Zarafa Camp

Selinda Reserve, Botswana
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 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. The guest tents, offering an average 1,080 ft² 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 you 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,……
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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 are 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 Zarafa Dhow Suites is an intimate, two room exquisite tented villa located adjacent to Zarafa Camp. Central to the 2,260 ft² Dhow Suites is a full lounge and dining area with fitted dining table, coffee table with cappuccino machine and a full-length leather couch and chairs. Two large bedrooms are connected to either side of the main area and are 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 flue, to heat the room in winter. Each room has its own full-body outdoor shower. A large decking area fronts onto the suites with a large swimming pool.

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.

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. The HES Zib, Zarafa’s special pontoon boat, is an utterly unique experience. The 275 ft² 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 bream. Walks can also be arranged and are led by licensed guides with firearm training. 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 USB flash stick on guest’s departure. Each tent comes with a pair of Swarovski binoculars for guest use as well.

AT A GLANCE

  • 4 enormous (1,077 ft²) Marquee style tents on raised wood decks of 100-year-old teak railroad ties
  • 1 enormous (2,260 ft²) two bedroom Dhow Suite connected by a main area comprising a full lounge and dining area
  • Private decking leading to a private plunge pool
  • Lounge has couch and two chairs, plus desk and small library
  • Trunks house binoculars and camera kit as well as an Engel fridge with drinks of choice
  • Gas fireplace between the bedroom and bath
  • Ceiling fans, and unique bed cooling system for summer
  • En-suite bathroom has an open-air concept with indoor shower, claw foot deep copper tub and double vanities
  • Separate flush loo room
  • Outdoor ‘full body’ shower
  • Hot and cold running water
  • Main guest area includes central lounge with library, dining room with small bar, curio shop, and expansive deck with fire pit and seating
  • Situated on 330,000 acre Selinda Reserve
  • Twice daily game drives
  • Seasonal boating
  • Guided bush walks
  • All Inclusive: 3 meals daily, soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beer, safari activities, laundry
  • Wi-Fi in guest areas
  • Solar farm provide 24 hour 220v electricity
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