Zarafa Camp & the Zarafa Dhow Suite Bostwana
Zarafa Camp & the Zarafa Dhow Suite
Selinda Private Reserve, Northern Botswana
Great Plains Conservation
Date of Creation
Hotel General Manager
Dorian Hoy – Managing Director, Botswana
5 Star Luxury – Member of Relais & Chateaux and National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World
Zarafa is located in a place where wildlife can breathe freely, wild and unrestrained. So it’s vital for us to limit the impact on this incredible wilderness.
With this in mind, Zarafa makes use of a revolutionary “solar farm” consisting of over 150 205-watt solar panels which produce sufficient electricity during daylight hours to handle all of the camp’s electrical needs.
Only recycled hardwoods and canvas were used in the construction, a ‘bio gas’ plant recycles waste into usable cooking gas and our drinking water is treated through a UV filtration system allowing us to eliminate the use of disposable plastic water bottles whilst still offering potable water reliably.
These components make Zarafa one of the “greenest” camps on the planet.
ZARAFA CAMP & THE ZARAFA DHOW SUITE
History & Story
Zarafa Camp is an intimate, four room exquisite tented camp located on the on the private 130 000 hectare Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana, an area linking the Okavango Delta and the Chobe/Savute corridors. Few camps rival the location of this little gem, Botswana’s first 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 deemed to be the best safari camp in Africa and the continent’s most environmentally innovative camp. 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, offering an average 100m2 under canvas living space (excluding the railway sleeper wrap around decks and private plunge pools), 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 footbath, 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 satiates those who need retail therapy. 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.
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.
There are no plans to renew Zarafa at this stage – The camp was conceptulised and designed by Dereck Joubert
Main Strengths, Special Touch
One of only two Relais & Chateux and National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World accreditted safari camps in Botswana
Private Wildlife viewing concession with limited guests
Private 130 000 hectare Selinda Reserve
Key sites/activities in the area
Open vehicle game driving and wildlife viewing activities in the early morning and late afternoon/evening
Private game drive vehicle and guide available for hire at additional cost (this included in the daily tarif of the Zarafa Dhow Suite)
Boating activities to view wildlife on the Zibadianja Lagoon which is in front of the camp (water levels permitting)
For those guests that are avid birders and who manage to see 111 different birds during their stay with us, they will presented with a unique gift recognising their extra ordinary achievement
All rooms at Zarafa Camp and the Zarafa Dhow Suite include a range of quality Canon photographic equipment and binoculars for guests to use on a complimentary basis
Zarafa accepts children from 8 years old
All children that stay at Great Plains Conservation safari camps have the opportunity of participating and joining our Young Explorers Club
• Number of suites:
• Zarafa Camp has a total of 4 Luxury guest tents plus a 2 bedroom private residence called the Zarafa Dhow Suite
Each tent enjoys a indoor private lounge and en-suite bathroom with indoor and outdoor showers and copper bath. There are wrap around railway sleeper decks which offer guests a private plunge pool
Each rooms offers wifi, a writing desk and environmentally friendly evening breeze cooling system over the guest’s bed area
The Zarafa Dhow Suite has a separate entry area, central dining and lounge area and private railway sleeper deck with swimming pool. Each of the two bedrooms enjoying indoor and outdoor showers and copper baths in the ensuite bathroom
• Number of rooms, (keys) in all:
• Zarafa Camp has 4 tents plus a separate 2 bedroom Zarafa Dhow Suite private residence
Restaurants & Bars
• Zarafa has a number of dining options. These include a central dining area in the main camp area, but guests are also able to dine under the stars out on the expansive deck of the main area, in room should they choose. Bush breakfasts and/or dinner options are available at times. These are confirmed by the camp manager on a daily basis and are subject to confirmation. Guests on the private ponton, HES ZIB, are able to enjoy meals when out on a cruise across the Zibadianja Lagoon
The Zarafa Dhow Suite offers these specific guests the services of a private butler and chef in the daily tariff
• A brand new wellness offering is currently being developed
All guest rooms have yoga mats and a selection of light weights
There is an outdoor gym area called the « Jungle Gym » which offers a stationery rowing machine and « Spinning » bicycle as well as yoga mats, light weights and boxing bag
Corporate & Celebration Events
Extra Notable Features
• Early morning and late afternoon/early evening wildlife viewing game drives
• Guided boating opportunity on the Zibadianja Lagoon on the HES Zib
• Private wildlife viewing vehicle and guide available at additional cost for guests
(This service is included in the daily tariff of the Zarafa Dhow Suite)
Hotel and restaurant Awards
2016 Safari Awards, Best Safari Experience – Zarafa Camp
2016 Safari Awards, Best Safari Cuisine – Zarafa Camp
2014 Relais & Châteaux Environment Trophy – Zarafa Camp
2014 Robb Report, Top 100 Resorts – Zarafa Camp
2014 Safari Awards, Best Safari Property in Africa – Zarafa Camp
2013 Andrew Harpers Grand Award – Zarafa Camp
2013 Harper’s Readers Choice, Top 20 Hideaways – Zarafa Camp
2013 Andrew Harper’s Best Wildlife Experience – Selinda Spillway
2013 Robb Report, Essential Safari Guide – Zarafa Camp
2013 Safari Awards, Best Safari Property in Africa – Zarafa Camp
2012 Robb Report, Top 100 Resorts – Zarafa Camp
2012 Elite Traveler, Top African Safaris – Zarafa Camp
Number of employees