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Welcome to The Dhow Suite at Zarafa

Here exclusivity takes on a new meaning, bonding with friend and family on an illustrious safari filed with excitement and discovery…

The Dhow Suite at Zarafa is undoubtedly one of Botswana’s most beautiful Great Plains Conservation Réserve Collection safari camps. Zarafa means “the beloved one” or “the lovely one” in Arabic. The name comes from a giraffe presented to Charles X of France in 1826 by the Viceroy of Egypt. The giraffe was transported from Africa to France in a traditional Dhow.

Today The Dhow Suite at Zarafa is a stunning two-bedroom tented suite located on the private 130,000-hectare (320,000-acre) Selinda Reserve of northern Botswana. The 210 square meters (2,260 square foot) Suite is on raised decking under flowing canvas. Entering through the wooden Lamu door, exclusivity takes on a new meaning.

The Dhow Suite at Zarafa closed in early 2023 and received a comprehensive refresh of all interiors and décor with new antique, campaign-styled furniture, before reopening to wide acclaim.

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The Dhow Suite at Zarafa, a Great Plains Conservation Réserve-Collection safari camp, is located on the private 130,000-hectare Selinda Reserve. The Selinda Reserve links Botswana’s Okavango Delta with the Linyanti waterways. Every area of the camp offers stunning views over the Zibadianja Lagoon, the source of the Savuti Channel.

This Relais & Châteaux member property is a private 2-bedroom villa, complete with the services of a personal butler, chef, safari vehicle and wildlife guide included in the nightly rate. Flanking each side of the main lounge and dining area, each bedroom flows to a beautiful bedroom and an open layout indoor bathroom complete with a copper claw-foot bath and private outdoor showers. Expansive, raised sleeper wood outdoor decking wraps around each guest suite and offers guests a private verandah complete with a plunge pool, outdoor seating and fire pit.

Under a canopy of ebony trees, the main camp area offers guests a sizable main lounge, library, dining area and bush boutique. An outdoor gym and in-room massage are available. All the camp’s electricity comes from its solar farm. The camp has no equal when it comes to its environmental credentials.

The Selinda Reserve is home to leopard, lion, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, red lechwe, zebra and giraffe. It is also a refuge for some uncommon species, such as African wild dogs, roan and sable. And for birders, the nearby African skimmer colony is a highlight. From camp, hippos are visible in the lagoon, and elephants wander through regularly. It is an exciting area, and guests are in the heart of this wilderness safari wonderland.

The Dhow Suite at Zarafa, and Zarafa Camp, are Botswana’s first Relais & Châteaux properties. Today, our Selinda Camp and Selinda SuiteDuba Plains Camp and Duba Plains Suite have also joined the prestigious ranks of proud Relais & Châteaux members.

Conservation is only successful when communities living alongside wildlife and protected areas are offered opportunities to learn, interact, and benefit from these conserved areas. In Ngamiland, in the upper reaches of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, there is a community we care deeply about and want to support in their journey to prosperity, with strong links to the environment. In support of that community, the Great Plains Foundation launched the Great Plains Academy to provide personal and community enrichment opportunities for individuals living alongside wildlife. The goal of the Great Plains Academy is to provide vocational training, supplemental education and scholarships with a conservation and tourism focus to those living alongside Botswana’s Okavango Delta. All programs seek to invest in the skill and capacity of the individual while imparting respect for natural heritage and a solid conservation ethic.

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$ 9 290
11 January – 31 March 2024

$ 11 810
01 April – 14 June 2024 & 01 November – 19 December 2024

$ 17 590
15 June – 31 October 2024 & 20 December 2024 – 10 January 2025

The above rates are in US$ and based on a per person per night sharing basis. Single guest, child rates and guide rates are available on request

The Dhow Suite at Zarafa Gallery

In addition to our own programs, Great Plains Foundation keeps a list of school needs in the countries where we work.

Needed items can be hand-carried by travellers or we can help purchase them locally. To learn more or to help support students and educators as part of your trip please reach out to