Welcome to Zarafa Camp and The Dhow Suites

Zarafa Camp, located in the 320,000-acre Selinda Reserve is synonymous with exclusivity and perfection. The spirit behind Zarafa Camp originates with Dereck and Beverly Joubert, who together designed Zarafa to incorporate all the components of what they envisioned as the ‘perfect’ safari camp.  In 2014, its complementary villa, the Dhow Suites will open. Both embody authenticity, luxury and simplicity to create a camp that as been clearly considered, and thoughtfully planned to be as environmentally sensitive as possible. It is the culmination of years of safari experience.

Zarafa Camp

Re-opened in June 2008 as Zibadianja Camp and later re-named Zarafa, its beautiful design, ‘green’ construction and spectacular new location made it an immediate recipient of numerous accolades. Zarafa Camp sits on an island in the floodplains of southern shores of the Zibadianja Lagoon, which is the source of the Savute Channel. Positioned in the extreme eastern side of the Selinda Reserve, its location is in prime wildlife territory. Each of the camp’s four immense tented suites are raised up on wooden decking and shaded by a canopy of African ebony and Red ivory trees, each with uninterrupted views.

Zarafa means "the beloved one" or "the lovely one" in Arabic. The name comes from a giraffe, which was presented to Charles X of France in 1826 by the Viceroy of Egypt. The giraffe was a sensation to all who saw her, and provided inspiration. The new Zarafa Camp lives up to the name, inspiring even the well traveled, and renewing the spirit of all who visit.

Zarafa’s Villa: The Dhow Suites

Fashioned of the same sentiment as Zarafa’s main camp, the Dhow Suites are the ultimate private retreat in northern Botswana. Operating entirely exclusively and catering to just four adults or 5 if the group includes a child, the Suites are hosted separately from main camp with private chef and staff. At 2200 sq feet (210 m2) in extent, with an oversized verandah, the two suites retain an indoor/outdoor ambiance of palatial proportions. The main area is two stories of expansive verandah with a pool on the lower level and the dining and fire area upstairs for views across the lagoon.

While the inspiration remains 1920s exploration, the influence of the East African coast is more prevalent. As Zarafa, the camp’s namesake giraffe, was journeying to France, it was obvious she’d need transport down the Nile. What better than an East African dhow with a hole cut through the upper deck for her long neck.  And so it’s a full circle, which brings us the Zarafa Dhow Suites. Anticipated to open in May 2014.

The Selinda Reserve

There are few places in northern Botswana as dynamic as the Selinda Reserve, which is centred on the famous Selinda Spillway, which weaves its way east, linking the far reaches of the Okavango Delta in the south with the Linyanti water systems in the east.

The Selinda Reserve is west (upstream) from Savute Channel and Chobe, so it has all the advantages of both of those famous areas but with the tremendous advantage of exclusivity. It is a truly spectacular and unique landscape.

On safari it is possible to see a tremendous diversity of species, from resident prides of lion to huge herds of elephant and packs of wild dog. It is also home to the ungulates, from the rare roan to the ubiquitous zebra. Nocturnal wildlife is prolific as well, and there are frequent sightings of aardwolf and civet. Exploration of this vast area defies imagination... by foot, 4x4 open game drive vehicle, and pontoon boat.

See More Images of the Zarafa Camp here

Within the 320,000 acre private Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana.

Zarafa Camp: 8 guests sharing plus an additional guide’s tent.

Zarafa Dhow Suites: Up to four adults or 5 if the group includes a child in two suites plus guide’s tent

Set in an immense private reserve, known for its intimate wildlife experiences. Dramatic landscapes coupled with prime location on the ZIbadianja lagoon and shared between so few guests make for a ‘private Africa’, a culmination of years of safari experience. The camp operates ‘green’ and yet by luxury standards. Each tent has a professional camera and lenses for each guest’s complementary use.
Fully inclusive of accommodation, all activities, meals, park fees, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (excluding imported and premium drinks). Flights are additional.

Early morning and late afternoon/early evening 4x4 open vehicle game drives, guided wildlife bush walks, and boating on Zibadianja Lagoon on HMS ZIB when water levels permit, open air gym, in-room massages.

Zarafa is a true story about a young giraffe that, in 1826, appeared at the port of Marseilles as a gift from the Viceroy of Egypt to Charles X of France.