Welcome to Zarafa Dhow Suite

Here exclusivity takes on new meaning, bonding with friends and family on an illustrious safari filled with excitement and discovery…

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QUICK FACTS

Accommodation

Fully inclusive of all activities, meals, park fees, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (excluding imported and premium spirits). Flights are additional and can be arranged on your behalf.

Number of Guests

The Dhow Suite can cater for a maximum of four adults and one child sharing, in two separate bedrooms, plus an additional guide’s tent if required.

Children from 6 years are welcome.

Activities

Early morning and late afternoon/early evening game viewing in a private open 4×4 vehicle, guided walks and cruising on the Zibadianja Lagoon on “HMS Zib” when water levels permit. There is an open-air gym and in-room massages are available.

Location

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

An Overview of Zarafa Dhow Suite

The Zarafa Dhow Suite is an intimate, two room exquisite tented villa located on the 320,000 acre Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana, an area linking the Okavango Delta and the Chobe/Savute corridors. Few properties rival the location of this little gem built entirely under canvas, as one of the largest tents ever built on the continent. The Suite is located adjacent to Zarafa Camp, 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 Camp is the brainchild of the founders of Great Plains Conservation, who pooled their collective experience on safari to create what they deemed to be the best and most environmentally innovative camp. 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. She travelled from Africa in a traditional Dhow boat, and it was on this journey that she was given her name reflecting her true elegance and splendor.

The villa, 210 square metre (2,260 sq ft) in extent, is 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. Central to the Dhow Suite is a full lounge and dining area fitted dining table, coffee table with cappuccino machine and a full-length leather couch and chairs.

Two large bedrooms are connected to either side of the main area designed with an open layout bathroom with impressive copper claw foot bath, indoor shower, separate loo and double basins and even an open fire, with copper flue, to heat the room in winter.

A large decking area fronts onto the Suite with a 5 x 2.5 metre swimming pool, exercise bike and full-body outdoor showers for each room, all with views of pristine Botswana wilderness.

The adjoining main camp has a bush boutique for those who need retail therapy and an in-room massage is also available.

The Dhow Suite successfully retains a clearly African feel, while balancing that delicate relationship between personal and informal and romance and adventure. There is no equal in terms of its environmental credentials and its careful appointments.

Selinda Reserve, at the crossroads of some of northern Botswana’s most prolific wildlife areas, boasts staggering wildlife populations year-round. Home to some of the classic species, such as leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo, Red lechwe, zebra and giraffe, it is also a refuge for some of the more uncommon species such as African wild dog (which usually den each dry season near camp), cheetah, roan and sable. And for birders, it will not disappoint. Our nearby African skimmer colony is a highlight, as are the antics of the Black egret on the shores of Zibadianja Lagoon. From the Dhow Suite, hippos are visible in the Lagoon and elephant wander through regularly. Night noises will either lull you to sleep or wake you from a deep slumber. It is an exciting area, and guests are in the heart of a wilderness wonderland.

Camp Access

Zarafa Dhow Suite 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 brief 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

In keeping with the revolutionary environmentally friendly methods used in the construction of Zarafa’s main camp, the Dhow Suite has been constructed with maximum focus on minimising the impact on the pristine environment, which surrounds them.

Energy comes from Zarafa’s pioneering “solar farm” consisting of over 150 205-watt solar panels, which produce enough electricity during daylight hours to handle the electrical needs of both the main camp and the Suites.

As with the Zarafa camp, Zarafa’s Dhow Suite’s game drive vehicle operates on a mix of vegetable oil (85%) and diesel (15%), a completely new initiative in the safari industry, and drinking water is treated through a UV filtration system which eliminates the use of disposable plastic water bottles.

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 pounds or kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for our Conservation Education Program and our Women’s Craft Groups operating in Gudigwa and Seronga, you will make a priceless impact in the lives of local children and families.

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