with exclusivity and privacy at its core. Each tent is positioned on the forest's edge, rimming the shores of the floodplains and far from a neighbour. The 1,000 square foot 'marquis style' canvas tents are expansive and open-air without exposing guests to the elements. Each of the three "rooms" of the tent is decorated with custom-made furniture, handcrafted from recycled ancient hardwoods. The raised decks, constructed of recycled African railroad sleepers, form the tent's foundation.
Upon entry is a large lounge appointed with a leather sofa, armchairs, personal bar and writing desk. Adjoining the lounge is the main bedroom and dressing area, where the overhead fans and seductive mosquito nets set the ambiance. Exiting the bedroom, a beautiful copper gas fireplace is strategically placed between the bathroom and the bedroom to allay the chill of the winter months. The main bathroom is comprised of a copper bath and shower, double sinks and private toilet. Off the bathroom, the raised walkway leads to the outdoor shower, complete with wrap around showerheads! The private verandah, running the length of the front of the tent, offers a private plunge pool, outdoor lounge and sweeping view of Zibadianja Lagoon's waters.
Each tent comes with its own Canon professional camera including a Canon 5D body and 35-135 mm and 100-400mm zoom lenses for use during a stay. Photos are then burned to a DVD as a souvenir at the end of your stay.
The guest tents, 1000 sq. ft in extent, are under beige, flowing canvas, with canopy ceilings and completely open (yet netted) sides. Entering through the heavy wood Lamu door transports guests to a lavish space of deep reds, browns, brass and copper, evoking richness and beauty. Each tent has a full lounge with desk and gas fireplace for winter. The large bedroom is connected to an open layout bathroom with impressive copper claw foot bath, indoor shower, separate loo and double basins. Decking around the tent leads to the private plunge pool and full-body outdoor shower, all with views of pristine Botswana wilderness. Under an impressive canopy of African ebony trees, the camp has a sizable main lounge, with adjacent library and dining area. A curio shop and ‘jungle gym’ satiate those who need retail therapy or a good work out. In-room massage is also available. Zarafa has succeeded in successfully in retaining a clearly African feel, while balancing that delicate relationship between personal and informal and romance and adventure. Zarafa Camp has no equal in terms of its environmental credentials and its careful appointments.
The Dhow Suites
The Zarafa Dhow Suites is an intimate, two room exquisite tented villa located on the 320,000 acre Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana, an area linking the Okavango Delta and the Chobe/Savute corridors. Few properties rival the location of this little gem built entirely under canvas, as one of the largest tents ever built on the continent. The Suites are located adjacent to Zarafa Camp, Botswana’s first and only Relais & Chateaux property. Overlooking the crystal waters of Zibadianja Lagoon, the source of the famous Savute Channel, every area of camp has a magnificent view. The lagoon is also the water source for a tremendous population of wildlife – dry season sightings boast buffalo and elephant by the hundreds.
Zarafa Camp is the brainchild of the founders of Great Plains Conservation, who pooled their collective experience on safari to create what they deemed to be the best and most environmentally innovative camp. Zarafa means "the beloved one" or "the lovely one" in Arabic. The name comes from a giraffe, which was presented to Charles X of France in 1826 by the Viceroy of Egypt. She travelled from Africa in a traditional Dhow boat, and it was on this journey that she was given her name reflecting her true elegance and splendor.
The villa, 210 square metre (2,260 sq ft) in extent, is under beige, flowing canvas, with canopy ceilings and completely open (yet netted) sides. Entering through the heavy wood Lamu door transports guests to a lavish space of deep reds, browns, brass and copper, evoking richness and beauty. Central to the Dhow Suites are a full lounge and dining area fitted dining table, coffee table with cappuccino machines and a full-length leather couch and chairs.
Two large bedrooms are connected to either side of the main area designed with an open layout bathroom with impressive copper claw foot bath, indoor shower, separate loo and double basins and even an open fire, with copper flu, to heat the room in winter.
A large decking area fronts onto the suites with a 5 x 2.5 metre swimming pool, exercise bike and full-body outdoor showers for each room, all with views of pristine Botswana wilderness.
The adjoining main camp has a curio shop for those who need retail therapy and an in-room massage is also available.
The Dhow Suites successfully retain a clearly African feel, while balancing that delicate relationship between personal and informal and romance and adventure. There is no equal in terms of its environmental credentials and its careful appointments.
Power in Room
Private Plunge Pool
Kids Safari Around Camp
In Room Safe
Full Day Game Drive
Night Drive Safari
Sundowner Boat Cruise
Mokoro Boat Safari
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