Zarafa Camp is an intimate, four-room tented camp located on the 320,000-acre 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.
Zarafa’s four guest tents 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 foot bath, indoor shower, separate loo and double basins.
Zarafa is one of the “greenest” luxury safari camps 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 uninterrupted views from every part of the camp over these productive floodplains are truly breathtaking. The enormous shady trees, the palm fringed savannahs, the abundant wildlife and bird life concentrations in front of the elevated camp are characteristic of this area.
Activities offered at Zarafa include game drives, night drives, and walks can be arranged on request. Boating on the Zibadianja Lagoon may be possible, dependent on water levels.
Activities are focused on game drives. During periods of high water levels, water activities may be possible but not guaranteed.
1000 sq ft marquee-style tents with canopy ceilings and completely open (yet netted) sides yet privately placed. Each tent has a private plunge pool, 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 loo and double basins. Each tent has a telescope for wildlife watching on the game-rich floodplain.
Large numbers of elephant are seen here throughout the year plus healthy populations of both sable and roan antelope, giraffe, baboon, black-backed jackal, hippo, honey badger, reedbuck and many predators including lion, leopard, wild dog and occasionally cheetah.
Night and day game drives, guided bush walks, boat-based activities (when water levels permit) are all included on a shared basis.
This is one of Africa’s most exclusive camps: why not book private use of one of their vehicles for a complete experience.
If you have any questions regarding our Botswana tours, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965
On behalf of my wife and myself, I would like to thank all at Reef and Rainforest for arranging so superbly yet another exceptional wildlife experience. As you are aware our ‘expeditions’ tend to be species led and this year’s brief was to observe and photograph the ‘Three Big Cats of Africa’ in a truly wild setting (i.e. no fences). Your recommended destination, Botswana, did not let us down, in fact the whole trip proved an outstanding success in all aspects.
We stayed in three camps (three nights in each) across the Okavango Delta and surrounding area, each provided a different environment which ensured our aims were met. Each camp was run to a very high standard, was extremely comfortable and provided excellent meals. The quality of guiding and tracking in all our camps was of the highest standard. As Botswana manages its natural resources so well all the camps were small (no more than 18 guests) ensuring a very intimate safari experience in pristine wild African habitat.
I am delighted to report our big cat objectives were realised. All observations were lengthy and offered excellent photographic opportunities. However, unexpectedly, the highlight of our spectacular trip turned out to be sightings of two separate packs of African Painted Dogs. We visited two dens, the first had a very healthy number of adult dogs, approximately fifteen and eighteen pups. The second had seven adult dogs and sixteen pups. At Lebala we had the privilege of spending a prolonged period of time following the pack of dogs as they hunted, an experience we will never forget.
When one also considers the significant mammal and bird species we observed, Botswana is truly a must visit destination for the wildlife enthusiast. Incidentally we also observed three serval and two African wild cats. We also thoroughly enjoyed our few days at Victoria Falls, possibly the most spectacular waterfall in the world, the hotel in Zimbabwe was excellent. Viewing the falls from the Zambian side and also the helicopter flight are both well worth doing.
This was our third consecutive trip with Reef and Rainforest, and I would be very surprised if there is not a fourth being planned very soon. Thank you all once again.