Located on the far eastern edge of the private 130 000-hectare Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana, exquisite Zarafa Camp is an idyllic outpost that gives you entrée to the remote, game-filled wilderness that links the Okavango Delta and the Chobe/Savute corridors.
This beautiful, four-roomed tented camp – designed in the best traditions of the classic safari era but with a contemporary focus on truly low-impact ‘green’ living – overlooks the crystal-clear Zibadianja Lagoon, the source of the famous Savute Channel. The lagoon is also the water source for a massive wildlife population, and dry-season sightings boast buffalo and elephant by the hundreds. Every part of this intimate camp has exceptional views.
Each of the four spacious guest tents (each about 100m2 in size) is astonishingly inviting: enter through heavy carved-wood Lamu doors into an under-canvas marvel. Draped canopy ceilings and completely open sides (protected by mosquito netting) evoke the romance of classic safaris. Each tent is heated by a gas fireplace in winter, and has a full lounge lavishly decorated with deep reds, browns, brass and copper. An open-plan en-suite bathroom with copper clawfoot bathtub, indoor shower, separate loo and double basins completes each interior, while wraparound wooden decking around each tent leads to a private plunge pool and a full outdoor shower, with unparalleled views of the pristine Botswana wilderness.
Under a leafy canopy of African ebony trees, the beautifully appointed camp has a spacious main lounge, library and dining area, as well as a curio shop. Zarafa Camp has an open-air gym and in-room massages are available. Early morning and late afternoon/early evening game viewing in open 4×4 safari vehicles, guided bush walks and cruising on the Zibadianja Lagoon on ‘HMS Zib’ when water levels permit are safari highlights.
Zarafa Camp is in the Selinda Reserve, which boasts staggering wildlife populations year-round. Home to some of the classic African species – such as leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo, red lechwe, zebra and giraffe – Selinda 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. The nearby African skimmer colony is a highlight for birders, as are the antics of the black egret on the shores of Zibadianja Lagoon. You will see (and hear) the hippos in the lagoon from camp, and elephant wander through regularly. In this exciting area in the heart of a wilderness wonderland, expect the African night sounds to lull you to sleep – or wake you with its thrilling noises.
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