Zarafa is located within the Selinda Reserve - a private 135 000-hectare (330 000-acre) wildlife area located in northern Botswana. It embodies authenticity, luxury and simplicity to create a camp that as been clearly considered, and thoughtfully planned to be as environmentally sensitive as possible. It is the culmination of years of safari experience. Zarafa Camp sits on an island in the floodplains of southern shores of the Zibadianja Lagoon, which is the source of the Savute Channel. Positioned in the extreme eastern side of the Selinda Reserve, its location is in prime wildlife territory. Each tent comes with its own Canon professional camera including a Canon 40D body and 35-135 mm and 100-400mm zoom lenses for use during a stay. Photos are then burned to a DVD as a souvenir at the end of your stay. Enjoy day and night game drives as well as guided nature walks, all meals, local drinks and laundry. Zarafa Camp is designed with exclusivity and privacy at its core.
There are few places in northern Botswana as dynamic as the Selinda Reserve, which is centred on the famous Selinda Spillway, which weaves its way east, linking the far reaches of the Okavango Delta in the south with the Linyanti water systems in the east. The Selinda Reserve is west (upstream) from Savute Channel and Chobe, so it has all the advantages of both of those famous areas but with the tremendous advantage of exclusivity. It is a truly spectacular and unique landscape. Zarafa, due to its location close to Zibadianja Lagoon, has impressive pods of hippo and crocodiles that are a regular sighting. Water birds abound with frequent sightings of the amusing Black egret and stately Saddle-billed stork. Pied kingfishers dive for small fish while African fisheagles call in the distance. The whole scene is quintessentially Botswana.
Zarafa Camp, overlooking the Zibadianja Lagoon, evokes a sense of old-style safari with its four large, luxuriously appointed 'marquis style' tents. Each generous tent and veranda is positioned under cool and shady trees to emphasize the spectacular view and comprises a spacious bedroom, en-suite bathroom, a copper bath and shower as well as outdoor shower. The 1,000 square foot 'marquis style' canvas tents are expansive and open-air without exposing guests to the elements. Upon entry is a large lounge appointed with a leather sofa, armchairs, personal bar and writing desk. Adjoining the lounge is the main bedroom and dressing area, where the overhead fans and seductive mosquito nets set the ambiance. Exiting the bedroom, a beautiful copper gas fireplace is strategically placed between the bathroom and the bedroom to allay the chill of the winter months. The main bathroom is comprised of a copper bath and shower, double sinks and private toilet. Off the bathroom, the raised walkway leads to the outdoor shower, complete with wrap around showerheads! The private verandah, running the length of the front of the tent, offers a private plunge pool, outdoor lounge and sweeping view of Zibadianja Lagoon's waters.
Meals are generally table d’hôte and include a light breakfast at dawn, a hearty brunch on return from the morning activity, afternoon tea and snacks before the afternoon activity, rounded off with a sumptuous dinner in the evening. Special meals and requirements can be catered for on request. All local soft drinks, wines, spirits and beers are included in the tariff.
In keeping with the style of the guest tents, Zarafa’s main lounge is also under 'marquis style' canvas. The emphasis of the architecture is on bringing the outside in. A grand African ebony tree provides shade while the breeze off the lagoon cools the air. Furnished in the same 'campaign' style furniture, the lounge evokes a traditional safari ambiance with dark woods and rich leathers. This style continues in the private library, home to a collection of prized works on Africa. After a day's exploits in the Reserve, tales and stories are exchanged around the fire pit on the edge of the main verandah, with stargazing above.
Zarafa Camp is among the only (if not the only) luxury camp in the world to be powered entirely by solar energy. The harnessed solar power is stored in deep cycle batteries, each of which delivers 220v electricity to the camp, 24 hours a day. A set of universal plug points is available in each tent. It is recommended to bring a spare set of batteries so one set can be charged while the other is out on safari.
A small boutique shop stocks locally made goods and quality African artifacts. There is a small ‘jungle’ gym with rowing machine, treadmill, free weights and yoga equipment. In-room massage is available (at additional cost).
To say you will enjoy 4x4 game viewing and bush walks would be an understatement. Selinda Reserve is known for a few ‘specials’. African wild dogs have denned near the camp for the last three seasons (2008, 2009 & 2010). Given this species plight, it is a true blessing to have fairly common sightings. The Selinda lions, affectionately known as the ‘surfing lions’ for their penchant for hunting hippo, are legendary. The open plains provide ideal habitat for cheetah, leopard sightings, and more. In the evenings you just might spot a few rare nocturnal species such as civet, genet, aardvark, Honey badger, and possibly even some hunting. Other common species include buffalo often in large herds, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hyena, and a variety of antelope including Red lechwe, sable and possibly roan.
(Linyanti, Okavango, Makgadikgadi)
The Kalahari Desert is a landscape of boundless beauty whose red rocks and whispering dunes seem to have been imagined into existence.
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