Welcome to Zarafa Dhow Suites

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




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 Suites 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.


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.


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

An Overview of Zarafa Dhow Suites

The logical extension to Great Plains Conservation’s Zarafa Camp, the Dhow Suites, have quickly become the ultimate private retreat, offering 2200 sq ft (210m2) of understated opulence in one of Africa’s last great wildernesses – the private 320,000-acre Selinda Reserve.

Cut from the same cloth as Zarafa’s main camp, the suites are completely autonomous, having their own staff and catering exclusively for a small intimate group of friends or family who want to truly immerse them in the grandeur of a classic safari experience.

With two lavish bedrooms on either side of a sumptuous lounge and dining room, the ambience is one of complete harmony with nature, with breathtaking, elevated views out over the Zibadianja Lagoon. A multi-level deck, with a pool, adds to the palatial expanse of living space, which has been inspired by the miracle of wild Africa.

That miracle is embodied by the story of Zarafa, the “beloved one” – a Nubian giraffe given to Charles X of France by the Viceroy of Egypt in 1826. Zarafa’s journey to Paris necessitated her being transported down the Nile in an East African dhow with a hole cut in its upper deck to accommodate her long, slender neck.

The Dhow Suites have been named for this most traditional of vessels, and the role it played in Zarafa’s own, fascinating “safari”.

The East African influence in the suites is tangible, with ancient Zanzibari doors adding unique flavour to the rich interiors. Each bedroom has its own fireplace and huge copper baths, positioned to make the most of the views out over the lagoon. Dinner takes place either in the indoor dining room or outside, under a canopy of stars.

The villa concept takes its lead from the old-world elegance of the 1920s, when safari was in its infancy and yet managed to encompass a style and grace all of its own. Think Karen Blixen, lead crystal and Limoges, Mozart playing on a gramophone and a million stars twinkling in the Milky Way overhead…

It is a “beloved suite” and the ideal place for people to not just connect with Africa, but also reconnect with one another.

Camp Access

Zarafa Dhow Suites are 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 Suites have 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 Suites’ 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.

Your own private retreat in the 320 000 acre Selinda Reserve from

(The above rate is based on a per 2 bedroom villa per night basis for travel during the period 11 January – 31 March 2018)