Few camps rival the location of this little gem, Botswana’s first and only Relais & Chateaux property.
Overlooking the crystal waters 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.
As a consequence, Zarafa may in fact be the “greenest” luxury safari camp on the continent. Only recycled hardwoods and canvas were used in the construction and all the camp’s electricity comes from its solar farm while ‘bio gas’ plants recycle waste into usable cooking gas.
The guest tents, 1000 sq. ft in extent, are under beige, flowing canvas, with canopy ceilings with 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.
Zarafa has succeeded in successfully retaining a clearly African feel, while balancing that delicate relationship between personal and informal, romance and adventure.
Each tent has a full lounge with desk, gas fireplace for winter and even WWII crank phone for drink orders!
The large bedroom is connected to an open layout bathroom with impressive copper claw foot bath, indoor shower, separate loo and double basins.
4, plus 2 bedroom family unit
Open all year round
With a maximum of just eight guests, Zarafa Camp offers complete flexibility.
Drives 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 for photography, (fold-down screens, raised roofs, photographic bars, multi-plug invertors), with seven individual bucket seats.
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. Fly-fishing and rod/reel kit is available for those who want to try their cast at the local tiger fish.
Walks can also be arranged and are led by licensed guides with firearm training.
Power boating on the channels is available, water level dependent.
Selinda Reserve, at the crossroads of some of northern Botswana’s most prolific wildlife areas, boasts staggering wildlife populations year-round.
Home to some of the classic species, such as leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo, red lechwe, zebra and giraffe, it is also a refuge for some of the more uncommon species such as African wild dog, (which usually den each dry season near camp), cheetah, roan and sable.
And for birders, it will not disappoint. Our nearby African skimmer colony is a highlight, as are the antics of the Black Egret on the shores of Zibadianja Lagoon.
From camp, hippos are visible in the Lagoon and elephant wander through regularly.
Night noises will either lull you to sleep or wake you from a deep slumber. It is an exciting area, and guests are in the heart of a wilderness wonderland.
A Canon 5D camera with 100-400mm and 28-135mm lenses as well as Swarovski 8 x 42 HD binoculars are available in each tent for guest use.
Photographic bars for camera mounts are on each vehicle.
Massages are available and there are yoga mats in each tent.
There is a premium wine and spirits selection, a curio shop, Jungle gym.
The camp is 100% solar powered.