Welcome to Zarafa Camp

The culmination of a lifetime’s experience, built with grace and love in honour of an incredible wilderness…




Fully inclusive of all wildlife viewing activities, meals, park fees, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (excluding imported and premium spirits).

Air transfers and charters are additional and can be arranged on your behalf.

Number of Guests

Eight guests sharing, plus an additional guide’s tent if required.

Children from 8 years are welcome.


Early morning and late afternoon/early evening game viewing in open 4×4 vehicles, guided walks and cruising on the Zibadianja Lagoon on “HMS Zib” when water levels permit. The camp has an open-air gym and offers in-room massages.


On the far eastern edge of the private 320,000-acre Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana.

An Overview of Zarafa Camp

As the heat of the day disipates and the dust of the plains settles, a beautiful peace descends on the Zibadianja Lagoon, source of the Savute Channel.

A Pel’s fishing owl softly purrs in the canopy of a giant ebony tree and the hippos’ mocking laughter echoes across the water…

This is where Dereck and Beverly Joubert, co-founders of Great Plains Conservation, lay their weary heads many long years ago, exhausted from filming. The tranquility they found as they slept under the tree stayed with them, and a decade and a half later, having raised enough money to begin their Great Plains journey, the magnificent ebony became the focal point of a camp whose name had a fascinating journey all of its own… Zarafa.

In 1826 the Viceroy of Egypt presented to Charles X of France a giraffe that had been discovered in Nubia. This giraffe was floated down the Nile in a dhow to Alexandria before being shipped to Marseille and then walked to Paris. Everyone who saw the giraffe fell in love with her and asked what she was called. The Nubians, having no name for the animal, called her simply “Zarafa,” which is Arabic for “the beloved one” and which the French then pronounced “giraffe”.

The camp was originally called Zibadianja when it opened in 2008, but its beautiful design, “green” construction and amazing position overlooking the lagoon quickly made it the beloved of all who laid eyes on it. So it became Zarafa, in name and in spirit.

Just four magnificent tented villas and a spectacular main area, all raised on decking to take advantage of views over the lagoon, reflect the desire for exclusivity and privacy which inspired Zarafa’s design.

Construction took eco-friendly principles to new levels of excellence and focussed on recycling, with repurposed teak railroad sleepers for flooring and furniture made from mahogany washed up in the 2005 tsunami, commissioned in an effort to give Indonesians affected by the disaster much-needed work.

The result is a safari camp like no other, and one that you will quickly fall in love with and want to return to, time and again.

Camp Access

Zarafa Camp is only accessible to guests by scheduled air transfers or private air charters. On arrival at the airfield, the road transfer to camp is approximately an hour, including time for game viewing stops en route.

Zarafa’s (Category B) airfield is licensed for aircraft as large as a King Air, Pilatus PC-12 and Cessna Caravan.
The co-ordinates are S18″33.95′; E23″30.73′.

Flying time in a Cessna Caravan from Maun to Zarafa’s airstrip is about 45 minutes and from Kasane it is 50 minutes. Flying times vary depending on the type of aircraft being used and prevailing weather conditions.

Our Footprint

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.

Our game drive vehicles operate on a mix of vegetable oil (85%) and diesel (15%), a completely new initiative in the safari industry, 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.

Great Plains Conservation supports Pack for a Purpose

We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for the Gudikwe School Initiative and the Gudikwe Artist Initiative, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families.

Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our projects.