Zarafa Camp is an intimate, four-room exquisite tented camp located on the private 130 000 hectare Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana. The reserve links 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 the 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 and most environmentally-innovative 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 are under beige, flowing canvas, with canopy ceilings and completely open (yet netted) sides. Each tent, averaging 100 m², 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 toilet and double basins. Railway sleeper wrap around decks lead to a 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 sizeable main lounge, with adjacent library and dining area. A curio shop satiates those who need retail therapy. In-room massage is also available.
Why we like it here
Zarafa Camp is located in the Selinda Reserve on 130 000 hectares of private concession. This means that you will never see any other vehicles in the reserve at any time. Its exclusive location offers guests privacy and tranquillity in a natural, wildlife setting.
Selinda Reserve boasts staggering wildlife populations year-round like the classic species (such as leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo, Red lechwe, zebra and giraffe), as well as some uncommon species such as African wild dog, cheetah, roan and sable.
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.
Birders will be delighted by the nearby African skimmer colony and the antics of the Black egret on the shores of Zibadianja Lagoon.
All rooms have private plunge pools.
Time is your own and flexibility is key to the guest’s experience.
As a Relais & Chateaux property, attention to detail is key and all guests will experience a gourmet safari. The cuisine is prepared by exceptional chefs. All food is sourced locally and changes on a daily basis.
Activities include Game Drives, Night Drives, Guided Walks, Boating (depending on water levels), massages and seasonal fishing.
Things to be aware of
The only access to Zarafa Camp is via a light aircraft transfer or private charter.
Each guest tent has a professional Canon Camera set available for guests to use during their stay.
Children 8 years and older are welcome. Zarafa Camp offers a “Young Explorers Programme” – thoughtfully designed to explore a range of experiences and topics from birding to cooking, to art and tracking wildlife.