The Zarafa Dhow Suites are set in its own private corner of the Zarafa Camp. Zarafa Camp is the brainchild of the founders of Great Plains Conservation. The Zarafa sits on an island in the floodplains of southern shores of the Zibadianja Lagoon, which is the source of the Savute Channel. Zarafa means “the beloved one” or “the lovely one” in Arabic. The Zarafa Dhow Suites’ name comes from a giraffe, which was presented to Charles X of France by the Viceroy of Egypt in 1826. The giraffe traveled from Africa in a traditional Dhow boat, which is the inspiration for the name of the Dhow Suites. The Zarafa Dhow Suites is on the eastern side of the 320,000-acre prime wildlife territory, the Selinda Reserve in the northern Botswana. It is one of the largest tented camps in all of Africa, offering a private Relais & Chateaux Botswana safari experience.
Luxury, Privacy, and Adventure
The Zarafa Dhow Suites is a luxurious private camp composed of only two bedrooms which can cater intimate groups of just four or five people at a time. The design of the Zarafa Dhow Suites is inspired by the old-world elegance of the 1920s safari with a touch of east African coastal style. The design was thoughtfully planned to be as environmentally sensitive as possible. The suites strike a careful balance between classic romance and adventure, with its antique rugs, beautiful campaign furniture, intricate Lamu doors, canopy ceiling, beige canvas and splashes of red, brass, copper, and leather. The entire Zarafa Dhow Suites is measured 210 square meters.
The two large bedrooms are separated by a central living and dining area with dining table, coffee table with cappuccino machines and a full-length leather couch and chairs. Each bedroom has an open layout bathroom with copper claw foot bath, indoor shower, and a separate loo. The rooms each have their own copper fireplace for cozy and romantic winter evenings. The oversized deck which was made of century-old teak railroad tiles features a lovely pool with views of the beautiful lagoon and the mesmerizing view of the wildlife in Selinda Reserve. On the deck are an open-air gym with yoga mats, bands and an exercise bike, and full-body outdoor showers for each room. The camp also has campfire area to enjoy after dinner drinks with family, friends or loved one. The guests are secluded from the main Zarafa camp so privacy is ensured.
Zarafa Dhow Suites Amenities
The Zarafa Dhow Suites operates ‘green’ and yet by luxury standards. It is fully staffed including a private safari guide and a vehicle to make your ultimate exclusive safari experience possible. Your stay will include all activities in the camp, three sumptuous meals a day, park fees, all organic bath toiletries, and in-suite amenities such as hairdryers and minibars, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. A complimentary laundry service is also offered daily so you won’t have to bring too many clothes.
The meals are often served on the multilevel deck, but on chilly nights, the guests will eat at a long dining table which offers space to spend quality time with family or friends. The guests can also request in-room massages from the professional spa therapists at an additional charge after a long tiring day spent doing wildlife activities.
In line with their vision of maintaining a small impact on the environment, the camp’s energy comes from the solar farm consisting of over 150 250-watt solar panels. These panels produce enough electricity to supply the electrical needs of the Zarafa main camp and the suites.
With no mobile reception and no internet connection, the guests are secluded from the rest of the world and away from the daily hassle of the busy city life. Indeed, the Zarafa Dhow Suites is a lavish retreat for a family or friends who wish to experience the ultimate African safari adventure.
Children 8 years old and older are allowed in the Zarafa Dhow Suites. It must be noted, however, that the minimum age for walking safaris is 12 years old for safety reasons. The children will surely learn more about the wildlife and the ecosystem because of the superb program of activities created for the children.
Getting To Zarafa Dhow Suites
The Zarafa Dhow Suites is only accessible to guests by a 45-minute flight in a seat-in plane air transfers or private charters. From the airfield, another 45-minute to one-hour game drive transfer to the Zarafa Dhow Suite. The drive will include brief game viewing stops en route.
A Wildlife-Rich Safari
The camp offers guided morning and afternoon or early evening game drives, Zibadianja Lagoon cruises and guided bush walks within the Selinda Reserve. The Selinda Reserve does not only offer stunning landscapes and utterly peaceful surrounds, but also a year-round wildlife viewing. It is home to some of the classic species, such as the lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, red lechwe, zebra and giraffe. The reserve is also a refuge for some of the more uncommon species such as roan, sable, cheetah and the African wild dog. In addition, the Zibadianja Lagoon, which is very close to the camp, does not only give marvelous views but also attracts abundant wildlife, making it a superb base for exploring the wildlife-rich region. The Zarafa has impressive pods of hippo and crocodiles in the vicinity and frequent sightings of the Black egret and the Saddle-billed stork. The kingfishers dive for small fish and the African fish eagles call in the distance. During the dry season, sightings include hundreds of buffalos, the resident pride of lions and huge herds of elephants near the lagoon.
The game drives in the morning and afternoon are guided by professional and experienced guides and via their own private Toyota Land Cruiser vehicle. The game drives are guaranteed to give you the chance to an authentic wildlife encounter and the chance to take photographs of the animals in the reserve. If you prefer to immerse yourself in the intimate details of the bush, guided walks and bush picnics are also offered in the camp. And when water levels permit, guests can experience boat cruise on the Zibadianja Lagoon. Fishing activities can also be conducted upon request and depending on the weather.
Indeed, the Zarafa Dhow Suites will give you the ultimate safari experience in Botswana.