- Zarafa Camp is one of Botswana’s most exclusive, super luxury lodges with only 4 tents in an intimate setting in private Selinda Reserve with magnificent game-viewing on the floodplains. The emphasis is on offering a personalised & private experience to guests in the atmosphere of a luxurious bygone era.
- Sumptuous tents offer exceptional views of the lagoon, each with a private plunge pool, deck, an ensuite bathroom that boasts an al fresco shower and clawfoot copper tub.
- Award winning property that is part National Geographic’s Unique Lodge of the World Collection and Botswana’s first Relais & Chateaux property.
- Embark on a thrilling open-vehicle safari to seek out some of Africa’s largest elephant and buffalo herds, float across the shimmering waters of the Zibadianja Lagoon in a pontoon boat, observing hippos and diverse birdlife while sipping on refreshing cocktails, kayak on the Savute Channel, go fly-fishing, stroll across the floodplains with an expert guide and learn about the complex nature of hydrology in the Delta.
- Share safari stories around an intimate lagoon-side dinner table, lit by candles and the bright stars of the African sky. Enjoy a private wine-tasting evening on the deck. Unwind after a long day of adventure with massages in clear view of roving elephants.
EXCLUSIVE LUXE VOYAGER VIP BENEFITS & BEST PRICE
We negotiate rates & benefits for our clients directly with the hotels’ senior management. Our rates match or in many cases are lower than the best online rate for the property. Our clients also enjoy a suite of extra VIP privileges and recognition while staying at a partner hotel.
- Complimentary room upgrade on arrival.
- Daily complimentary buffet breakfast for two.
- Up to $100 dining or spa credit per stay, and or in-house dining / spa discounts.
- Welcome amenities (wine/chocolates/fruit) and card from the GM.
- Complimentary private airport transfers.
- Complimentary roll-away bed if required.
- Early check-in and late check-out.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi.
- Enhanced recognition through VIP status at all touch points in the guest experience.
A complete or partial suite of VIP benefits will be offered, subject to the property T&C, including availability, category of room & length of stay.
With a maximum of just eight guests, Zarafa Camp offers complete flexibility. Drives do focus on the most comfortable and productive times of day, early morning and late afternoon, but full day drives are also quite common at a guest’s request. Picnic brunch can be delivered, and the vehicles are stocked with cold drinks. The camp has two custom built Land Cruisers specially designed for our conditions and photography (fold-down screens, raised roofs, photographic bars, multi-plug invertors) with seven individual bucket seats.
Another huge benefit of staying within the conservancies is the ability to appreciate the stunning landscape on foot, peacefully, without the noise of engines. We highly recommend this unforgettable experience. Talk to the managers to arrange a good time and location for a walk. Usually early morning or evening is the best time, as the middle of the day is too hot to venture out of the shade.
The HES Zib, Zarafa’s special pontoon boat, is an utterly unique experience. The 275 sq. foot deck is complete with couches, a dining area and bar where guests can comfortably enjoy floating brunch or sundowners while watching hippos and elephants in the water. It is also an exceptional platform for birding. Botswana’s northern safari areas are full of water channels just waiting to be explored. Larger boats can be used to explore the wider channels but for the aficionado, mokoro trips into the smaller channels are a real treat. Always subject to waterlevels.
Fly-fishing and rod/reel kit is available for those who want to try their cast at the local fish (except January and February when there is a moratorium on fishing). Power boating on the channels is available, water level dependent.
Each of Zarafa’s guest tents has a professional Canon camera set, including a Canon 5D camera body and Canon 100-400mm and 28-135mm lenses. Photos will be downloaded to a DVD on guest’s departure. Each tent comes with a pair of Swarovski binoculars for guest use as well. For stargazers, each room comes with its own Nikon telescope for use on each tent’s private deck.
A full syllabus of bush craft skills for our young explorers. This is a complimentary program that follows in the footsteps of National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence, Dereck and Beverly Joubert. An extensive pack will be provided to eager children on arrival, so they can learn about animal calls, how to track wildlife, and other facts and figures about the wild. At the end of a child’s stay, he/she will become a Young Explorer and Conservation Ambassador – ready to go out and tell the world about what they have learned and what they too can do to help protect this beautiful environment.
Zarafa means “the beloved one” in Arabic and comes from a giraffe that was presented to Charles X of France in 1826 by the Viceroy of Egypt. Today Zarafa, Botswana’s first Relais & Chateaux property, is an exquisite camp located on the private 320,000 acre Selinda Reserve. The Reserve links the Okavango Delta with Chobe National Park and every area of the camp offers stunning views over the Zibadianja Lagoon, the source of the Savuti Channel. Each of Zarafa Camp’s 4 guest tents are 1000 sqf, set on raised decking, under flowing canvas. Entering through a Lamu door guests, find a lavish space with the bedroom connected to a full lounge and open layout bathroom complete with cooper claw-foot bath. Extensive decking includes a private plunge pool & outdoor shower.
Under a canopy of ebony trees, the camp has a main lounge, library, dining area & bush boutique. An outdoor gym and in-room massage are available. With all its careful appointments, Zarafa maintains the perfect balance between luxury, romance & adventure and the camp has no equal when it comes to its environmental credentials. Selinda Reserve is home to leopard, lion, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, red lechwe, zebra & giraffe. And for birders the nearby African skimmer colony is a highlight. From camp, hippos are visible in the Lagoon and elephant wander through regularly in this exciting wilderness.
Accommodation at Zarafa Camp consists of four spacious tents with verandas, positioned under cool and shady trees with breathtaking vistas of the Zibidianja Lagoon. A large bedroom, en-suite bathroom, featuring a copper bath and both indoor and outdoor showers, are standard. There is also wifi available in each guest tent. With a maximum of eight guests, the emphasis here is on individual hospitality and privacy. Each tented room has 360 veranda and which is dissected by a private pool and outdoor shower. The bedroom and living areas are huge, and equipped with vintage and antique decor. And just to throw a contemporary touch into the mix, you get your very own Canon 50D camera for your stay. The bathrooms are designed with copper influence all round, a free standing copper bath, sink and shower. Just in case you get chilly, there is also a central fireplace.
Fully inclusive of all wildlife viewing activities, meals, park fees, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including imported spirits and champagne. Each of the camp’s suites is equipped with Swarovski binoculars, Nikon telescope, a professional Canon camera, with a Canon 5D body and 35-135 mm and 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens, for you to use during your stay. All images are copied onto a USB stick for you to take home.
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 and include a private plunge pool & outdoor shower – positioned on the forests edge, with a view of Zibadianja lagoon. 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.
The Dhow Suite
The 2,260 sqf Zarafa Dhow Suite is an intimate, two room exquisite tented villa with private plunge pool located adjacent to Zarafa Camp. Few properties rival the location of this little gem built entirely under canvas, as one of the largest tents ever built on the continent.
Zarafa Camp’s flexibility extends to its dining schedule, where the emphasis is on guests’ needs and well as fresh food and crisp tastes. Meals can be brunch, afternoon tea and a 3-course dinner or a substantial picnic enjoyed on an all-day game drive. Outdoor dining patio shaded by a canopy of African ebony trees. Vegans, children and other special requests can be accommodated.
The main tent resonant with deep reds, rich brown and warm coppers – comprises a cosy lounge and an elegant bar and dining area. Meals can be brunch, afternoon tea and a 3-course dinner or a substantial picnic enjoyed on an all-day game drive.
The main tent – resonant with deep reds, rich brown and warm coppers – comprises a cosy lounge, a well-stocked library, and an elegant bar and dining area. The sprawling viewing decks has spectacular views of the Zibalianja Lagoon – ideal for capturing the classic ‘laughing hippo’ snap. Zarafa Camp also has a ‘jungle gym’ for those wanting to stay in shape and a thoughtfully-stocked memento shop so you can take a little piece of Botswana home with you. At night, curl up next to the roaring fire pit and prick your ears for the distant roaring of a lion pride. An outdoor gym and in-room massage are available. Early morning and late afternoon/early evening game viewing in open 4×4 vehicles, guided walks and cruising on the Zibadianja Lagoon on “HMS Zib” when water levels permit. Zarafa camp has a plunge pool for guests to enjoy between safaris, there is also a curio shop and a hide for game viewing.
Zarafa camp is located on the Selinda Reserve, private concession, in the Linyanti region of Northern Botswana, north of the Okavango Delta. The reserve is a 45 minute flight from Kasane, if coming from Chobe National Park or Victoria Falls, and 45 minute to 1.5 hour flight if coming from Maun. The airstrip is a 20 minute drive from the camp.
Zarafa camp has a plunge pool for guests to enjoy between safaris.
Zarafa Camp also has a ‘jungle gym’ for those wanting to stay in shape.
The library is home to a collection of prized works on Africa.