Zarafa Camp is surely one of the most exclusive camps in beautiful Botswana. Its four enormous marquee style tented suites overlook the Selinda Spillway which draws great herds of elephant, buffalo, plains game and predators. The standard of service, cuisine and accommodation at Zarafa is truly exceptional – all the more so for its truly remote location. Expert guides take you on thrilling safaris by open vehicle, on foot and by canoe. We have been arranging Botswana safaris of the highest quality for 25 years. Contact us now to book your stay at Zarafa.
Zarafa is set on a private 135,000 hectare (330,000 acre) wildlife area located in northern Botswana. What makes this locale special is that it follows the floodplains of the Selinda Spillway, the waterway that winds its way through dry countryside to connect the Okavango Delta in the west to the Linyanti and Kwando wetlands and rivers in the east.
The full length of the Selinda Spillway winds its way through the Reserve and forms a magnet for the wildlife of the region. As Botswana is so flat, this river can flow in one of two directions or – as happens in some years – it can flow in both! Waters from the Okavango Delta pour into the Selinda Spillway and flow from west to east. In the extreme east of the Reserve, waters from the Kwando and Linyanti rivers and floodplains force their way up the Spillway from east to west. Only in years of exceptional water levels in both these systems does the water that flows in from both the east and the west join up.
With a maximum of eight guests the emphasis here is on individual hospitality, privacy and serenity.
Each tented suite covers over 150m² and is positioned at the edge of the forest to emphasise the spectacular view over the floodplains and savannah. Each suite has a separate spacious bedroom, an en-suite bathroom with copper bath and shower, as well as a separate lounge and a large shady veranda.
Two couples travelling together or a family of five may like to treat yourselves to the sumptuous Dhow Suites. Set apart from the main lodge these two suites provide 2200 square feet of palatial accommodation including a private pool, living rooms, magnificent bathrooms with indoor and outdoor shower. Relax on the expansive verandah with its views of the lagoon, and after a thrilling day on safari in your private vehicle enjoy a delicious dinner al fresco prepared by your personal chef.
In keeping with the marquee style of this camp, the main area of Zarafa is under canvas to enhance the glorious views of wildlife right in front of you. The whole camp is furnished in a “campaign” style, every piece of furniture having been designed and handcrafted specifically for the camp from recycled ancient hardwoods. Instead of one communal pool, Zarafa provides each suite with its own private plunge pool looking onto the plains.
This concession is blessed with a variety of habitats – wide-open savannah dotted with attractive palm trees; thirst-quenching waterways surrounded by dry woodland and then the river systems and floodplains themselves that draw thousands of animals to it, as they are forced to quench their thirst in the dry season along these waterways.
The floodplains are host to a wide diversity of antelope and plains game. Game drives are fruitful with a multiplicity of antelope, Burchell’s zebra, southern giraffe, blue wildebeest, and plenty of elephant and buffalo to be seen. Predator viewing is exceptional including the hippo-killing lions of Selinda, leopard, wild dog and cheetah.
Safaris at Zarafa are completely flexible and there is no set routine at the camp. Activities are arranged to suit guests’ particular interests and there are opportunities to explore the reserve by open vehicle and on foot in the early morning, late afternoon and at night. The midday siesta time can be spent at one of the waterholes near the camp in an elevated hide, and because Zarafa is located in the heart of a wonderful wildlife area, you may find the best game viewing could be from your own suite!
As the camp is co-owned by acclaimed wildlife photographers Dereck and Beverley Joubert the camp caters particularly well for avid amateur or professional photographers. The camp has three open vehicles with individual bucket seats and removable canvas roofs that come complete with specialist equipment suitable for use with professional photography equipment whilst guides are of course extremely knowledgeable and well versed in the finer nuances of lighting and positioning.
We specialise in creating unique safaris individually tailored to the interests and convenience of each client. You may wish to spend a few days at Zarafa as part of a safari encompassing several contrasting regions of Botswana where deserts, deltas and savannahs are home to thousands of animals. Alternatively, you may decide that three or four days at Zarafa should be followed by a visit to Cape Town, a remote Indian Ocean island or another part of Africa such as the Serengeti or the rainforests of the mountain gorillas. Our service is outstanding and we know these areas intimately. Contact us now by telephone or email and we will create a superb holiday perfectly tailored to your requirement
Every day brought new adventures and we learnt so much about every aspect of Kenya, its people and the wildlife. Within 24 hours of leaving home we were sitting overlooking Samburu, eating a bush picnic lunch while watching elephants and getting to know our two Samburu guides. How amazing is that?!
Africa Exclusive provided me and my family with an unforgettable, life changing adventure. It was an ethical and authentic African experience and the treatment and service was first class. We felt like participants rather than merely tourists. Amazing.
You have given us so much more than we ever had the right to expect. This was the perfect holiday in every sense – exciting, comfortable, educational, brilliant fun, a wonderful itinerary and every last detail organised and delivered to perfection. I do hope you all have the time and the opportunity to enjoy the sort of life enriching experience you have just given to us.
As regular visitors to Africa with Africa Exclusive, we’ve been constantly drawn back to the varied animal and bird watching, the landscapes and the ways of life.
We got back home yesterday after the most fantastic trip to Botswana that one could imagine. Everything worked well and the various organisations looking after us were extremely efficient so that our travel and accommodation arrangements could not have been better organised – and the people of Botswana are lovely. For us it really was the holiday of a lifetime. Worth every penny.
We have now returned home from our African adventure and would like to send a big THANK YOU to Africa Exclusive. We had the most amazing holiday, far beyond our wildest dreams and will remember it as a trip of a lifetime.
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One of the leading Africa travel specialists for over 25 years, our team has hundreds of years of combined travel experience.
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We aim to provide you with your ideal holiday, individually designed just for you and expertly organised. When you book with us you receive this perfectly designed holiday, travel advice and preparation, flawless organisation of the trip, ATOL financial protection and our 25 years’ experience. Because we have excellent confidential rates with lodges and airlines, the price of your holiday will be generally the same as you would pay were you to somehow book all the lodges, transfers and flights yourself.
There is a world of difference between one of our tailormade safaris and most package holidays printed in a brochure. Package holidays are usually designed to be as cheap as possible and of course involve large numbers of people doing the same thing. Our safaris use small, more exclusive and remote camps usually with guests flying in, and often virtually everything is included in the price. The experience is completely different.
Many of these small lodges and camps have broadly similar prices, and it is possible to arrange a superb two week safari for between £4,000 to £7,000 per person ($7,000 – $11,000) season dependant, all inclusive. Realistically it is difficult to reduce that figure, and by including Botswana in peak season, chartering a private plane, disappearing to some magical desert island, or flying at the front of the plane it’s easy to substantially increase that figure!