Welcome to the Zarafa Dhow Suite

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

The Zarafa Dhow Suite is undoubtedly one of our most beautiful Great Plains Conservation Réserve Collection safari camps in Botswana. 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 Zarafa Dhow Suite 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 new meaning.

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Zarafa Camp, 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 features four guest suites which individually measure over 100 square meters under flowing canvas. Each suite rests on raised reclaimed railway sleeper decking with the interiors consisting of a lounge area that flows to a beautiful bedroom and an open layout indoor bathroom complete with a copper claw-foot bath. Expansive outdoor decking that wraps around each guest suite offers guests a private plunge pool, outdoor seating and private outdoor shower.

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.

Zarafa Dhow Suite, 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.

Zarafa Dhow Suite 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 info@greatplainsfoundation.com