(Last Updated On: May 17, 2020)


Set inside Botswana’s non-public 1,350 km 2 Selinda Reserve, the intimate Zarafa Camp (previously referred to as Zibadianja) was utterly relocated and rebuilt in 2008.

Zarafa Camp now occupies a scenic setting atop a historic, barely raised earth financial institution, besides the lagoons and floodplains, which stem from the Zibadianja Lagoon. It’s one in every of Botswana’s most unique, most lovely, and most expensive camps.

Our view of Zarafa Camp

Zarafa Camp has succeeded in combining luxurious and journey in a unique but casual setting. The camp is superbly designed and effectively run and goes the additional mile to cater to its friends’ needs.

The brand new and much more unique Zarafa Dhow Suites are a great choice for households or associates traveling collectively.

In the event, you’re searching for indulgence, nice sports viewing, polished guiding, and repair, that is the place – albeit with a price ticket to match.

Although there is a good number of wildlife right here yr spherical, the most effective time to go to is no doubt in the course of the dry season, from June to October.

Set inside Botswana’s non-public 1,350 km 2 Selinda Reserve, the intimate Zarafa Camp (previously referred to as Zibadianja) was utterly relocated and rebuilt in 2008.

It now occupies a scenic setting atop a historic, barely raised earth financial institution, besides the lagoons and floodplains, which stem from the Zibadianja Lagoon. It’s one in every of Botswana’s most unique, most lovely, and most expensive camps.

  • Rooms: four chalets & 1 Suite
  • Traveler’s ranking: Wonderful (100%) From 13 opinions
  • Children: Finest for 12+
  • Open: All year

Zarafa Camp shares the Selinda Reserve with its extra modest sister camps, Selinda Camp, and the extra fundamental Selinda Explorers Camp.

The jap facet of the reserve is dominated by the extensive, spreading despair of the Magwegqana Spillway (typically often known as the Selinda Spillway).

This consists largely of open tracts of savannah, dotted with raised, island-like stands of mokolwane palm, leadwood, and different riverine vegetation.

For the reason that notably good rains of 2006, the Spillway has stuffed with water in the course of the floods, forming a hyperlink between the waters of the Okavango and Linyanti deltas.

Throughout 2016, nevertheless, the Spillway was experiencing a drought, though a number of different everlasting channels have been full.

Zarafa Camp stands in a line of lush, riverine vegetation, which runs roughly north-west/south-east.

In the entrance of the Zarafa Camp, to the north and west, are the reedbeds and waterways beside the everlasting Zibalianja Lagoon, and past these are tracts of savannah, the place most actions are carried out.

That is a sexy, open setting the place wildlife can simply be noticed at a distance. Behind the camp, to the south and east, is a reasonably stable belt of mopane woodlands, the place the wildlife is often of a lot much less curiosity in the course of the dry season.

Even an off-the-cuff look at satellite tv for pc map of Zarafa Camp will present that Zarafa is positioned on a transparent and historic line dividing two areas of various vegetation.

In actual fact, it is on the excessive facet of a geological faultline, which is the southern excessive of Africa’s Nice Rift Valley – even whether it is only some meters larger than the water in entrance of it.

Zarafa Camp is co-owned by famed wildlife filmmaker Dereck Joubert and his spouse, photographer Beverly Joubert, who’ve tried to create their final safari camp in Zarafa.

Considerate touches are evident all through, from the distinctive décor and personalized visitor stationery to the Swarovski binoculars, digital SLR digital camera, and reminiscence playing cards offered for friends’ use.

Zarafa’s lodging consists of simply 4 sprawling marquee-style tented suites, raised on outdated railway sleeper decks, and every with a personal plunge pool and outside needle-shower.

An ornate Zanzibari door leads right into a lounge space, separated by canvas partitions from a spacious open-plan bed room and toilet.

Polished wood flooring is lined with rugs, topped with leather-based furnishings and wood chests to create an early-settler really feel.

All of the canvas is double-sided, serving to the suites stay cool in summer season and heat in winter, whereas the roof of every suite has three layers: an inside lining for adornment and two outer layers for defense and insulation.

In every suite, there are pretty additional touches, together with a chest of watercolor paper and paints and a small vary of wildlife books.

There may be even a yoga mat and weights for individuals who really feel like a lightweight exercise!

Numerous chests and leather-based and brass-trimmed packing containers are stocked with a choice of alcoholic drinks, mixers, tea and low, ice, and chilled contemporary water.

We have seen throughout our most up-to-date go to in August 2018 that there have been bottles of Amarula, brandy, whiskey, and gin, in addition to decanters of sherry and port, however, drinks may be equipped to fit your preferences.

The bedroom in every of Zarafa’s suites has a big mattress with mosquito web and overhead ceiling fan, whereas behind is loads of hanging and shelving area the place you may discover bathrobes, a hairdryer, an umbrella, insect repellent, and spray, and a digital secure.

Additionally hidden away right here is an air-conditioning unit designed to silently and successfully cool the sleeping space inside the mosquito web.

The toilet services embody a luxuriously deep copper bathtub, an indoor rain-head bath, twin basins, and a separate flush bathroom.

For the winter months, a copper fuel heater helps to maintain the tent heat – a nearly unheard-of luxurious, even by the excessive requirements of Botswana’s different safari camps!

In 2014 Zarafa Camp opened the Zarafa Dhow Suites, successfully two non-public villas located on the far finish of the primary camp.

Working utterly independently of the primary camp, and in addition, catered for individually, the Dhow Suites may be booked just for unique use by a household or group of associates.

The Zarafa Camp suites are very related in fashion to the primary camp, all the way down to the exploration-style décor. Every can cater for as much as 4 adults or a household group of 5 in two particular person en-suite bedrooms.

With their very own non-public pool, together with a personal chef, camp supervisor, employees, and information, the Dhow Suites present the final word unique expertise.

A big marquee encompasses Zarafa’s primary space, its lounge, eating room, bar, and library all superbly adorned in the identical early-settler fashion because of the suites.

This primary space leads out to an intensive deck the place, climate allowing, most meals are served.

Meals are a social occasion with friends seated round one desk, although non-public eating may be organized on request.

A neighboring tent homes one of many nicer reward retailers in Botswana’s camps, stocking regionally made items, and high-quality African artifacts in addition to some very trendy clothes appropriate for a safari, and each wildlife movies and beautiful hardback pictures books by Dereck and Beverly Joubert.

Extra services embody a fitness center with incredible views and in-room therapeutic massage therapies.

Every space of Zarafa overlooks the floodplains across the Zibadianja Lagoon, from the shade of large jackalberry timber. Wildlife, notably elephant and hippo, is a typical sight in the entrance of and round camp.

On an earlier go to we have been fortunate sufficient to look at from our breakfast desk as a pack of untamed canines – 9 adults and 7 pups – performed straight in entrance of the camp close to the water’s edge.

With most of eight friends, Zarafa Camp may be very versatile in the case of actions. They provide day and evening sport drives, often within the mornings and afternoons/early evenings, with full-day sport drives on request.

All are carried out in custom-built Land Cruisers, every with particular person bucket seats and a detachable canvas roof.

A personal-automobile and information may be pre-booked at a further price, although teams of 4 or extra routinely get their very own non-public automobile at no additional cost.

Brief or full-morning walks led by a piece of armed information may be organized, as can catch-and-release fishing journeys utilizing spinners or bait – although be aware that these should not out there throughout January and February when fishing is banned by the Botswana authorities.

Although seasonal, wildlife viewing on the Selinda Reserve is especially good in the course of the dry interval from June to round late October/early November, though we’ve additionally had phenomenal sport viewing within the off season.

The mix of moist and dry habitats attracts a variety of species, together with quite a lot of birdlife, from waterbirds resembling black-winged stilt, African skimmer, and gray heron to double-banded sandgrouse and Kittlitz’s plover.

Specials within the reserve embody slaty and black egret, and coppery-tailed coucal, all watched over by predators such because of the African fish eagle and bateleur eagle.

In August 2018 we have been fortunate to see roan one afternoon, fairly a troublesome species to identify in Botswana and two lionesses with their 5 cubs the next morning.

The cubs have been very playful because the group made their means by the grassy plains in pretty early morning mild into the thicker woodland the place we overlooked them.

On an earlier go to in November 2016 we witnessed a younger leopard sleeping within the mopane woodland not removed from the camp, and later that day, two male lions feasting on an elephant carcass.

From the top of April by December, Cape buffalo migrate into the world, resulting in epic predator-prey encounters with the lion.

The June–July zebra migration from the Savute and Chobe space can even deliver as much as a thousand zebra into the reserve, and friends can anticipate large herds of an elephant within the winter season (between about November and April).

One other spotlight at Zarafa is cruising the lagoon aboard the massive pontoon boat, humorously titled HMS Zibadianja.

Furnished with couches, an eating desk, and chairs, that is best for brunch and sundowner cruises whereas watching hippos, elephants, and different wildlife.

Reviews

Zarafa Camp has succeeded in combining luxurious and journey in a unique but casual setting.

The camp is superbly designed and effectively run, and goes the additional mile to cater for its friends’ needs.

The brand new and much more unique Zarafa Dhow Suites are a great choice for households or associates traveling collectively.

In the event, you’re searching for indulgence, nice sports viewing, polished guiding, and repair, that is the place – albeit with a price ticket to match.

Although there is a good number of wildlife right here yr spherical, the most effective time to go to is no doubt in the course of the dry season, from June to October.

Zarafa Camp Geographics

Location: Kwando-Linyanti space, Botswana

Superb size of keep: We suggest three nights or extra at Zarafa Camp, or probably an evening or two right here at the beginning and/or finish for these becoming a member of the Selinda Journey Path.

Instructions: Zarafa is accessible solely by mild plane; it is roughly a 45-minute flight from both Maun or Kasane. The camp is about an hour’s drive from Selinda airstrip, relying on wildlife sightings in the best way.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Switch

Key personnel

Proprietor: Nice Plains Conservation

Workers: Antoinette (primary camp supervisor), Pierre (head chef), Frank (Dhow Suites supervisor)

Zarafa Camp Meals & drink

Standard board foundation: Full Board

Meals high quality: Zarafa is among the solely Relais & Châteaux property in Botswana. The standard and choice of meals are extraordinary contemplating the remoteness of the camp.

Meals are mild, and loads of thought and care has been put into the menus, that are designed to make you are feeling mild and stuffed with power.

Vegetarians and any specific dietary necessities may be catered for on request, and menus are extraordinarily versatile to go well with friends’ meal preferences.

One of many benefits of staying at Nice Plains’ camps is that the cooks have full freedom to create their very own menus. Consequently, you possibly can keep at totally different Nice Plains’ camps for over per week, sampling inventive, scrumptious dishes, but not repeat a meal.

Zarafa Camp

On our final keep, in August 2018 we thought meals were a number of the finest that we skilled in Botswana.

We headed out early from camp so we had our breakfast within the bush or in actual fact within the automobile, watching lions.

This was a scaled again model or the type of breakfast you might anticipate from camp and beforehand we’ve loved bacon and eggs, croissants, yogurt pots with stewed fruit, sliced fruit, contemporary muffins, a choice of jam, honey, and combined nuts, and quite a lot of cereals.

Lunch, consisted of tomato gnocchi or calamari accompanied by plenty of freshly ready salads, together with combined grains and a contemporary leafy salad. This was adopted by a fantastic choice of cheeses.

Afternoon tea of candy or savory snacks is served earlier than the afternoon exercise, accompanied by a choice of scorching or chilly drinks.

Dinner was a five-course taster menu every course with accompanying wine and it was sensational.

It kicked off with tomato soup, with contemporary sunflower seed bread and avocado butter.

The second course was self-made feta cheese, solar-dried parsnips, and beetroot puree, this was adopted by a mushroom risotto, pancetta, and parmesan crisps. The fourth course was a chorizo and quail sausage, duck breast, corn and butternut puree, and mash.

The ultimate course centered round apples served in quite a lot of methods; as a sorbet, an apple crisp, candied, and baked, served with meringue.

The proficient chef launched every meal and the thought behind its conception in addition to the wines to go together with every. It was an unforgettable night.

Eating fashion: Combination of group eating and particular person tables

Eating places: Indoor and Out of doors Eating

Value of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Drinks included: All drinks which are stocked in camp, together with premium model spirits and champagne.

Visitors are inspired to make use of the filtered water provide within the camp’s primary space to prime up the stainless steel flasks which are positioned in every room; these are additionally replenished day by day by the employees. We do not suggest that travelers drink from the faucet

Additional eating data: On request, i.e. non-public meals for particular events.

Zarafa Camp Particular interests

Honeymoons: With its giant and opulent rooms overlooking the Zibadianja Lagoon, Zarafa is a perfect place for a Botswana honeymoon retreat.

The employees will, fortunately, arrange a personal dinner on your veranda or a romantic cruise on the pontoon boat.

Birdwatching: Zarafa Camp is located near the Zibadianja Lagoon which is thought for its colony of African Skimmers.

Every tent comes with its personal pair of Swarovski binoculars – an enormous boon for anybody with eager curiosity in birds.

Pictures holidays: Co-owned by wildlife filmmakers and photographers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, Zarafa is among the finest camps for photographers in Botswana.

Numerous Canon 5D cameras can be found for friends’ use and the guides are nice at positioning for footage.

Wellbeing: As you may anticipate from such an expensive camp Zarafa Camp provides a variety of in-room massages and coverings as effectively an open-air fitness center and personal plunge swimming pools in every room, excellent for some relaxation and rest in your Botswana safari.

Non-public villas & homes: The Zarafa Dhow Suite is among the most luxurious non-public choices in Botswana providing as much as four friends opulent lodging and privately guided actions in one in every of northern Botswana’s most prolific wildlife areas.

Luxurious: Zarafa provides sheer luxurious and journey in a first-rate sport viewing space.

Luxurious suites are thoughtfully adorned however what actually stands out is the attentive service and top-notch guiding.

In the event you’re seeking to indulge in your safari vacation, then look no additional.

Kids

Perspective in direction of kids: Youngsters aged eight and over are welcome at Zarafa, however, these aged 12 and below should be booked onto a personal automobile for his or her actions.

That mentioned households of 4 or extra can be supplied with a personal automobile freed from cost.

Kids between the ages of six and eight years outdated are permitted provided that their household has booked both the Zarafa Dhow Suites or the unique use of the entire camp.

Property’s age restrictions: Minimal age eight years for primary camp, six years for Dhow Suites

Particular actions & companies: Selinda Explorers Camp has guides who’re nice with kids, and might supply different and barely tailor-made actions resembling fishing or quick canoe journeys.

The camp additionally provides the ‘Younger Explorers’ program, which incorporates child-friendly actions resembling animal monitoring, plaster casting tracks, and making conventional bows and arrows.

Zarafa can supply childminding from one in every of their housekeeping group, however not somebody specifically educated in childcare.

Tools: No particular tools for youngsters are offered, though an extra mattress may be added to the suites to create a triple.

Typically really useful for youngsters: As Zarafa is unfenced, and wild animals roam freely by the camp, we might suggest it just for kids aged 12 and over.

Notes: Youngsters should be saved below fixed, shut supervision by a guardian or guardian.

Zarafa Camp Infrastructure

Energy provide: Photo voltaic Energy

Energy provides notes: Solar energy is backed up by a generator. The system is able to accommodate the low-wattage hairdryers which are offered within the loos.

Communications: Wi-Fi entry is within the suites solely, however not in the primary areas. There isn’t a cellphone reception. There’s a satellite tv for pc telephone and radio to contact Maun in an emergency.

TV & radio: None

Water provides: Borehole

Water provides notes: All of the suites have plumbed cold and warm operating water for showers, and flushing bogs.

Visitors are inspired to make use of the filtered water provide within the camp’s primary space to prime up the stainless steel flasks which are positioned in every room; these are additionally replenished day by day by the employees. We do not suggest that travelers drink from the faucet.

Why We Love Zarafa Camp

Deemed one of many greenest of Botswana’s safari camps, Zarafa Camp makes use of recycled hardwoods and canvas used for buildings, photo voltaic panels for electrical energy, and ‘biogas’ from vegetation used for cooking.

Every tent features a Canon 5D with 35 -135 mm and 100 – 400 mm lenses for friends to make use of throughout their keep. Photographs are added to a disc and are given to friends as souvenirs.

Visitors can request to guide photographic tools previous to their arrival. That is nice for people who both do not need prime of the road tools or who don’t wish to journey with it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *