Zarafa Camp, northern Botswana

Zarafa Camp formerly known as Zibadianja, is located 2 km south east of where Zibadianja stood. It rests in the shade of beautiful jackalberry and red ivory trees and gazes over the savanna and floodplains typical of the Zibadianja Lagoon area. The camp changed its name mainly due to the fact it was a challenging name to pronounce. The Zarafa Camps falls in the game rich Selinda Reserve of northern Botswana, home to the Selinda Canoe Trail. Elephants are abundant, predators such as lion, wild dog, cheetah and spoted hyena are also prolific, as well as a host of other plains game that provide excellent true African safari experience.

Safari Accommodation at Zarafa Camp

Guest tent at Zarafa Camp

Zarafa Camp itself is a blend of authenticity, luxury and simplicity, that makes for an almost perfect holiday safari. In the design and construction every element was carefully considered. Handmade furniture, freshly prepared cuisine and attention to detail are just some of the aspects that characterize the camp. Each tent is positioned on the forest’s edge, overlooking the floodplains and savannas, and total privacy has been insured throughout. Each safari tent covers a generous 1000 sq feet and is made up of three “rooms” furnished with custom-made pieces. The raised decks are made of recycled African railroad ties, and form the tent’s foundation.

The three “rooms” are made up of a large lounge area complete with sofa, a personal bar and a writing desk. The main bedroom and dressing area have overhead fans with mosquito nets that drape the big beds. The bedroom is separated from the bathroom by a beautiful copper fireplace to make the tent comfortably warm in the cold winter nights. The bathroom itself has a copper bath and shower, double sinks and a private toilet. Leading from the bathroom a walkway takes you to the outdoor shower. The private verandah, that runs the full length of the tent has a plunge pool, an outdoor lounge area that commands breathtaking views of Zibadianja Lagoon.

Lounge in guest tent, Zarafa Camp
Bathroom in guest tent, Zarafa Camp

The main lounge at Zarafa Camp continues in the ‘marquis style’ canvas that the tents are made of. The lounge has clear views across the Zibadianja Lagoon and a massive jackelberry tree shades the area allowing the cool breeze coming from the lagoon to refresh the air. Furnished in the same style as the accommodation tents, the lounge gives a truly traditional safari feel which is further emphasized in the private library which hosts a collection of prized works on Africa. On the edge of the verandah is the camp’s fireplace which which lies under the open sky above. Meals are generally table dôhte and include a light breakfast at dawn, a big brunch on return from the morning safari. Afternoon tea and snacks are served before the afternoon safari. The day’s cuisine is culminated with a sumptuous dinner after the safari.

The Wildlife Safaris at Zarafa Camp

Game viewing at Zarafa Camp

Game viewing safaris are of course the main reason one comes to the area and the Selinda Reserve does not disappoint. There are no strict routines at Zarafa Camp, as the camp is small enough to be flexible. However, from experience, it is recommend that wildlife activities are conducted when the wildlife is most active, this of course being the early morning, the late afternoon and evening. The heat of the day can be spent at a water pan in an elevated hide, where typically elephant and other game are know to visit. Game drives are the primary activity and are conducted in our open, 4x4 Toyota Landcruisers specifically adapted to the local conditions. Guided walks lead by experienced armed guides are also encouraged and can either be a short walk from camp or a full morning’s safari activity. A private vehicle and guide service is available, but this must be booked in advance in order to confirm the service. Private vehicles and guides are limited and as such are reserved on a first-come-first-served basis.

Game Viewing safari, Zarafa Camp

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