Zarafa means “the beloved one” in Arabic and comes from a giraffe that was presented to Charles X of France in 1826 by the Viceroy of Egypt. Today Zarafa, Botswana’s first Relais & Chateaux property, is an exquisite camp located on the private 130,000 hectare Selinda Reserve. The Reserve links the Okavango Delta with Chobe National Park and every area of the camp offers stunning views over the Zibadianja Lagoon, the source of the Savuti Channel.
Each of Zarafa Camp’s four guest tents are 1000 square foot (100m2), set on raised decking, under flowing canvas. Entering through a Lamu door guests, find a lavish space of deep reds and browns. The bedroom is connected to a full lounge and open layout bathroom complete with cooper claw-foot bath. Extensive decking includes a private plunge pool and outdoor shower.
Under a canopy of ebony trees, the camp has a sizable main lounge, library, dining area and bush boutique. An outdoor gym and in-room massage are available. With all its careful appointments, Zarafa maintains the perfect balance between luxury, romance and adventure and the camp has no equal when it comes to its environmental credentials. Only recycled hardwoods and canvas were used in the construction, all the camp’s electricity comes from its solar farm and a bio-gas system converts vegetable waste into usable cooking gas.
Selinda Reserve is home to leopard, lion, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, red lechwe, zebra and giraffe. It is also a refuge for some of the more uncommon species such as African wild dog, roan and sable. And for birders the nearby African skimmer colony is a highlight. From camp, hippos are visible in the Lagoon and elephant wander through regularly. It is an exciting area, and guests are in the heart of this wilderness wonderland.