It was recently announced that Great Plains Conservation would be breaking new grounds for Relais & Châteaux. Zarafa Camp is the first property ever to be accredited as Relais & Châteaux member in Botswana. The Relais & Châteaux 5C’s ethos of Calm, Charm, Character, Courtesy and Cuisine personifies the experiences at Zarafa Camp. In addition this Great Plains Conservation property adds a further two C’s into the mix in the form of their underlying Conservation and Community ethics.
Zarafa Camp, located in the 320,000-acre Selinda Reserve is synonymous with exclusivity and perfection. The spirit behind Zarafa Camp comes from Colin Bell, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, who together designed Zarafa to incorporate all the components of what they envisioned as the ‘perfect’ safari camp. 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.
Re-opened in June 2008 as Zibadianja Camp and later re-named Zarafa, its beautiful design, ‘green’ construction and spectacular new location made it an immediate recipient of numerous accolades. 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 of the camp’s four immense tented suites are raised up on wooden decking and shaded by a canopy of African ebony and Red ivory trees, each with uninterrupted views.
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. The giraffe was a sensation to all who saw her, and provided inspiration. The new Zarafa Camp lives up to the name, inspiring even the well traveled, and renewing the spirit of all who visit.
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.
On safari it is possible to see a tremendous diversity of species, from resident prides of lion to huge herds of elephant and packs of wild dog. It is also home to the ungulates, from the rare roan to the ubiquitous zebra. Nocturnal wildlife is prolific as well, and there are frequent sightings of aardwolf and civet. Exploration of this vast area defies imagination… by foot, 4×4 open game drive vehicle, and pontoon boat.